Salary Outlook for a Licensed Psychologist by State

Licensed psychologists study the behaviors and processes related to social, emotional, and cognitive factors. They observe them, interpret them, and record them, in an attempt to help people enhance their mental well-being. The salary outlook for a licensed psychologist is quite hard to determine, because it depends on a variety of factors. Geographical location is an important factor, but also where the professional works. Many, for instance, work independently, treating patients in an office environment. Others work in research, while others become teachers, work in a hospital, assist social workers, and so on. That being said, the salary for licensed psychologists is always good, not in the least because they have to complete a doctorate degree (Ph.D. in psychology or Psy.D.) in order to be able to practice their profession.

Salary Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for all psychologists across the country was $72,580 as of May 2015. A growth projection of 19% from 2014 to 2024 was also made, which is much faster than the national average for all other professions. The BLS also reports that the top states for psychologists to work in, in terms of pay, are the District of Columbia, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and California. However, it is important to understand that the cost of living tends to be higher in those states as well. has an even more positive projection for psychologists. They list the average salary as $89,299, as of February 22, 2017. The full range, according to their report, is between $79,531 and $101,599 per year. That said, this does not include bonuses and other forms of compensation, and also doesn’t show the factors that influence salary.

As previously stated, there are many different factors that will determine how much professional psychologists will earn. These include the exact job that they do, the type of organization they work for, how much experience they have, what education they have completed after their doctorate degree, and more. Meanwhile, geographical location is also a key factor. So let us take a look at the salary outlook for a licensed psychologist by state.

Salary Outlook by State has completed research among HR professionals across the country to determine the average salary for licensed psychologists in every state. Their findings showed the following average salaries for each state plus the District of Columbia.

1. Alabama – between $72,451 (Georgiana) and $86,520 (Birmingham)
2. Alaska – between $83,138 (Sitka) and $101,411 (Anchorage)
3. Arizona – between $65,323 (Prescott) and $91,375 (Yuma)
4. Arkansas – between $70,156 (Bentonville) and $82,597 (Little Rock)
5. California – between $84,291 (Santa Rosa) and $110,354 (San Francisco and Daly City)
6. Colorado – between $75,688 (Greeley) and $91,074 (Boulder)
7. Connecticut – between $92,485 (Waterbury) and $99,890 (Staford and Greenwich)
8. Delaware – between $91,626 (Middletown) and $95,416 (Harrington, Lewes, Milford, Rehoboth Beach, and Seaford)
9. District of Columbia – $95,860 (Washington DC)
10. Florida – between $76,967 (Port Saint Lucie) and $88,585 (Boca Raton)
11. Georgia – between $77,423 (Valdosta) and $88,572 (Atlanta)
12. Hawaii – between $87,746 (Kahului and Hilo) and $93,104 (Honolulu, Kaneohe, and Pearl City)
13. Idaho – between $73,351 (Caldwell) and $86,811 (Boise)
14. Illinois – between $76,481 (Waukegan) and $93,500 (Evanston)
15. Indiana – between $80,488 (Muncie) and $87,648 (Indianapolis)
16. Iowa – between $74,027 (Dubuque) and $87,809 (West Des Moines, Urbandale, Des Moines, and Akeny)
17. Kansas – between $72,770 (Manhattan) and $87,888 (Kansas City)
18. Kentucky – between $73,127 (Bowling Green) and $85,674 (Louisville)
19. Louisiana – between $74,531 (New Iberia) and $88,651 (Marrero, Metairie, and New Orleans)
20. Maine – between $78,553 (Auburn, Augusta, and Lewsiton) and $89,269 (Portland, South Portland, and Westbrook)
21. Maryland – between $90,841 (Columbia) and $95,860 (Bethesda and Silver Spring)
22. Massachusetts – between $90,267 (Fitchburg) and $100,685 (Arlington, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Malden, Medford, Quincy, Revere, Somerville, and Waltham)
23. Michigan – between $76,323 (Flint) and $94,122 (Ann Arbor)
24. Minnesota – between $82,087 (Duluth) and $90,367 (Minneapolis and Saint Paul)
25. Mississippi – between $66,939 (Hattiesburg) and $83,904 (Southaven)
26. Missouri – between $78,095 (Saint Joseph) and $87,771 (Saint Louis)
27. Montana – between $53,642 (Bozeman, Butte, and Missoula) and $83,245 (Billings)
28. Nebraska – between $60,679 (Norfolk) and $85,971 (Bellevue and Omaha)
29. Nevada – between $86,180 (Henderson) and $92,353 (Carson City)
30. New Hampshire – between $87,943 (Rochester) and $94,300 (Bedford, Concord, Manchester, Merrimack, Nashua, and Salem)
31. New Jersey – between $92,191 (Camden) and $105,293 (New Brunswick and Sayreville)
32. New Mexico – between $62,152 (Roswell) and $98,140 (Santa Fe)
33. New York – between $83,772 (Jamestown) and $105,293 (Queens Village)
34. North Carolina – between $71,118 (Jacksonville) and $87,297 (Charlotte)
35. North Dakota – between $63,135 (Minot and Bismarck) and $85,944 (Fargo and West Fargo)
36. Ohio – between $81,236 (Chillicothe) and $87,022 (Springfield)
37. Oklahoma – between $75,547 (Altus) and $86,468 (Oklahoma City and Tulsa)
38. Oregon – between $72,600 (Bend) and $92,076 (Beaverton and Lake Oswego)
39. Pennsylvania – between $79,311 (Wikes Barre) and $93,236 (West Chester)
40. Rhode Island – between $90,265 (Coventry) and $92,049 (Newport)
41. South Carolina – between $76,083 (Myrtle Beach) and $89,103 (Rock Hill)
42. South Dakota – between $51,615 (Aberdeen) and $81,414 (Rapid City)
43. Tennessee – between $74,016 (Johnson City) and $84,895 (Memphis)
44. Texas – between $63,010 (Midland and Odessa) and $89,835 (Houston)
45. Utah – between $72,500 (Saint George) and $86,539 (Salt Lake City)
46. Vermont – between $77,981 (Rutland) and $86,911 (Burlington, Colchester, Essex, and South Burlington)
47. Virginia – between $81,371 (Suffolk) and $95,860 (Alexandria and Arlington)
48. Washington – between $83,565 (Pasco) and $96,684 (Bellevue and Seattle)
49. West Virginia – between $77,262 (Parkersburg) and $83,111 (Morgantown and Wheeling)
50. Wisconsin – between $68,725 (Eau Claire) and $87,753 (Madison)
51. Wyoming – between $63,554 (Gilette) and $81,414 (Laramie and Casper)

What these figures show consistently is that, in each of the states, the larger the metropolitan area, the more people will earn. That is also due to the fact that the cost of living is always higher in larger cities. In fact, a lot of the differences between the figures of the various states are due to cost of living. Sometimes, earning more does not equate to having more spending power. The cities most popular with psychologists in terms of earnings viewed in spending power are:

1. New York, NY
2. Los Angeles, CA
3. Chicago, IL
4. Atlanta, GA
5. Philadelphia, PA
6. Minneapolis, MN
7. Washington, DC
8. Dallas, TX
9. San Francisco, CA

It is very important to understand that the figures described above are averages only. They also do not include any other form of compensation, such as bonuses, medical insurance, share plans, and so on. And, as they do not reflect the differences in cost of living between the states and even its cities, the representation can be somewhat misleading. Deciding to be a psychologist, for most, is about more than earning a good salary, however. While seeing a return on investment on the cost of the degree is important, the key factor that most psychologists look for is the ability to make a difference in the psychological health of the population of the country as a whole.