Counseling Psychologist Salary Guide 2024 – How Much Do Counseling Psychologists Earn?

By Staff Writer

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A counseling psychologist is a mental health professional who specializes in helping individuals to improve their well-being, reduce distress, and achieve their goals through talk therapy and other psychological interventions. Learn how to become a counseling psychologist.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for counseling psychologists is $81,040

Here is how a counseling psychologist salary will typically increase over a career lifetime:

  • Less than 1 year of experience: $53,000 per year on average
  • 1-4 years of experience: $61,000 per year on average
  • 5-9 years of experience: $69,000 per year on average
  • 10-19 years of experience: $79,000 per year on average
  • 20 or more years of experience: $87,000 per year on average

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Which states pay the highest salaries for counseling psychologists?

  1. California – $120,010
  2. New Jersey – $108,630
  3. Hawaii – $103,860
  4. New York – $101,760
  5. Connecticut – $100,780

Which cities have the highest counseling psychologist salaries?

  1. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA – $124,350
  2. Newark, NJ-PA – $122,880
  3. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA – $118,570
  4. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT – $112,040
  5. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA – $109,640

How can counseling psychologists improve their salary?

Negotiate your salary

When negotiating a job offer or contract, it may be possible to negotiate a higher salary based on your qualifications and experience.

According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, nearly two-thirds of psychologists reported successfully negotiating their salary at their current job.

When negotiating a salary, it can be helpful to research comparable salaries in your geographic area or field, emphasize your qualifications and experience, and be clear about your expectations.

Pursue additional education and training

Obtaining specialized certifications, additional degrees or credentials, or training in specific evidence-based therapies can make you more competitive for higher-paying jobs.

Specialized certifications in areas such as marriage and family therapy or trauma therapy can also increase your earning potential. For example, according to the National Board for Certified Counselors, certified counselors with the Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) credential earn an average of $6,000 more per year than those without this credential.

Look for opportunities in hospitals or government

Working in certain settings, such as hospitals or government agencies, may also provide higher salaries and better benefits.

Counseling psychologists working in hospitals earn an average of $76,000 per year, compared to an average salary of $63,000 per year for those working in outpatient mental health clinics.

Large universities or research institutions may also offer higher salaries and additional benefits, such as tuition reimbursement for additional education or professional development opportunities.

How do counseling psychologist salaries compare?

A counseling psychologist is a licensed psychologist and goes through a similarly rigorous educational and training process as other licensed psychologists so it makes sense to compare potential salaries. Here is how the average salary of $81,040 compares to some other types of psychologist:

  • Clinical psychologist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychologist
  • Forensic Psychologist