Are you interested in earning more money in the field of psychology? If so, one of the best choices you can make is to go back to school to get your masters degree. Having an advanced degree in this field makes it possible for you to not only earn more money, but also find a job more easily, something that is important in today’s job market. Let’s take a look at the average salary you can expect to receive with a masters degree in this field, as well as how to make more money working in psychology.
Base Salary for Psychology Students
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, clinical, counseling, and school psychologists combined earned an average of $64,140 annually as of 2008. There are, of course, other job options in this industry as well, especially if you earn your counseling license, but this salary is consistent with what you can expect in most cases. The top ten percent of psychologists earn $106,840 or more, and with a masters degree and some experience in the field, you can expect to approach those figures in your own career.
Factors that Affect Salary
There are a number of factors that will change what you can expect for a salary if you have a masters degree in psychology. First, take location into consider. In some states, you can expect a higher salary than others; the highest psychologist salaries (on average) are found in the following states:
- New Jersey: $91,910
- Colorado: $88,930
- California: $82,770
- New York: $82,300
- Rhode Island: $79,070
Keep in mind that you’ll also make more money if you live in a metropolitan area. Cost of living is higher in these areas, so it might actually be in your best interest to live in a more rural area, depending on your career goals. The highest-paying cities for psychologists, on average, are:
- Montgomery, Alabama: $112,600
- Hanford-Corcoran, CA: $110,330
- Trenton-Ewing, NJ: $109,730
- Salinas, CA: $104,420
- Bakersfield, CA: $101,970
Additionally, you can make more money by gaining experience in the field over time, earning certifications based on your specific area of expertise, working in high-need areas with difficult patients (such as in a mental hospital or jail), and going on to earn your doctorate degree in the field.