- In 2015, the median salary for full-time psychologists in the United States was $60,000 at the early career stage, $90,000 at mid-career, $105,000 at senior career and $108,000 at the late senior career stage.1,2 The salary range was wider for late senior career psychologists than for psychologists in other career stages.
- For early career psychologists, median salary was highest for those in management positions ($72,000) and lowest for those in teaching positions ($55,500).3
- The difference between early career and late senior career salaries was greatest for psychologists in research positions (from $67,000 to $119,000).
- Across all position types and career stages, median salary was greatest for senior career psychologists employed in research positions ($130,000).
- Median salaries for psychologists employed in management and research positions were slightly lower in the late senior career stage compared with the senior career stage because of reduced work hours for many late senior career psychologists.
By Luona Lin, MPP,
Karen Stamm, PhD, and
Peggy Christidis, PhD
For more information, contact APA’s Center for Workforce Studies at [email protected] .
1 National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. (2015). National Survey of College Graduates Public Use Microdata File and Codebook. Retrieved from https://sestat.nsf.gov/datadownload/ . Psychologists included individuals in the workforce whose highest degree is a doctorate or professional degree in psychology. Career stages were coded into four categories based on years since doctorate: early career (1 to 10 years), mid-career (11 to 20 years), senior career(21 to 30 years) and late senior career (31 or more years).
2 Salaries were based on basic annual salaries of full-time working (at least 35 hours per week) psychologists’ principal jobs (job in which the most hours in a typical week were spent), presented in nominal dollar figures as they were reported in 2015. Basic annual salaries do not include bonuses, overtime or additional compensation for summertime teaching or research. Nonresponses and outliers were excluded from the analysis.
3 Types of positions were defined based on the primary work activity (the activity in which the individual worked the most hours) at the principal job. For more information, please refer to APA. (2017). Salaries in psychology: Findings from the National Science Foundation’s 2015 National Survey of College Graduates. Retrieved from www.apa.org/workforce/publications/2015-salaries .