People don’t go into psychology for the money. If those are your primary intentions, you’re looking at the wrong profession. It’s a person-centred business, not a money-making venture. Relative to the amount of study and responsibility placed upon psychologists, the pay ceiling can be fairly low in some instances depending on what area you choose to specialise. However, there are exceptions. And if you can build up enough credibility to write a book or start your own practise, there is the potential to earn more the average professional in your field. But whichever direction you decide to take your career in psychology, you’ll still be well compensated for your service to others and enjoy a decent standard of living.
Here are some of the most common professions and what you can expect to earn:
Starting Salary: 1st Year: £26,614, 2nd Year: £30,805
Average Staff Salary: £36,461 – £46,208
Average Consultant Salary: £76,761 – £103,490 (depending on length of service)
Psychiatry is considered as more of a medical doctor, although it is still very much within the field of psychology. As a Psychiatrist, you’ll be qualified to assess both the mental and physical aspects of a psychological problem.
Clinical Psychologist (NHS)
Starting Salary: £30,401 (Band 6) of NHS and £37,570 (Band 7) after qualification.
Average Staff Salary: Experienced staff can earn between £44,606 – £60,983 (Band 8a & 8b)
Average Consultant Salary: £61,777 – £86,687 (Bands 8c and 8d)
Heads of Psychology can earn between £89,537 – £103,860 (Band 9)
Clinical Psychologists can often work with people who’re suffering from one or more mental illness. They work with a wide range of issues, although they can choose to specialise in certain areas.
Counselling Psychologist (NHS)
Trainee Salary: £26,565 – £35,577 (Band 6)
Qualified Salary: £31,696 – £41,787 (Band 7). Senior Psychologists £40,428 – £48,514 (Band 8a)
Average Consultant Salary: Up to £83,258 (Band 8d)
While Counselling Psychologists work with people who’ve been diagnosed with mental illnesses, they can also take on clients who’re interested in aspects of personal development. Counselling Psychologists tend to deal with less severe cases of mental illness.
Starting Salary: £18,000 – £25,000
Average Experienced Salary: £35,000 – £80,000
Senior Levels: Can exceed £80,000
This area of psychology concerns the study of human behaviour in the workplace. It is also sometimes known as Industrial or organisational psychology. It involves studying performance at work and in training to increase productivity.
Trainee Salary (HMPS): Working for HM Prison Service (HMPS) £26,438 – £29,957. Within five years you could earn up to £33,718
Fully Qualified Salary (HMPS): Working within HMPS between £34,897 – £50,587. At the highest levels, you could earn between £52,120 – £81,838
Trainee (NHS): £28,050 – £36,644 (Band 6)
Fully Qualified (NHS): £33,222 – £43,041 (Band 7)
Senior Levels (NHS): Salaries can exceed £49,969
The work of a forensic psychologist involves using psychoanalysis within criminal investigations. They’re often called to provide their input in criminal and civil matters and may even be asked to provide expert testimony in court cases.
Starting Salary: £20,000 – £22,000
Average Staff Salary: £27,000 – £37,000
Average Consultant Salary: Up to £48,000
Sports Psychology is a specialised position, which focuses on gaining optimal performances from elite athletes. They’ll help those within professional sports to overcome limiting beliefs, improve their mental skills, prepare themselves mentally and even return from long injury layoffs.