According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, clinical psychologists in the United States earn as much as $67,650 annually, based on the 2014 – 2015 BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook. However, actual salaries tend to vary depending on several factors such as place of work, years of experience, and specialization.
Clinical Psychologist Salary
The BLS also reported that the upper 10 percent received an annual income of $110,880, and the salaries of clinical psychologists increase constantly each year because of the high demands for this job. As a result, this profession proves to be a profitable career that can help individuals gain financial rewards and opportunities to work closely with people who encounter issues affecting their health and performance.
Pay Scale in Different Parts of the United States
Clinical psychologists may find in employment in clinics, schools, government and various industries. They may also choose to work part-time or full-time, particularly those in private practice. As for psychologists employed in healthcare facilities such as nursing homes and hospitals, they often have weekend or evening shifts to cater to their clients’ demands.
The BLS have indicated several top-paying states in the US including the following:
Rhode Island – $92,580
Hawaii – $90, 420
Pennsylvania – $89, 640
Wyoming – $89, 370
Nebraska – $86,900
Idaho – $86, 050
New York – $84, 850
New Jersey – $83, 870
Alabama – $80, 430
As of the national average salary of clinical psychologists per hour, it was reported that these professionals earn as much as $18.49 to $52.57, depending on their location and years of experience and type of industry where they work.
Job Description of Clinical Psychologists
Clinical psychologists are responsible for the analysis of an individual’s emotional, social and cognitive processes. They gather data as they observe, interview and prepare written reports about their clients and how they deal with their environment.
These professionals are skilled in assessing and diagnosing any existing behavioral, emotional and mental disorders in individuals. With their extensive knowledge and skill in the field, they are competent in treating any disorders affecting a person’s emotional and mental health whether these are acute or chronic issues.
Generally, clinical psychologists have undergone specialized training that equip them with relevant skills to support their clients. They implement a range of strategies and approaches to resolve any issues that their patients encounter. For instance, they provide individual counseling, group or family psychotherapy, and they may establish behavior modification programs to further improve their patients’ condition.
Clinical psychologists may specialize on specific populations such as teens, younger children, adults, or the elderly. When it comes to recommending a suitable treatment option for patients, they may consult relevant medical experts such as physicians and psychiatrists in case they need to prescribe medication.
Primarily, psychiatrists and GP are allowed to prescribe medication in treating mental or behavioral disorders among patients. However, New Mexico and Louisiana have authorized clinical psychologists to give medical prescriptions to their patients for their fast recovery.
How to Become a Clinical Psychologist
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Those who aspire to become a clinical psychologist should obtain a doctoral degree or Ph.D in psychology that involves a completion of a dissertation and a comprehensive exam. As for individuals who wish to work in a health service or school setting, they are required to complete an internship program for about a year, which is a part of the requirements for a doctoral degree.
Psychologists who intend to find employment in schools must obtain a license and an advanced degree before they can find work in this setting. A specialist degree or Ed.S degree involves at least 60 semester hours, as well as a supervised internship for 1200 hours. They should also undergo professional training that focus on psychology and education since they are expected to deal with every aspect of a student’s total development such as their mental, emotional and social health.
As for individuals who opt to find employment in the corporate world, they must complete a master’s degree that includes training under the direct supervision of an experienced doctoral psychologist. The typical coursework for this degree include research design, statistics and industrial-organizational psychology. Upon completion of their further studies and training, they may already be capable of working in clinical, research or counseling settings in any industries.
Before psychologists can practice their profession, they must obtain a license or certification. In most instances clinical psychologists should hold a doctorate degree, a minimum of 1 year of experience, and completion of an internship program. They should also take and pass the Professional Practice in Psychology examination provided in the state where they wish to find employment. The Association of State and Provincial Licensing Boards provide specific information about licensing requirements in each state in the country.
It is not a major requirement for psychologists to possess a board certification before they can find work in their preferred industry. However, a certification by the American Board of Professional Psychology can give psychologists an edge among other professionals in this field. This can also add to their credentials and boost their chances of promotion to the job for a more lucrative income.
Clinical Psychologist Salary in Canada, Australia and UK
In Canada, clinical psychologists earn a national median wage of C$68,746 every year. Canadian cities that offer the highest salary to these professionals include Vancouver and Toronto.
On the other hand, psychologists employed in Australia earn between AU$42,313 – AU$98,898 per year, with an average annual income of AU$69,080. Top-paying cities are Perth and Newcastle while Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane offer lower salaries to these professionals.
In the United Kingdom, clinical psychologists receive between ₤24,306 and ₤44,500 annually. Moreover, those who are employed in London earn the highest, according to the March 2014 report by various HR departments in the country.
Conclusion on Clinical Psychologist Salary
The demand for more clinical psychologists in the country will continue to increase as individuals turn to these professionals for the best strategies to manage and address their issues. They can also equip patients with excellent techniques to help them deal with any physical or mental changes that they may experience as they age. Thus, getting a job as a clinical psychologist proves to be a rewarding choice because of the lucrative pay, opportunities for professional growth and better chances to assist individuals in any difficulties affecting every aspect of their life.