Sports Psychologist Salary Guide 2024

By Staff Writer

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Sports Psychologist helps individual athletes and sometimes entire teams perform better within their chosen sport. These practitioners teach athletes psychological techniques to improve their mental fortitude. And with a stronger mind, sports stars can practice harder and better navigate the difficulties and pressure placed on them to win.

How much do Sports Psychologists make?

On average, Sports Psychologists earn $72,255, but this number varies greatly depending on where they work. Sports Psychologists who are in private practice have different salaries than those working with a specific team. Even the team-specific psychologists will make different amounts depending on if they work with college-level athletes, compared to professional ones.

Which States Have the Best Pay For Sports Psychologists? 

Surprisingly, Sports Psychologists in Alaska report the highest salaries. On average, psychologists in the land of the midnight sun earn $84,258 annually. Because Alaska is so isolated, it has a high cost of living. This isolation may also influence pay since the state may need to draw in Sports Psychologists to work there.

The second spot where Sports Psychologists earn a hefty salary is California. Practicing Sports Psychology in this state means getting $83,957 on average. If you aren’t a fan of the cold and don’t mind dealing with traffic, this state is a great place to create a strong career.

Washington D.C. is in third place for average Sports Psychology salary. In this coastal spot, Sports Psychologists reported $83,604 for their median salary.

Sports Psychologist Salary by State:  

  • Alaska: The average pay for Sports Psychologists is $84,258 in Alaska.
  • California: The median salary is $83,957 in California.
  • Washington, D.C.: For Washington D.C., the average salary is $83,604.
  • New Jersey: In New Jersey, a Sports Psychologist can expect to earn $83,100.
  • Massachusetts: In Massachusetts, the average salary for Sports Psychologists is $81,778.

How much do NFL sports psychologists make?

It’s difficult to give precise figures, as naturally, salaries are personal information which isn’t often shared very freely.

Generally, at the highest level, sports psychologists can expect to make over $100,000 a year when dealing with NFL franchises that have a large roster of athletes, state-of-the-art facilities, and incredibly lucrative and high stakes competition.

How much do NBA sports psychologists make?

The same can be said for NBA psychologists, who will likely often make in the vicinity of $100,000 a year or more when dealing with the highest level of athletes. It’s possible the amount may be less for someone less experienced, but these roles are some of the biggest and most rewarding for sports psychologists so they are competitive, highly sought after, and well paid too.

A day in the life of a sports psychologist/what do they do for athletes?

Sports psychologists can work for athletes, coaches, and referees, from the amateur level all the way up to the professional level. Their work is focused on supporting these athletes and sportspeople in their roles and dealing with the psychological stresses of the profession, as well as researching how sport affects psychology, and how psychology influences sports performance.

They attempt to prepare athletes as well as possible using all these factors and may use aspects of medicine and psychology in the performance of their duties.