If you want an answer to the question, “how much do psychologists make?” it will not be easy nailing down an exact figure.
That is true due to all of the different environments in which you might work.
The good news is that you really can get a decent idea of a psychologist salary, and what you will be capable of making for yourself if you choose psychology as your vocation.
Factors That Influence A Psychologist’s Salary
Since a person who specializes in human behavior is needed in so many different aspects of life, there is actually a broad range of facilities in which one might choose to work.
You may become a psychologist with a goal to teach at a university.
Another one may be inclined to work in research. Some may see nothing other than counseling in private practice settings as their only interest. All of those choices, plus much more, can determine the psychologist salary.
If you decide that you want to use your specialty in education and you choose teaching at a university, your pay would likely vary greatly from being a high school teacher or counselor.
If you want to work in research at a major company you might be paid handsomely, and if you work for the government your pay may depend on grants and contributions, so you could be compromising your generous salary options.
If you join a private practice of counselors, depending on the size of the practice, how reputable it is, and in which city it is located, your starting pay may be quite different.
How Much Does A Psychologist Make In My City?
Wherever you are, you want to know what psychologists are making in your region, and then more specifically, your state, your city, and, of course, in the field you choose. Looking at some data available, here are some figures to consider:
According to Salary Wizard, the median annual income for psychologists in Boise, Idaho is around $79,000 per year. Psychologists in Spokane Washington make about $83,000, and those in Washington DC come in at about $92,000 annually.
Breaking That Down
Putting that into perspective; between the highest and lowest of the three there is a difference of about $13,000 annually, which, broken down, means a bit over $1,000 monthly, before taxes.
If an average one-bedroom apartment is $2,000 in Washington, D.C. but in Boise, Idaho it is $700, then that would mean a difference of $1,300 per month, before taxes, in just housing expenses.
Such figures nicely offset each other in cost of living considerations among the cities.
It is a personal preference when one is determined to work in a massive metropolis or is set on being closer to more of a country feel. You are not necessarily giving up money to be a psychologist because of living in a less populated area.
Many careers have incomes that are undoubtedly dependent on being within a densely populated region, but fortunately, being a psychologist is not one of them! You most certainly can find fulfillment in your commitment to psychology without sacrificing a great salary.
It is possible to follow your dream of being a psychologist and have a good income while utilizing it, no matter where you land. It is a necessary, valuable, and esteemed service that you will be providing, and it is a career where you can be nicely compensated for your efforts and dedication toward the field.
If you are considering a career as a psychologist, you should go for it, and relax in the thought that it will be one that is fulfilling and brings you a salary that most would be thrilled to have.