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Working as a Licensed Psychologist

Psychologists are responsible for evaluating, diagnosing, and treating people for mental, emotional, behavioral, educational, and developmental disorders.

Psychologists in the areas of psychology, therapy, and research typically require a Ph.D. (PhD. or PsyD) from a recognized program in psychology. Additionally, they need a license in their state of practice. While licensure requirements vary by state and system, most require a doctoral degree in psychology, completion of an internship, a minimum number of years of supervised experience, and passing of an exam. The best psychologists have excellent interpersonal skills and are very trustworthy. And in the majority of cases, the best psychologists are licensed.

According to the most current Occupational Outlook Handbook from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median national annual salary for licensed psychologists is $70,580. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience, and a variety of other factors.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a licensed psychologist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $37.54 an hour? That's $78,085 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 14% and produce 26,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Licensed Psychologist Do

There are certain skills that many licensed psychologists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, communication skills and integrity.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a licensed psychologist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 19.1% of licensed psychologists included group therapy, while 13.6% of resumes included psychological services, and 12.7% of resumes included crisis intervention. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the licensed psychologist job title. But what industry to start with? Most licensed psychologists actually find jobs in the health care and non profits industries.

How To Become a Licensed Psychologist

If you're interested in becoming a licensed psychologist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 4.7% of licensed psychologists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 18.4% of licensed psychologists have master's degrees. Even though most licensed psychologists have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a licensed psychologist. When we researched the most common majors for a licensed psychologist, we found that they most commonly earn doctoral degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on licensed psychologist resumes include bachelor's degree degrees or license degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a licensed psychologist. In fact, many licensed psychologist jobs require experience in a role such as internship. Meanwhile, many licensed psychologists also have previous career experience in roles such as clinical psychology internship or psychologist.

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Average Salary$78,085
Job Growth Rate14%

Licensed Psychologist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Licensed Psychologist

Top Careers After Licensed Psychologist

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Licensed Psychologist

Licensed Psychologists in America make an average salary of $78,085 per year or $38 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $106,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $57,000 per year.
Average Salary
$78,085

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
San Mateo, CA
Salary Range85k - 139k$110k$109,641
Reno, NV
Salary Range69k - 109k$87k$87,311
New York, NY
Salary Range61k - 99k$78k$78,371
Olympia, WA
Salary Range60k - 90k$74k$74,161
Denver, CO
Salary Range59k - 87k$72k$71,963
Norristown, PA
Salary Range55k - 88k$70k$69,844
$47k
$139k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Licensed Psychologist, Peer Reviewer-Telecommute
Licensed Psychologist, Peer Reviewer-Telecommute
Unitedhealth Group Inc.
Unitedhealth Group Inc.
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$79,70001/27/2021
$79,700
Licensed Psychologist-Regional Office
Licensed Psychologist-Regional Office
New York State Civil Service
New York State Civil Service
01/23/2021
01/23/2021
$91,79401/23/2021
$91,794
Licensed Psychologist-Regional Office
Licensed Psychologist-Regional Office
State of New York
State of New York
01/23/2021
01/23/2021
$81,44601/23/2021
$81,446
Dshs ESH Licensed Psychologist
Dshs ESH Licensed Psychologist
Washington State
Washington State
01/04/2021
01/04/2021
$107,00001/04/2021
$107,000
Licensed Psychologist
Licensed Psychologist
State of New York
State of New York
12/13/2020
12/13/2020
$81,44612/13/2020
$81,446
See More Recent Salaries

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Licensed Psychologist Demographics

Gender

female

60.6 %

male

33.2 %

unknown

6.2 %

Ethnicity

White

83.1 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.2 %

Black or African American

5.0 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

73.3 %

German

6.7 %

Italian

6.7 %
See More Demographics

Licensed Psychologist Education

Degrees

Doctorate

72.4 %

Masters

18.4 %

Bachelors

4.7 %

Top Colleges for Licensed Psychologists

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

2. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

3. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

4. Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, MO • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,399
Enrollment
7,356

5. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

6. University of California - San Diego

La Jolla, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,167
Enrollment
30,279

7. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

8. Hunter College of the City University of New York

New York, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,182
Enrollment
16,205

9. University of Maryland - College Park

College Park, MD • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,595
Enrollment
30,184

10. Clemson University

Clemson, SC • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,374
Enrollment
19,564
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Licensed Psychologist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 19.1% of licensed psychologists listed group therapy on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and communication skills are important as well.

  • Group Therapy, 19.1%
  • Psychological Services, 13.6%
  • Crisis Intervention, 12.7%
  • Mental Health, 7.0%
  • Intellectual Disabilities, 6.2%
  • Other Skills, 41.4%
  • See All Licensed Psychologist Skills

Best States For a Licensed Psychologist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a licensed psychologist. The best states for people in this position are California, North Dakota, Utah, and Nevada. Licensed psychologists make the most in California with an average salary of $105,042. Whereas in North Dakota and Utah, they would average $88,468 and $85,293, respectively. While licensed psychologists would only make an average of $84,989 in Nevada, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. California

Total Licensed Psychologist Jobs:
947
Highest 10% Earn:
$164,000
Location Quotient:
1.74
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Nevada

Total Licensed Psychologist Jobs:
71
Highest 10% Earn:
$129,000
Location Quotient:
2.36
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Alaska

Total Licensed Psychologist Jobs:
31
Highest 10% Earn:
$123,000
Location Quotient:
4.03
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Licensed Psychologist Employers

1. New York State Veterans Home
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$73,401
Licensed Psychologists Hired: 
7+
2. Professional
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$75,160
Licensed Psychologists Hired: 
5+
3. Kirkland's
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$92,001
Licensed Psychologists Hired: 
4+
4. Kaiser Permanente
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$86,188
Licensed Psychologists Hired: 
4+
5. State of Nevada
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$65,555
Licensed Psychologists Hired: 
4+
6. SCO Family of Services
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$88,827
Licensed Psychologists Hired: 
3+
Updated October 2, 2020