Clinical and Counseling Psychologist Salaries

Updated August 18, 2022 · 1 Min Read

Interested in becoming a counselor? Learn about typical mental health counselor salary ranges, states where salaries are highest, and how to increase your salary. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Clinical and counseling psychologists work with clients to diagnose and address mental health issues. If you enjoy helping people improve their mental wellbeing, this career can be very rewarding.

Keep reading to learn more about mental health counselor salaries, where they earn the most, and how to increase your salary.

Salary Summary
Median Annual Salary (BLS) Average Base Salary for Clinical Psychologists (Payscale) Average Base Salary for Counseling Psychologists (Payscale)
$82,510 $83,100 $54,170

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Payscale April 2022

Top 3 States for Mental Health Counselor Salaries

  1. Utah - $66,190 average annual salary for substance abuse, behavioral disorders, and mental health counselors
  2. Alaska - $65,090 average annual salary
  3. District of Columbia - $64,920 average annual salary

Top 3 Cities for Mental Health Counselor Salaries

  1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA - $74,560 average annual salary
  2. Carson City, NV - $73,200 average annual salary
  3. Reno, NV - $71,690 average annual salary

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does a job in mental health counseling look like?

Mental health counseling psychologists work with clients experiencing mental health issues. They advise clients on ways to adjust how they think about and approach challenges in their lives.

What's the difference between a mental health counselor and a clinical psychologist?

Clinical psychologists must have a doctoral degree to practice, while counseling licensure requirements vary by state. Most states require a master's degree for counselors. Clinical psychologists focus on diagnosing and treating mental health conditions, while counselors usually help people address particular issues or concerns.

Can you make a lot of money as a mental health counselor?

The top 10% of substance abuse, behavioral, or mental health counselor salaries earn $77,980, according to the BLS. The top 10% of psychologists make $133,890 or more.

What is the demand for mental health counselors?

Because of the opioid crisis, COVID-19, and other ongoing stressors, demand for mental health counselors is high. The BLS projects 24% job growth between 2020 and 2030 for substance abuse, behavioral, and mental health counselors.

Skills and Experience to Increase Salary as a Mental Health Counselor

Mental health counselors can increase their earnings by becoming licensed psychologists. This requires earning a doctoral degree and working under a licensed psychologist's supervision until prior to practicing independently.

You can also increase your mental health counselor salary by taking on leadership roles in your organization, creating training programs, and developing in-demand specialties, such as eating disorder counseling or pain management counseling.

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