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Highest Paying Jobs in Psychology: Students Before Profits

Earning a psychology degree can be time-consuming and costly, so it’s important to know the highest paying jobs in psychology available. Students can spend the better part of a decade – or more – gaining a worthwhile psychology degree, and in that process can rack up quite a bit of student debt. This is why it is so crucial that students select a career path within psychology that is high paying.

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Highest Paying Psychology Jobs Methodology

For students who want to earn one of the highest paying psychology jobs, we have compiled a list of those career paths. These programs have been selected based upon their mid-career salary as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The programs are ordered from highest to lowest score.

Top 10 Highest Paying Psychology Jobs

#1. Psychiatrist

Median Annual Salary: $177,250

One of the highest paying psychology jobs, psychiatrists can expect to earn a median annual salary of $177,250. To become a psychiatrist, students must have earned a medical degree and have completed a residency. This entire process typically takes over twelve years. Psychiatrists work with patients to help them cope with mental illness or emotional difficulties. They work with their patients to better understand their issues and use their knowledge to provide them with medicinal therapies to soothe their symptoms. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 28 percent increase in psychiatry jobs in the next few years.

#2. Military Psychologist

Median Annual Salary: $120,538

Military psychologists rank highly among our highest paying jobs in psychology. Military psychologists work with military service members and their families in order to help maintain their emotional and mental health. They provide a number of services, such as psychiatric evaluations and mental health assessments, as well as counseling and medicine management. A doctoral degree is required for this career, as well as military service. Typically students can expect to meet these requirements in about eight years. The median annual salary for those working as military psychologists is $120,538.

#3. Industrial & Organizational Psychologist

Median Annual Salary: $97,820

Industrial & Organizational Psychologists rank among our highest paying jobs in psychology ranking. The median annual salary for those working as industrial & organization psychologists is $97,820. To get a job as an industrial & organization psychologist, students must complete 6-12 years of training. A master’s degree is the minimum requirement for this career path, but a doctoral degree is preferred, which accounts for the range in training time. As an industrial & organizational psychologist, you will use your knowledge of psychology to help organizations and businesses optimize their work environments.

#4. Neuropsychologist

Median Annual Salary: $90,460

Neuropsychologists also rank highly among our top highest paying jobs in psychology. To become a neuropsychologist, students must earn a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. This process can take anywhere from 8-12 years, depending on your course load and the rigor of your program. The median annual salary of a neuropsychologist is $90,460. As a neuropsychologist, you will apply your understanding of psychology and its concepts to the understanding of the brain. You will study the brain and neurological disease in order to devise treatments and therapies.

#5. School Psychologist

Median Annual Salary: $90,000

Ranking highly among our highest paying jobs in psychology, school psychologists make a median annual salary of $90,000. As a school psychologist, you will apply your psychology training to working with students within the school environment. School psychologists specifically examine the ways that psychological intervention can help students excel in school. A master’s degree is a minimum requirement for this career path but a doctoral degree is preferred. Typically, 8-12 years of education is required to complete the education required for this career path.

#6. Geropsychologist

Median Annual Salary: $89,900

Geropsychologists are psychologists who work specifically with the aging. They use their knowledge of psychology and the brain to better understand the issues that aging people face. While they still deal with traditional issues that psychologists help with such as depression and anxiety, geropsychologists also are involved with helping people understand dementia and deal with the possibility of death. A doctoral degree is required at a minimum to be a geropsychologist. Students can expect about 8-12 years of schooling before they can become a geropsychologist.

#7. Experimental Psychologist

Median Annual Salary: $88,400

Experimental psychologists make an annual salary of $88,400, ranking this career among our highest paying jobs in psychology. To become an experimental psychologist, students are expected to earn a doctoral degree. This means that students can expect about 8-12 years of schooling before they will be able to pursue this career path. Experimental psychologists work in a variety of different settings including universities, colleges, businesses, and government. They devise different tests and experiments to better understand mental illness, human behavior, neuroscience, and more.

#8. Clinical Psychologist

Median Annual Salary: $87,015

Clinical psychologists are what people typically think of when they think of a psychologist. As a clinical psychologist, you will work directly with patients to help them better understand their mental health and their mind. They will work to help guide people through difficult times, as well as help them work through their idiosyncrasies. Clinical psychologists make a median annual salary of $87,015. Depending on where you’ll practice, clinical psychologists require a master’s degree or a doctoral degree, as well as time in a residency.

Tuition: $38,160

Score: 98.25

#9. Counseling Psychologist

Median Annual Salary: $81,000

Counseling psychologists are similar to clinical psychologists in that they are reminiscent of the typical image of psychologists. Counseling psychologists work directly with patients to maintain their well-being and to help them work through difficult times or to guide them through their lives. They work with patients with emotional disorders, mental illness, and more to help them lead fuller lives. Counseling psychologists earn a median annual salary of $81,000. To become a counseling psychologist, students must earn at least a master’s degree, but some states require a doctoral degree.

Tuition: $73,680

Score: 98

#10. Research Psychologist

Median Annual Salary: $80,500

Research psychologists primarily deal with the abstract application of psychological concepts. Research psychologists can work for universities or colleges, research groups, the government, and more. Typically, research psychologists work in laboratories where they design experiments to get a better understanding of psychological concepts. The median annual salary of a research psychologist is $80,500, and up to twelve years of education can be required to become a research psychologist.


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NPCO Staff

This concludes our ranking of the highest paying psychology jobs.