Highest Paying Jobs in Psychology

Psychologists play a vital role in helping people cope with mental health and life issues; however, life concerns extend beyond a traditional office where clients solicit the expertise of psychology professionals. In fact, some psychologists work in corporate settings, addressing issues associated with change management or how the mental state of employees impacts the profitability of the organization.

Just as psychologists qualify for roles in multiple settings requiring different responsibilities, the average salary also varies. Some of the highest paying psychology jobs include private counseling, academic counseling, clinical psychology, or organizational psychology. While clinical and counseling psychologists earn an average $85,340 annually, industrial-organizational psychologists earn $109,030 annually on average. Despite the specialization area, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 14% increase in demand for psychologists through 2026.

Behavior Analyst

Behavior analysts typically study patients with behavioral problems to uncover influential factors and develop care plans that improve behavior. These professionals may choose to work in a research or applied analysis capacity. Analysts in applied settings work directly with patients and need specific skills, including effective communication, tolerance, and collaboration abilities. Experimental behavior analyst professionals strive to uncover solutions to modern problems. These professionals must possess analytical, adaptive, and research skills. This career requires a bachelor's degree for entrance-level positions. However, professionals who earn a graduate degree qualify for more lucrative opportunities.


Average Salary: $58,037

 

Research Analyst

Students who enjoy translating data in useful ways to organizations can become research analysts. This role requires professionals to examine data related to clients, operations, economics, or markets. Typical tasks include working with statistical software, developing written reports, and monitoring trends.

The best research analysts pay close attention to detail; possess analytical, critical-thinking, and effective communication skills; and demonstrate superb organizational habits. While tasks may require independent work, research analysts often collaborate in teams. Employers typically require a bachelor's degree for this role; however, students may earn an advanced degree to qualify for leadership roles or positions that require highly technical research.


Average Salary: $54,445

 

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Board certified behavior analysts (BCBA) differ from general behavior analysts because they hold a graduate-level certification. At this level, BCBAs become independent practitioners. Other duties may include interviewing staff, training, and supervising others. BCBAs also work directly with clients, studying factors that lead to behavior issues, developing corrective action plans, consulting patients' family, and conducting assessments. Candidates should possess strong writing, communication, and collaboration skills.

This career allows professionals to work in multiple settings and industries. Professionals who wish to qualify for elite roles may continue their education by earning a doctoral designation.


Average Salary: $58,949

 

Data Analyst

Data analysts manage information, develop detailed reports, and uncover solutions to any data issues. These analysts may need to provide quality assurance, process sensitive information, reinforce data normalization and integrity, evaluate data outcomes, and provide understandable explanations about their work to executives. The best data analysts can work with all stakeholders to identify potential risks, analyze databases, translate data, and comprehend metadata standards. Data analysts should also pay close attention to detail. This role requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Professionals who wish to qualify for upper-level roles may want to continue on to higher education.


Average Salary: $59,335

 

Licensed Professional Counselor

Licensed professional counselors work with patients struggling with emotional, psychological, or substance abuse issues. Many professionals choose a specialty area, including mental health, substance abuse, school, or family. Common responsibilities include group or private therapy meetings to uncover existing issues.

Licensed professional counselors also develop care plans to help patients improve their conditions. Professionals must possess strong collaboration, communication, analytical, and observation skills. Additionally, the best licensed professional counselors possess an inquisitive nature and a lot of patience. This career requires a master's degree from an accredited university. Students must also pass a licensure exam, which varies by state.


Average Salary: $46,603

Aspiring professionals gain access to multiple psychologist career options, even at the bachelor's degree level. With careers in psychology experiencing a faster-than-average growth projection, graduates can anticipate finding quick job placement to launch their careers. Psychologists can work in different industries, which allows graduates to select a specialty field that truly suits their interests.

A degree in psychology also provides versatile, transferable skills that employers value outside of psychology-specific roles. While a bachelor's degree in psychology covers pertinent foundational knowledge and skills, students who go on to earn a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in psychology can become subject matter experts, which leads to the highest paying psychology jobs.

Psychologist careers offer the most lucrative opportunities at the doctoral level. Furthermore, professionals with an advanced degree in psychology can open a practice and work independently. In order to qualify for a Ph.D. psychology program, applicants must earn a master's degree.