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Monday, 17 Aug 2020

How Much Money Do Psychologists, Psychiatrists and Counsellors Make?

By Dr Becky Spelman

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.

Occupational Psychologist

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.

Forensic Psychologist

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.

Sport Psychologist

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.

About the author:

Dr Becky Spelman PhD is a leading UK Psychologist who’s had great success helping her clients manage and overcome a multitude of mental illnesses.

***If you’re struggling with mental health issues and think you might benefit from speaking to someone about your situation, we offer a FREE 15-MINUTE CONSULTATION with one of our specialists to help you find the best way to move forward. You can book yours here.


Prospects. (2018) Psychiatrist. Retrieved on 16th November, 2019 from, https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/psychiatrist

Prospects. (2018)Clinical Psychologist. Retrieved on 16th November, 2019 from, https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/clinical-psychologist

Prospects. (2018) Forensic Psychologist. Retrieved on 16th November, 2019 from, https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/forensic-psychologist

Prospects. (2018) Sports Psychologist. Retrieved on 16th November, 2019 from, https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/sport-and-exercise-psychologist

Prospects. (2018). Counselling Psychologist. Retrieved on 16th November, 2019 from, https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/counselling-psychologist

Prospects. (2018). Occupational Psychologist. Retrieved on 16th November, 2019 from, https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/occupational-psychologist

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