Report of the 2009 APA Salary Survey
Ariel A. Finno, Daniel Michalski, Brittany Hart, Marlene Wicherski, and Jessica L. Kohout
APA Center for Workforce Studies
The 2009 Salaries in Psychology report represents the fifteenth volume in the series and over twenty-five years of effort by the American Psychological Association to gather salary data on psychological personnel. The survey was initiated in 1981, in response to increasing requests for current national salary data. As has been the case in past reports, selected summary statistics are presented for current salaries of APA members who are working full time in a variety of positions and, where there is a sufficient number of responses (N=5), for individual employment settings within a position. For doctoral-level respondents, salary data are presented by position, employment setting, median years since doctorate, and by sex, race/ethnicity, and geographic region. Salary breakdowns for master's-level respondents are by position, employment setting, and median years since degree only. Master's-level salary breakdowns are sparse in some categories due to an insufficient number of respondents at this degree level.
The data represent (1) salaries for individuals who are employed full time (at least 35 hours per week in their primary salaried positions), (2) net income after office expenses for self-employed individuals who are working at least 35 hours per week, and (3) net income for individuals with a full-time (at least 30 hours per week) independent practice. Because many psychologists have additional sources of income from multiple work activities and settings, these data may not represent total income.
Individuals were eligible for inclusion in the study if they were U.S. residents, were non-retired, and supplied a valid email address. Those with a viable email address on file (N = 54,590) were sent an email solicitation directing them to an online version of the survey in early June 2009.
The online version of the questionnaire (see Appendix A) requested the following information: present employment status, employment setting, type of position, hours per week spent in the position, total years of work experience, total annual earned income, full- time salary or net income, zip code of employment setting, and demographic information. In order for nonrespondents to be tracked, each of the survey email invitations was marked with a unique ID number. Four rounds of email reminders were sent to nonrespondents throughout the month of June.
A total of 12,820 members responded to the survey. Of that total, 11,656 were employed and provided some data on employment setting, position, and other relevant variables. Surveys were excluded if the respondent failed to provide adequate data on variables (e.g., level of degree, employment status and employment setting) required to conduct specific analyses for data tables and statistics within the salaries report. Ninety-six percent (N = 11,246) of the eligible respondents were at the doctoral level and were employed full time, while only 3.4% (N = 458) were at the master's level and were employed full time.
After exclusion of non-valid email addresses the true overall response rate for this effort was 27%.
Organization of the Report
The report is divided into 15 sections. The first 12 of these provide salary data for a specific type of position at the doctoral level. The sections are as follows:
Salaries for the three major health service provider subfields (clinical, counseling, and school) are presented separately, in Sections 5, 6, and 7, in addition to Section 8, for respondents involved in the provision of direct human services in "other psychological subfields." Only licensed psychologists are included in these positions. Salaries for "applied psychology positions" are presented separately for industrial/organizational and other subfields of psychology. All data for master's-level respondents are reported in Section 13 of the report due to the very small number of respondents at this level.
For both doctoral and master's-level respondents, data are presented separately for each position. Salary data for faculty positions (Section 1) are broken down by academic rank. For all other positions, salaries are reported by years of experience: 0-1; 2-4; 5-9; 10-14; 15-19; 20-24; 25-29; and 30 years or more. In many instances, the number of respondents in the "0-1" category was too small to report detailed information, primarily because many psychologists do not join APA until a year or two after they receive their degree. For the analysis on the master's level, due to the smaller number of respondents, years of experience were collapsed into fewer categories: less than 10, 10-19, 20-29, and 30 or more. Data were reported out with more detail when possible.
More extensive information on starting salaries for doctoral level individuals is available in the report of the results of APA's 2007 Doctorate Employment Survey (Wicherski, Michalski, and Kohout, 2007).
Previous APA Salaries in Psychology Reports are available for review on our Publications page under the header Salaries in Psychology.
The 2009-2010 Faculty Salaries in Graduate Departments of Psychology (Wicherski, Jacobsen, and Kohout, 2010) includes detailed salary tables for graduate level faculty within psychology departments of the United States and parts of Canada.
Previous APA Faculty Salaries in Graduate Departments of Psychology Reports are available for review under the header Faculty Salaries in Graduate Departments of Psychology.
Additionally, the 2003 Report of the Medical School/Academic Medical Center Psychologists Employment Survey (Pate and Kohout, 2004), a collaborative effort between The American Psychological Association's (APA) Center for Workforce Studies and the Association of Medical School Psychologists' (AMSP) Executive Committee reported national-level employment and salary data on psychological personnel employed within medical school settings. The 2003 and 1997 reports are available for downloading on our Publications page under the header Medical School/Academic Medical Center Employment Survey.
Finally, additional employment and salary data for individuals with master's degrees in psychology and related disciplines are available in the 2002 Master's, Specialist's, and Related Degrees Employment Survey (Singleton, Tate, and Kohout, 2003). The report presents information on the employment and educational experiences of a sample of 2001 and 2002 graduates with master's and specialist's degrees in psychology. It also provides information on demographic characteristics and explores data such as employment status, perception of the job market, starting salaries and other relevant characteristics. The 2002 and 1996 reports can be found on our Publications page under the header Master's, Specialists, and Related Degrees Employment Survey.
Please note that all recent survey reports can be found at this location.
Each section begins with a description of the position. The first "figure" in each section gives frequency distributions and summary statistics for salaries of respondents. These summary statistics include percentiles, medians, means and standard deviations. No statistics are reported when the N is less than 5.
Where there was a sufficient number of respondents, salaries were presented for specific employment settings for a particular position. Appendix A contains a complete listing of these settings in the survey instrument. In these cases, each section presents summary statistics for doctoral-level respondents employed in specific settings, broken down by academic rank or years of work experience. Medians, means, quartiles, and standard deviations are reported.
Respondents provided 11-12-month salaries for most positions, and they are reported in this manner. The exception to this is "Faculty Positions" in Section 1, where salaries are reported on a 9-10-month basis.
Readers should be aware of the possible sources of error when using the information from this report. Eligibility for inclusion was based partially on data provided by APA members in June of 2009. There may have been changes in these data between the collection of membership data and the selection of the sample for the Salary Survey from these data one year later. Furthermore, some members were excluded because they did not report employment data or reported incomplete data. An overall response rate of 27.1% was obtained for the 2009 Salary Survey (after exclusion of all non-working email addresses from the sample. The Salary Survey was originally anonymous but this was changed in 1989 to allow follow-up mailings to non-respondents in an effort to boost the response rate.
Appendix B contains a summary of the characteristics of the population to which the survey was sent, and of respondents and non-respondents. This table provides some idea of the degree of non-respondent bias (i.e., whether those who responded differed greatly from those who did not). Data in Appendix B indicate that respondents and those in the sample were quite similar with respect to major field, highest degree earned, licensure/certification status, gender, and distribution by region. Differences, where they existed, were not substantive. The population is overwhelmingly doctoral level, and this reflects the prevailing situation among APA members.
It is important to note that the percentage of the survey respondents who were at the master's level was slightly lower (3.4%) than the representation among the eligible membership (masters level representation among APA membership is about 7%).The number of respondents in some categories is very small and the statistics reported should be viewed with caution. This is particularly the case for the salaries of master's-level respondents. Additionally, the number of respondents reported in summary statistics may differ from the number of respondents reported in the figures because in some instances, respondents failed to provide complete information on all variables.
Salary data in this report are based on a national sample. For locations where the cost of living differs significantly from the national average, salaries would be expected to vary accordingly. Tables 15.A through 16.D present information on salaries by region, selected cities, and for selected states.
As is typically the case, doctoral-level respondents in faculty positions comprised one of the largest groups of respondents to this survey (N=3,080). Incumbents in these positions primarily were involved in university settings (62%), specifically, university psychology departments (41%), university education departments (9%), other academic departments in universities (7%), university business schools or departments (3%), and university research centers (1%). Seventeen percent were employed in medical school settings, while 11% were employed in four-year college settings. University based professional schools of psychology and two-year college academic settings each made up less than 2% of the setting population for doctoral-level respondents in faculty positions.
The largest single proportion of doctoral faculty identified clinical psychology as their major subfield (33%). Counseling and social psychology were represented at 10% each, while developmental psychology was 8%. This was followed by experimental (6%), and 4% each for educational and I/O psychology as major subfield of faculty with doctorates in psychology. Table 1 contains salary information in specific employment settings by rank. Faculty salaries typically are reported on a 9-10-month basis and the salaries reported in Table 1 reflect this academic schedule. Conversely, faculty in research centers or institutes or medical and professional schools are often paid on an 11-12-month basis. The 9-10-month salaries can be converted to their 11-12-month equivalents by multiplying the reported salaries by 11/9. Frequency distributions and summary statistics are presented for doctoral-level faculty in Figure 1. The data are reported by academic rank: full professor, associate professor, assistant professor, lecturer/instructor, and other faculty positions.
The overall median 9-10-month faculty salary was $76,090 in 2009, based on 2,908 valid responses. Graduate faculty salaries are examined in more detail in the report, 2009-2010 Faculty Salaries in Graduate Departments of Psychology (Wicherski, Jacobsen, and Kohout, 2010).
Past Salaries in Psychology Reports (2007, 2003, 2001,1999,1997,and 1995) contain further data on faculty salaries for individuals with a doctoral degree in psychology. In addition, medical school faculty salaries are described at length in the Report of the 2003 Medical School/Academic Medical Center Psychologists Employment Survey (Pate and Kohout, 2004).All reports include salary breakdowns by years of experience, academic rank, geographic region, and other categories, and can be found at APA's Center for Workforce Studies website.
Educational administration refers to administrative positions in college or university settings (e.g., president, provost, or dean). These individuals may also hold a faculty appointment. Department chairs, however, are excluded from this category; their salaries are reported by academic rank in Section 1. The category also includes school superintendents or other administrative positions related to education.
Thirty percent of the 289 doctoral-level respondents in this category were employed in university administrative offices and 10% were employed in other university academic or departmental units. Seven percent were employed in four-year college management or administration offices. Six percent each claimed university departments of psychology or education, and 5% each reported working in university student counseling or student centers, medical schools (other than a department of psychiatry), or educational school systems district offices as their primary places of employment. These settings were followed by university business schools or departments, other educational settings, university based professional schools of psychology, free standing professional schools of psychology, and elementary and secondary schools (3-4% each). The largest single proportion of educational administrators claimed clinical psychology as their major subfield (32%), followed by counseling (15%), educational (10%), developmental (7%), social (6%), school (5%), and I/O (4%) psychology.
Table 2 presents 11-12-month salaries by years of experience and employment setting. Figure 2 presents the summary statistics and frequency distributions for the doctoral-level respondents in this category.
Doctoral-level respondents in full-time educational administration positions reported a median 11-12-month salary of $116,500 in 2009, based on 266 valid responses.
There were 395 respondents who worked full time in research positions in the 2009 APA Salary Survey. Activities associated with research positions include basic or applied research, such as non-faculty positions in academic settings, employment as an investigator in a laboratory or a research institute, and research positions in private industry.
The largest single proportion of respondents was employed in university research centers or institutes (13%). Twelve percent were in private research organizations or labs. This was followed by medical school psychiatry departments and government research organizations or labs (9% each). Another 8% percent of respondents were located in non-profit organizations and 7% in university psychology departments. Six percent of individuals worked the psychiatry department of an educational medical school.
Based on 395 valid responses, the most typical doctoral degree major field of respondents was clinical (32%). This was followed by developmental (12%), and social psychology (8%). Seven percent each of research psychologists reported educational or experimental as their degree major field. Finally, five percent each reported counseling or I/O psychology.
Summary statistics for 11-12-month salaries by years of work experience and employment setting are presented in Table 3. The summary statistics and frequency distributions for research positions are presented in Figure 3.
The overall median 11-12-month salary in 2009 for doctoral-level respondents in research positions was $80,500, based on 361 valid responses.
There were 118 full-time, doctoral-level research administrators who responded to the 2009 Salary Survey. These positions involve the management or administration of a research organization or program. Although individuals employed in these positions also may be involved in other aspects of the research process (e.g., design, data collection and analyses), their primary responsibility is managing research, including the supervision of research personnel. Summary statistics for 11-12- month salaries by years of work experience and employment setting are presented in Table 4, and Summary statistics and frequency distributions are presented in Figure 4.
The largest single proportion of respondents in this category reported working in private research organizations (14%). This was followed by government research organizations or labs (13%), other non-profit organizations (12%), university research centers or institutes (9%), federal government agency (9%), and business/industry (excluding consulting firms) (5%).
Over one third of the 118 respondents who provided valid responses in this category indicated clinical psychology as their major subfield (36%), followed by experimental (14%), developmental (9%), and educational (6%). Another 5% each of the respondents were in social, and I/O psychology.
The overall 11-12-month median salary in 2009 for doctoral respondents in research administration was $116,343. Overall median salary was based on 110 valid responses.
Direct Human Service Positions
Almost 4,000 individuals (3,968) reported that their primary position was providing direct human services, the largest percentage of the surveyed population, at 42%. Data for individuals providing direct human services are separated by current major field, that is clinical, counseling, school, or other.
Eighteen hundred eighty-four doctoral-level respondents were licensed, claimed clinical psychology as their major field, and were involved in the direct delivery of health and mental health services to clients in 2009.
The majority of these respondents were employed in independent practice settings (57%); including individual private practice, group psychology practice, and primary care group practice (42%, 13%, and 2%, respectively). Some other employment settings reported included VA medical centers (4%) and federal government agencies (4%). Community mental health centers, public general hospitals and university student counseling or service centers each had 3% of the population. Rehabilitation facilities, state government agencies, criminal justice systems, and private general hospitals each claimed 2% of all doctoral level full- time licensed psychologists providing direct human services.
The overall 11-12-month median salary for licensed doctoral-level clinical psychologists was $87,015 in 2009, based on 1,750 valid responses.
Five hundred sixty-six respondents were licensed and indicated that they were involved in the delivery of human services at the doctoral level in counseling psychology.
Fifty-six percent of the respondents were located in a practice setting comprising individual private practitioners (41%), group psychological practitioners (13%), and primary care group practice practitioners (1%). Twelve percent claimed university/college counseling centers as their primary employment setting. Seven percent of the responding psychologists in this category were located in hospital settings. Five percent each were located in other types of educational university and four-year college settings or some type of governmental agency (federal, state or local), respectively.
The overall 11-12-month median salary in 2009 for licensed doctoral-level counseling psychologists was $81,000. Overall median salary was based on 534 valid responses. Summary statistics and frequency distributions can be found in Table 6 and Figure 6, respectively.
One hundred thirty-one respondents fit this category. Similar to both clinical and counseling psychologists, the largest single proportion of school psychologists were employed in a private practice setting comprised of individual private practice (41%), group psychological practice (16%), and primary care group practice (2%). Additionally, another 18% could be found in elementary and secondary schools, or school system district offices (6%). The next largest proportion of respondents (6%) reported working in hospitals or clinics or another type of organized human service setting; including private general hospitals (2%), community mental health centers (2%), and other settings (2%).
The overall 11-12-month salary for licensed doctoral-level respondents providing school psychology services was $90,000 in 2009, based on 124 valid responses. Summary statistics and frequency distributions can be found in Table 7 and Figure 7, respectively.
There were 711 respondents in this category. Respondents were licensed and involved in the delivery of health/mental health services to client populations, but not in one of the three standard health service provider subfields (i.e., clinical, counseling, or school psychology). The largest proportions of these respondents identified child clinical psychology (23%) as their major subfield. This was followed by clinical neuropsychology (11%), health (7%), and forensic psychology (5%). It should be noted that over one-third of the population (31%) did not specify their major subfield.
Overall, almost 40% of respondents in this category were employed in a practice setting, the majority of the population. Specifically, 26% were found in individual private practices, followed by group psychological practices (11%) and primary care group practices (2%). Approximately 16% were located in hospitals, specifically 5% in private general hospitals, 4% in public general hospitals, 3% each in VA medical centers and city/county/state psychiatric hospitals, and 1% in military hospitals. Another 14% were located in educational settings such as universities and four-year colleges. Specifically, 3% each were in university student counseling or services centers, medical schools other than psychiatry departments, and elementary and secondary school settings. Two percent were employed in medical school, psychiatric department settings. Government agencies (federal, state or local) collectively employed about 6% of respondents in this group. Another 5% were found in CMHCs, HMOs, and outpatient clinics. Data for these psychologists are presented in Table 8 and Figure 8.
The overall median 11-12-month salary in 2009 for licensed doctoral-level respondents in this category was $85,000, based on 661 valid responses.
Section 9 contains salary information for positions involving the administration of human services. That is, positions that involve managing or directing a program of human services. Although these individuals may be involved in the delivery of services, their primary responsibility is the administration of such activities, including the supervision of personnel. Salaries for the 747 respondents in this position are reported in Table 9 and Figure 9.
As might be expected, most of the psychologists in the administration of human services were employed in organized settings (approximately 44%). Twenty percent of respondents were employed in some type of educational setting, either university, four-year college, medical school, professional school of psychology or elementary or secondary schools. Specifically 14% of respondents were employed in clinics (CMHCs, HMOs, and outpatient clinics) and 16% were found in hospitals. This was followed by government agencies at the federal, state and local levels (14%), other human service settings (8%), the criminal justice system (8%), other non-profit organizations (4%), and rehabilitation facilities (2%).
The single largest proportion of respondents indicated clinical psychology as their major field (54%), followed by counseling psychology (17%) and child clinical psychology (5%).
The overall median 11-12-month salary in 2009 for health service administrators at the doctoral level was $90,000, based on 702 valid responses.
Similar to direct human service positions, applied psychology position data are separated by current major employment field. Four-hundred and thirty-one individuals reported that their primary position was one of applied psychology, approximately 5% of the respondent population. Data for individuals currently in applied psychology positions are separated by current major fields, namely Industrial/Organizational (I/O), and Other applied major fields.
This section presents the salaries of those respondents whose positions may be called applied psychology (e.g., personnel selection, assessment, systems or equipment design, organizational consultation, analysis or training) and whose current major field is industrial/organizational psychology. Salaries for the 169 doctoral-level respondents are described in Table 10 and Figure 10.
Of the doctoral-level respondents in this category, over half the population (51%) were employed in consulting firms, followed by business and industry settings (21%). Approximately 6% were employed in a government agency, and 6% were self-employed and another 5% worked as independent consultants.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for doctoral-level industrial/organizational psychologists in 2009 was $120,000, based on 162 valid responses. The standard deviation ($88,345) is large for this group, indicating substantial variation around the mean of $143,469.
Individuals whose positions may best be described as applied psychology and whose current major field is one other than industrial/organizational psychology are included in this section. Typically, these individuals are engaged in organizational consultation, marketing research, systems/equipment design, or other applied psychology activities. There were 226 doctoral-level respondents in these positions in 2009 and their salaries are reported in Table 11 and Figure 11.
One third of respondents were located in consulting firms, while 26% were in consulting firms. Another 24% worked in business or industry settings. Twelve percent claimed government (federal, state, and local) agencies as their primary employment setting, among which 6% were employed in the federal government agencies. Another 5% were self-employed, 5% worked as independent consultants, and 5% worked in non-profit organizations.
Clinical psychology was the most frequent psychology doctorate subfield (30%) for this group. This was followed by I/O psychology (20%), counseling psychology (13%) and experimental psychology (8%).9
The overall 11-12-month median salary in 2009 for doctoral-level psychologists in these positions was $100,000, based on 207 valid responses. The standard deviation ($77,121) is large for this group, indicating substantial variation around the mean of $121,100.
These positions involve managerial responsibilities in a business, government agency, or nonprofit association that cannot be described as the direct administration of educational, research, human services, or other applied psychology activities. These positions may be related to psychology, such as administration of government programs related to research funding, management of programs concerned with psychological issues in a nonprofit association, or personnel administration. There were 262 respondents at the doctoral level in 2009.
The largest single proportion of respondents in this category was employed in government agencies (25%), of which 20% each were found in federal or state government agencies. This was followed by other non-profit organizations (16%), business/industry settings (9%), hospitals (6%), and consulting firms (5%). Although scattered across a variety of settings, most of these respondents could be found working outside academia.
Overall, clinical psychology was the most frequently mentioned subfield among this position (48%). This was followed by counseling (11%), educational (8%), I/O (5%) and developmental psychology (5%).
The overall 11-12-month median salary for doctoral-level respondents in other administrative positions was $109,450 in 2009, based on 246 valid responses. Table 12 and Figure 12 show salary data for these respondents.
These positions involve any work that cannot be reasonably assigned to any of the aforementioned categories. Positions that are not related to the field of psychology such as sales, publishing, and secondary school teachers are some examples. There were 121 respondents at the doctoral level in 2009 that self-ascribed to in this category.
The largest single proportion of respondents in this category was employed in a business or industry setting (excluding consulting firms or research organizations) (15%).This was followed by state government agencies (8%), other non-profit organizations (8%), criminal justice system (5%), federal government agency (4%), and other non-educational non-service settings (3%). Six percent reported positions as independent consultants or in consulting firms. Although scattered across a variety of settings, most of these respondents could be found working outside the field of psychology.
Overall, clinical psychology was still the most frequently mentioned subfield among this position (33%). This was followed by a significant proportion of individuals in these positions (16%) who did not report a specified subfield. Approximately 6% of respondents had I/O as their subfield for this position type.
The overall 11-12-month median salary for doctoral-level respondents in other positions was $85,000 in 2009, based on 111 valid responses. Table 13 and Figure 13 show salary data for these respondents.
This section contains salary information on master's-level respondents, broken out by position and by years of experience where there were sufficient numbers of respondents (N=5). Some figures and tables have been omitted because of a low number of responses. Caution should be exercised when interpreting the data reported for master's-level positions with a small N size.
Ninety-six percent (N = 11,246) of the eligible respondents to the 2009 APA Salary Survey were at the doctoral level and were employed full time, while only 3.4% (N = 458) were at the master's level and were employed full time.
Women represented more than two thirds of the master's degree respondents (68%) to the 2009 APA Salary Survey. Individual private practice and business or industry settings were the most prevalent (each 11%), followed by consulting firms (7%), group psychological practice (6%), and elementary/secondary schools (4%). As to activity, forty percent were employed in direct human service positions and 21% worked in applied psychology positions.
All data are reported as 11-12- month salaries with the exclusion of faculty positions and academic employment settings, which are reported as 9-10-month salaries. To calculate 11-12-month equivalents, multiply by 11/9.
The data reported below reflect only those participants employed in full-time positions. For those in independent private practice, full time is defined as 30 hours per week or more. For those in all other positions, full time is defined as 35 hours per week or more.
Thirty respondents reporting a master's as their highest psychology degree worked in faculty positions. Two-year colleges represented 43% of the employment settings for this population. The majority of respondents (29%) reported their rank as lecturer/instructor, followed by full-professor (25%), associate professor (18%), assistant professor (14%), and other faculty positions (11%). Four percent of masters-level faculty reported that academic rank was not applicable to their position.
The mean salary (9-10-month salary period) was $54,134 (SD=25,364) and the median salary was $45,000. The first and third quartiles were $36,818 and $65,000 respectively; with an average of 13 years of work experience for master's degree individuals holding a faculty position.
For the twelve respondents who reported working in research positions, 17% were employed in university research centers or institutes, private research organizations or labs (17%), businesses or industries (excluding consulting firms) (17%), and other non-profit organizations (17%). Other employment settings for masters-level researchers included psychiatry departments of medical schools, private general hospitals, consulting firms, and government research organizations or labs.
The mean salary was $57,382 (SD=$20,934) while the median salary was $57,500. The first and third quartiles were $38,300 and $63,500, respectively. The average years of work experience for master's degree APA members with research positions was seven.
Administration of Research
There were 11 respondents employed in administration of research positions. Business or industry represented 36% of the employment settings for this population, followed by university research centers or institutes (18%).
The mean salary was $86,562 (SD=$64,493) and the median was $66,960. First and third quartiles were $53,550 and $94,000, correspondingly. The average years of work experience for this group was thirteen.
Direct Human Services Positions
The most prevalent employment for master's-level APA Salary Survey participants were in direct human services (N=132). The overall mean salary reported for master's-level direct human service positions was $52,322 (SD=$26,441) and the median salary was $45,000. The 1st and 3rd quartiles were $35,836 and $62,147, respectively.
Table 14a shows the salary data for master's-level respondents in direct human service positions by years of work experience.
Within direct human service positions, the most common employment settings for individuals with a master's degree were individual private practice (N=30) or group private practice (N=18). These were followed by community mental health centers, specialized health service settings, elementary or secondary schools, non-profit organizations, and local government agency settings.
Those with a master's degree in individual private practice settings reported mean and median salaries of $60,395 (SD=$39,741) and $49,500, respectively. Those in group private practices reported similar mean and median salaries of $60,984 (SD=$26,279) and $49,000, in that order.
Clinical Psychology Master's Degree
Forty-six respondents who work in direct human service employment settings with master's degrees in clinical psychology provided salary data. The majority of these individuals worked in individual private practice or group psychological practice, followed by specialized health service centers. Overall, the average years of work experience for this group was 15 years.
The mean salary for those with a clinical master's degree in direct human service settings was $52,001 (SD=$24,011) with a median salary of $44,000. The first quartile was $38,000 and $68,000 for the third quartile.
Those with less than 10 years of work experience (N=17) earned a median salary of $39,000 while those with more than 20 years of work experience (N=13) earned a median salary of $44,000.
Participants working in individual private practice settings with a clinical master's degree had a mean salary of $49,400 (SD=$27,537) and a median salary of $40,500.
Counseling Psychology Master's Degree
Forty-one participants who worked full time in direct human service provider positions earned their master's degree in counseling psychology and reported an average of 16 years of work experience. Similar to those holding a master's degree in clinical psychology, the majority of these individuals also worked in individual private practice settings, followed by community mental health centers.
The mean salary for this group was $53,295 (SD=$28,366) and a median salary of $47,000. Respectively, the first and third quartiles were $36,000 and $62,934. Those with less than 10 years of work experience (N=12) earned a median salary of $39,260 while those with more than 20 years of work experience (N=14) earned a median salary of $78,000.
Nine participants working in individual private practice settings with a counseling psychology master's degree earned a median salary of $55,000.
School Psychology Master's Degree
Among the 7 respondents with master's degrees in school psychology who provided direct human services, the mean salary was $60,057 (SD=$26,962) with a median salary of $57,000. This group had an average of 25 years of work experience, with 5 of the participants reporting more than 23 years of experience.
As expected, most individuals with a master's degree in school psychology who provide direct human services were employed in elementary or secondary school settings, followed by individual private practice.
Other Psychological Subfields providing Direct Human Services
The remaining 38 master's participants employed in direct human service positions obtained their degrees in subfields other than clinical, counseling, or school psychology. Overall this group had an average of 16 years of work experience. The mean salary was $50,467 (SD=$27,723), with a median salary of $43,000. The first and third quartiles were $35,000 and $60,500 correspondingly. The most common employment settings were group psychological practice (N=8) and individual private practice (N=5).
More than one third of respondents (37%) had worked less than 5 years and had a mean salary of $36,536 (SD=$12,827) and a median salary of $36,000.
Eight participants working in group psychological practice settings earned a median salary of $47,500, while the median salary for those working in individual private practice settings was $70,000.
Administration of Human Services Positions
Twenty-seven master's-level participants were working in administration of human services positions with an average of 17 years of work experience. Employment settings for this group varied slightly more than for other employment positions. The most popular settings included community mental health centers and other human service settings, state government agencies, and local government agencies.
The mean salary for these participants was $61,009 (SD=$18,011) and the median was $54,000. For this group, the first quartile was $47,250 and the third quartile was $80,000.
Applied Psychology Positions
The second most prevalent employment for master's-level survey participants was in applied psychology positions (N=93). The overall mean salary reported for those in applied positions was $101,053 (SD=$65,215) and the median salary was $80,000. The 1st and 3rd quartiles were $64,250 and $112,000, respectively.
Table 14b shows salary data for master's level respondents in applied psychology positions by years of work experience.
Within applied positions, the most common employment settings were business or industry (N=38) and consulting firms (N=26). These were followed by federal government agencies, local government agencies, and self-employment.
Applied Psychology (Industrial/Organizational Psychology) Positions
Fifty-four respondents reported working full time in applied psychology positions and identified themselves as currently in an industrial/organizational psychology subfield. Most popular settings for this group were business, government, consulting firms, or self employment. With an average of 12 years of work experience, those in industrial/organizational positions had a mean salary of $103,977 (SD=$49,806) and a median salary of $91,500. The first and third quartiles were $72,250 and $134,000, in that order.
Mean salaries for those working in business or industry settings (N=19) was $96,084 (SD=$33,544) while the median salary was $85,000. The average years of work experience for this group was 10.
Consulting firm positions (N=15) had a mean salary of $93,796 (SD=44,759) and a median salary of $77,000. The mean years of work experience for this group was 13 and the first and third quartiles were $65,000 and $144,000, correspondingly.
For those employed in all types of government settings (i.e. federal, state, and local) (N=8) the mean salary was $86,293 (SD=$28,713) while the median salary was $82,675. The total mean years of work experience for this group was 9 and the first and third quartiles were $63,000 and $108,000, respectively. (Please note that salaries for most government positions are in the public realm and accessible.)
Self-employed positions (N=5) had the highest mean salary of all applied psychology positions with a mean salary of $184,000 (SD=76,354) and a median salary of $190,000. They also had the largest mean years of work experience for this sub-group, at 17 years.
Applied Psychology (Other Psychology Subfields) Positions
Thirty-nine respondents identified their full-time employment position as an applied psychology field other than industrial/organizational psychology. The mean salary was $94,043 (SD=$80,909) and a median of $65,175. The average years worked was 8 and the first and third salary quartiles were $55,225 and $101,500 respectively. Those in business/industry settings (N=17) reported a median salary of $74,000, while those working in consulting positions (N=7) reported a median salary of $100,000.
Other Administrative Positions
Twenty-four respondents identified themselves as employed in other administrative positions. Within this group, 5 participants worked in business or industry (excluding consulting firm or research organization) settings. Overall, the group had a mean salary of $88,674 (SD=$44,737) and a median salary of $79,800.
This section presents doctoral-level salaries broken down by gender, race/ethnicity, and years of experience. Where possible (given sufficient Ns) the data also have been analyzed by type of position. Some of the categories have been left blank because there are too few responses.
Table 15a presents salary data by years of work experience and gender. In general, the median salaries of men were higher than those reported by women. However, the disparities are less pronounced for men and women with less than 10 years of work experience. These smaller differences among "newer" psychologists have been observed in other survey results such as the APA Doctorate Employment Survey (Wicherski, Michalski, and Kohout, 2009). The largest gender discrepancy in favor of men is evidenced in the 20-24 years, 25-29 years, and 30+ years of work experience categories.
Table 15b contains salary data by gender, years of experience, and employment position. Similarly, with few exceptions, the salaries of men exceeded those reported by women.
In Table 15c salaries are reported by years of experience and race/ethnicity. Differences among the median salaries do exist, although they do not appear to be substantive.
Salary data are displayed by years of experience and minority status in Table 15d. Median salaries for minority and non-minority psychologists do not differ greatly.
The previous sections have presented national data on the salaries/net incomes of doctoral-level and master's-level respondents who report full-time employment. This section provides geographic breakdowns of doctoral-level salaries. Table 16a presents data on median salaries and median years since the doctorate by geographic region and position. All full-time respondents were categorized into regions on the basis of zip code. Numbers are less than the totals for each region because respondents may be missing data on salary, position, or employment setting.
The category of "independent practice" includes licensed psychologists who are involved in individual, group, or medical-psychological group practices. Faculty positions in universities are limited to those who identify their primary employment setting as psychology departments, education departments, business departments or schools, or other academic units located in universities. "Faculty in other settings" includes those in other academic settings such as research centers, four- and two-year colleges, and medical schools. Medical school faculty typically are paid on an 11-12-month basis. The academic-year (9-10-month) medians given in Table 16a can be converted to their calendar-year equivalents by multiplying by 11/9.
The data in this table should not be applied to an individual salary or setting but should be used only in making very general comparisons among the different regions and positions. This is because the median salaries may be affected by factors such as gender, year of degree, years of experience, employment setting, subfield of degree, and cost of living in a specific area. To illustrate one of these factors, years of experience has been provided for each category and region.
Table 16b and Table 16c present data on the median salaries of doctoral-level faculty in university settings and for licensed doctoral-level psychologists involved in the delivery of direct human services in independent practice settings. Salaries for these two tables are presented by selected metropolitan areas. Inclusion of a city in Table 16b1 or 16c1 first hinged on its availability in the Inter-City Cost of Living Index report produced by the American Chamber of Commerce Researchers Association (ACCRA) and then on a sufficient number of responses from that city. Both adjusted median salary and actual salary are reported, as is the size of the group on which the salary is based. The adjusted salary data for this table were based on urban area index data from the third quarter of 2009. This index measure and reports prices for consumer goods and services for cities that supply this information. Table 16b2 and 16c2 includes those metropolitan areas for which the cost of living indices were unavailable but had a sufficient number of responses from each city. Therefore, given that the salaries in Table 16c are not adjusted for regional differences in cost of living, caution should be exercised when interpreting these salaries.
Similarly, Table 16d provides data on the median salaries of doctoral-level university faculty and for licensed doctoral-level independent practitioners involved in direct human service by state. Those states with fewer than 10 respondents were excluded. This table also does not account for regional differences in cost of living. Hence, state-by-state comparisons should be made with this in mind.