2003: Salaries in Psychology — Report of the APA Salary Survey
William E.Pate II, Jessica L. Frincke, and Jessica L. Kohout
APA Center for Workforce Studies
The 2003 Salaries in Psychology report represents the thirteenth volume in the series and over twenty years of effort by the American Psychological Association to gather salary data on psychological personnel. The survey was initiated in 1981, in response to increasing requests for current national salary data. As has been the case in past reports, selected summary statistics are presented for current salaries of APA members who are working full time in a variety of positions and, where there is a sufficient number of responses (N=5), for individual employment settings within a position. For doctoral-level respondents, salary data are presented by position, employment setting, median years since doctorate, and by sex, race/ethnicity, and geographic region. Salary breakdowns for master’s-level respondents are by position, employment setting, and median years since degree only. Master’s-level salary breakdowns are sparser due to an insufficient number of master’s-level respondents, causing the data to be less representative of this group.
The data represent (1) salaries for individuals who are employed full time (at least 35 hours per week in salaried positions), (2) net income after office expenses for self-employed individuals who are working at least 35 hours per week, and (3) net income for individuals with a full time (at least 32 hours per week) independent practice. Because many psychologists have additional sources of income from multiple work activities and settings, these data may not represent total income.
Individuals were eligible for inclusion in the study if they had indicated full time employment in the Membership Directory database, were under 65 years of age, and were U.S. residents. Using a stratified random sample of 20,000 APA members, participants were recruited in June, 2003. Those with a viable email address on file (N = 12,779) were sent an email solicitation directing them to an online version of the survey. Members without an email address (N = 7,221) were mailed a paper form of the survey instrument with cover letter asking them to participate in the study.
The online and paper versions of the questionnaire (see Appendix A) requested the following information: employment setting, type of position, hours per week spent in the position, total years of work experience, total annual earned income, full time salary or net income, ZIP Code of employment setting, and demographic information. In order for nonrespondents to be tracked, the survey was not anonymous. Reminders were sent to nonrespondents in July, 2003 in the form of an email for those in the online group and a postcard for those in the paper form group. A final reminder letter and survey were mailed in August, 2003 to all nonrespondents.
A total of 9,228 members responded to the survey. Of that total, 8,773 were employed and provided some data on employment setting, position, and other relevant variables. Surveys were excluded if the respondent failed to provide accurate data on variables (e.g., level of degree, employment status and employment setting) required to conduct specific analyses for data tables and statistics within the salaries report. Ninety-five percent (N = 6,242) of the 6,551 eligible respondents were at the doctoral level and were employed full time, while 5% (N = 297) were at the master's level and were employed full time.
Organization of the Report
The report is divided into 16 sections. The first 13 of these provide salary data for a specific type of position at the doctoral level. The sections are as follows:
1. Faculty Positions
2. Educational Administration
3. Research Positions
4. Administration of Research
5. Direct Human Services - Clinical (licensed)
6. Direct Human Services - Counseling (licensed)
7. Direct Human Services - School (licensed)
8. Direct Human Services - Other Psychological Subfields (licensed)
9. Administration of Human Services
10. Applied Psychology (Industrial/Organizational)
11. Applied Psychology (Other Psychological Subfields)
12. Administration of Applied Psychology
13. Other Administrative Positions
14. Master's-level Respondents
15. Doctoral-level Salaries by Sex, Race/Ethnicity and Years of Experience
16. Doctoral-level Salaries for Selected Positions, Regions, Cities, and States
Salaries for the three major health service provider subfields (clinical, counseling, and school) are presented separately, in Sections 5, 6, and 7, in addition to Section 8, for respondents involved in the provision of direct human services in "other psychological subfields." Only licensed psychologists are included in these positions. Salaries for "applied psychology positions" are presented separately for industrial/organizational and other subfields of psychology. All data for master's-level respondents are reported in Section 14 of the report due to the relatively small number of respondents at this level.
For both doctoral- and master's-level respondents, data are presented separately for each position. Salary data for faculty positions (Section 1) are broken down by academic rank. For all other positions, salaries are reported by years of experience: 0-1; 2-4; 5-9; 10-14; 15-19; 20-24; 25-29; and 30 years or more. In many instances, the number of respondents in the "0-1" category is too small to report detailed information, primarily because many psychologists do not join APA until a year or two after they receive their degree. More extensive information on starting salaries is available in the report of the results of APA's 2001 Doctorate Employment Survey (e.g., Kohout and Wicherski, 2004), which can be found at http://research.apa.org/des01.html.
Each section begins with a description of the position. The first “figure” in each section gives frequency distributions and summary statistics for salaries of respondents. These summary statistics include percentiles, medians, means and standard deviations. No statistics are reported when the N is less than 5.
Where there were a sufficient number of respondents, salaries are presented for specific employment settings for a particular position. Appendix A contains a complete listing of these settings in the survey instrument. In these cases, each section presents summary statistics for doctoral-level respondents employed in specific settings, broken down by academic rank or years of work experience. Medians, means, quartiles, and standard deviations are reported.
Respondents provided 11-12-month salaries for most positions, and they are reported in this manner. The exception to this is "Faculty Positions" in Section 1, where salaries are reported on a 9-10-month basis.
Readers should be aware of the possible sources of error when using the information from this report. Eligibility for inclusion was based partially on data provided by APA members in 2002. There may have been changes between the collection of membership data and the selection of the sample for the Salary Survey from these data one year later. Furthermre, some members were excluded because they did not report employment data or reported inaccurate employment data.
An overall response rate of 46.2% was obtained for the 2003 Salary Survey (48.5% from the email group and 56.0% from the paper form group). The Salary Survey was originally anonymous but this was changed in 1989 to allow follow-up mailings to nonrespondents in an effort to boost the response rate. Appendix C contains a summary of the characteristics of the population from which the sample was drawn, and of respondents and nonrespondents. This table provides some idea of the degree of non-respondent bias (i.e., whether those who responded differed greatly from those who did not) and how representative the sample is of the population from which it was drawn.
Data in Appendix C indicate that respondents and nonrespondents were quite similar with respect to major field, highest degree earned, licensure/certification status, gender, and distribution by region. Differences, where they existed, were not substantive. The population is overwhelmingly doctoral level, but attempts were made to augment the representation of respondents at the master's level by deliberately including all eligible master's-level APA members in the sample. This effort was successful in that 4.5% of the survey respondents were at the master's level compared to just over 7.6% representation among the eligible membership.
The number of respondents in some categories is very small and the statistics reported should be viewed with caution. This is particularly the case for the salaries of master's-level respondents. In addition, the number of respondents reported in the summary statistics may differ from the number of respondents reported in the figures because in some instances, respondents may have failed to provide complete information on all variables. For example, Figure 2 presents information on 185 respondents while the accompanying text reports on 190. This is because ‘years since doctorate’ information was not available for five of the respondents.
Salary data in this report are based on a nationwide sample. For locations where the cost of living differs significantly from the national average, salaries would be expected to vary accordingly. Table 16a through Table 16d present information on salaries by region, selected cities, and for selected states.
As is typically the case, doctoral-level respondents in faculty positions comprised one of the largest groups of respondents to this survey (N=1,850). Incumbents in these positions primarily were involved in university settings (60%), specifically university psychology departments (37%), university education departments (8%), other academic departments in universities (7%), university business departments (4%), other university settings (2%), and university research centers (1%). Thirteen percent were employed in four-year college settings, while 11% were employed in medical school settings. Two-year colleges and professional schools (university affiliated, free standing, and other professional schools) were represented at 3% each.
The largest single proportion of doctoral faculty identified clinical psychology as their major subfield (20%). Social psychology and developmental psychology were represented at 13% each. This was followed by counseling (7%), industrial/organizational (6%), experimental (5%), educational (5%), cognitive (4%), school (3%) and health (3%) psychology.
Frequency distributions and summary statistics are presented for doctoral-level faculty in Figure 1. The data are reported by academic rank: full professor, associate professor, assistant professor, lecturer/instructor, and other faculty positions.
Table 1 contains salary information in specific employment settings by rank. Faculty salaries typically are reported on a 9-10-month basis and the salaries reported in Table 1 reflect this academic schedule. Conversely, faculty in research centers or institutes or medical and professional schools are often paid on an 11-12-month basis. The 9-10-month salaries can be converted to their 11-12-month equivalents by multiplying the reported salaries by 11/9.
The overall median 9-10-month faculty salary was $62,000 in 2003, based on 1,809 valid responses. Graduate faculty salaries are examined in more detail in the report, 2003-2004 Faculty Salaries in Graduate Departments of Psychology (Wicherski, Washington, and Kohout, 2004). In addition, medical school faculty salaries are described at length in the Report of the 2003 Medical School/Academic Medical Center Psychologists Employment Survey (Pate and Kohout, 2004). Both reports include salary breakdowns by years of experience, academic rank, geographic region, and other categories, and can be found at APA’s Research Office website.
Educational administration refers to administrative positions in college or university settings (e.g., president, provost, or dean). These individuals may also hold a faculty appointment. Department chairs, however, are excluded from this category; their salaries are reported by academic rank in Section 1. The category also includes school superintendents or other administrative positions related to education.
Of the 190 doctoral-level respondents in this category, 29% were employed in university administrative offices. Nine percent could be found in school system district offices, followed by university/college counseling centers (6%). Five percent each claimed four-year college administrative offices, two-year colleges, or professional schools of psychology as their primary place of employment. Similar proportions of respondents were employed in other university settings, university psychology departments, and university education departments (4% each). Three percent each were located in elementary/secondary schools or other types of university academic departments. Two percent or fewer of respondents reported settings such as other medical school departments, other educational settings, university business departments, and university research centers as their primary employment setting.
Figure 2 presents the summary statistics and frequency distributions for the doctoral-level respondents in this category. Table 2 presents 11-12-month salaries by years of experience and employment setting.
The largest single proportion of educational administrators claimed clinical psychology as their major subfield (16%), followed by counseling (15%), school (11%), educational (11%), developmental (8%), industrial/organizational (8%), and social (6%) psychology.
Doctoral-level respondents in educational administration reported a median 11-12-month salary of $97,000 in 2003, based on 185 valid responses.
There were 289 respondents who worked full time in research positions in the 2003 Salary Survey. Activities associated with research positions include basic or applied research, such as non-faculty positions in academic settings, employment as an investigator in a laboratory or a research institute, and research positions in private industry.
The largest single proportion of respondents was employed in private research organizations (12%). This was followed by university research centers, medical school psychiatry departments, and government research organizations (9% each). Another 8% percent of respondents were found in university psychology departments.
The most typical major subfields of respondents were clinical (20%), developmental psychology (11%), social psychology (10%), industrial/organizational psychology (7%), health psychology (7%), and educational psychology (6%). Quantitative/math/psychometrics and experimental psychology were each represented at 5%.
The summary statistics and frequency distributions for research positions are presented in Figure 3. Summary statistics for 11-12-month salaries by years of work experience and employment setting are presented in Table 3.
The overall median 11-12-month salary in 2003 for doctoral-level respondents in research positions was $78,000, based on 282 valid responses.
There were 146 full time, doctoral-level research administrators who responded to the 2003 Salary Survey. These positions involve the management or administration of a research organization or program. Although individuals employed in these positions also may be involved in other aspects of the research process (e.g., design, data collection and analyses), their primary responsibility is managing research, including the supervision of research personnel. Summary statistics and frequency distributions are presented in Table 4 and Figure 4, respectively.
The largest single proportion of respondents in this category reported working as administrators in university research centers and government research organizations (12% each). This was followed by private research organizations (11%), business/industry (10%), other non-profit organizations (9%), consulting firms (5%), and federal government settings (5%).
About 1/4 of respondents in this category indicated clinical psychology as their major subfield (24%), followed by industrial/organizational (9%), developmental (8%), social (8%), and counseling (6%) psychology. Educational, experimental, and health psychology were represented at 5% each.
The overall 11-12-month median salary in 2003 for doctoral respondents in research administration was $95,000. Overall median salary was based on 146 valid responses.
Direct Human Service Positions
Direct Human Services - Clinical
Twelve hundred-nineteen doctoral-level respondents were licensed, claimed clinical psychology as their major field, and were involved in the direct delivery of health and mental health services to clients in 2003.
The majority of these respondents was employed in practices (60%), including individual private practices, group private practices, and medical psychological group practices (44%, 12%, and 5%, respectively). Approximately 13% and 6% of respondents reported that they worked in hospitals and clinics (e.g., CMHCs, HMOs, outpatient clinics), respectively.
The overall 11-12-month median salary for licensed doctoral-level clinical psychologists was $75,000 in 2003, based on 1,154 valid responses. Figure 5 and Table 5 contain frequency distributions and summary statistics, respectively.
Direct Human Services - Counseling
Two hundred ninety-six respondents were licensed and indicated that they were involved in the delivery of human services at the doctoral level in counseling psychology.
Over half of the respondents were located in a practice setting (51%) comprising individual private practitioners (38%), group psychological practitioners (8%), and medical psychological group practitioners (5%). Sixteen percent claimed university/college counseling centers as their primary employment setting. Nine percent and 7% of the responding psychologists in this category were located in hospital settings and clinics (e.g., CMHCs, HMOs, outpatient clinics), respectively.
The overall 11-12-month median salary in 2003 for licensed doctoral-level counseling psychologists was $65,000. Overall median salary was based on 273 valid responses. Frequency distributions and summary statistics can be found in Figure 6 and Table 6, respectively.
Direct Human Services - School
One hundred-eleven respondents fit this category. As expected, the largest single proportion of school psychologists was employed in a pre-college educational setting. Specifically, 49% could be found in elementary and secondary schools (38%) or school system district offices (11%). The next largest proportion of respondents (28%) reported working in practices; including individual private practices, group psychological practices, and medical psychological group practices (19%, 7%, and 2%, respectively). Thirteen percent reported other educational settings (vocational school or special education) as their primary place of employment.
The overall 11-12-month salary for licensed doctoral-level respondents providing school psychology services was $78,000 in 2003, based on 107 valid responses. Frequency distributions and summary statistics can be found in Figure 7 and Table 7, respectively. School psychologist salaries are examined in more detail in the report, School Psychology 2000: Average Salary Data (Thomas, 2002).
Direct Human Services - Other Psychological Subfields
There were 219 respondents in this category. Respondents were licensed and involved in the delivery of health/mental health services to client populations, but not in one of the three standard health service provider subfields (i.e., clinical, counseling, or school psychology). The largest proportions of these respondents identified health psychology and rehabilitation (11% each) as their major subfield. This was followed by developmental psychology (10%), neuroscience (9%), and educational psychology (8%). An additional 10% of respondents did not specify their major subfield.
Overall, 43% of respondents in this category were employed in a practice setting. Specifically, 30% were found in individual private practices, followed by medical psychological practices (7%), and group psychological practices (6%). Seventeen percent were located in hospitals. Elementary or secondary schools and school district offices employed about 9% of the respondents in this category. Six percent of respondents were found in rehabilitation facilities. CMHCs, HMOs, and outpatient clinics, collectively employed about 5% of respondents in this group. Data for these psychologists are presented in Figure 8 and Table 8.
The overall median 11-12-month salary in 2003 for licensed doctoral-level respondents in this category was $75,500 in 2003, based on 206 valid responses.
Administration of Human Services
Section 9 contains salary information for positions involving the administration of human services. That is, positions that involve managing or directing a program of human services. Although these individuals may be involved in the delivery of services, their primary responsibility is the administration of such activities, including the supervision of personnel. Salaries for the 510 respondents in this position are reported in Figure 9 and Table 9.
As might be expected, most of the psychologists in the administration of human services were employed in organized settings (37%). Specifically 19% of respondents were employed in clinics (CMHCs, HMOs, and outpatient clinics) and 18% were found in hospitals. Twelve percent claimed university or college counseling centers as their primary work setting, followed by other human service settings and criminal justice systems (8% each).
The single largest proportion of respondents indicated clinical psychology as their major field (54%), followed by counseling psychology (20%).
The overall median 11-12-month salary in 2003 for health service administrators at the doctoral level was $75,000, based on 494 valid responses.
Applied Psychology - Industrial/Organizational
This section presents the salaries of those respondents whose positions may be called applied psychology (e.g., personnel selection, assessment, systems or equipment design, organizational consultation, analysis or training) and whose current major field is industrial/organizational psychology. Salaries for the 176 doctoral-level respondents are described in Figure 10 and Table 10.
Of the doctoral-level respondents in this category, the largest proportions were employed in consulting firms (38%) followed by business and industry settings (33%). Six percent were self-employed, 5% were employed in a government agency, and 4% worked as independent consultants.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for doctoral-level industrial/organizational psychologists in 2003 was $105,000, based on 169 valid responses. The standard deviation ($76,630) is large for this group, indicating substantial variation around the mean of $130,059. Salaries of doctoral-level industrial/organizational psychologists are also examined by degree, age, gender, and salary change across years in the salary report by the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychologists (SIOP) entitled, 2003 Income and Employment Survey Results For The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Medsker, Katkowski, and Furr, 2005).
Applied Psychology - Other Psychology
Individuals whose positions may best be described as applied psychology and whose current major field is one other than industrial/organizational psychology are included in this section. Typically, these individuals are engaged in organizational consultation, marketing research, systems/equipment design, or other applied psychology activities. There were 115 doctoral-level respondents in these positions in 2003 and their salaries are reported in Figure 11 and Table 11.
The largest proportions of respondents were located in consulting firms (21%) and business/industry settings (18%), while 12% worked in practices (individual private practices, medical psychological practices, and group psychological practices). Seven percent claimed government (federal, state, and local) agencies as their primary employment setting, while 6% were self-employed and 4% worked as independent consultants.
Clinical psychology was the most frequently mentioned major field (30%) for this group. This was followed by counseling psychology (9%), business/management (7%), organizational behavior (7%), and social psychology (6%). Five percent each indicated experimental psychology or quantitative/math/psychometrics/statistics as their major field.
The overall 11-12-month median salary in 2003 for doctoral-level psychologists in these positions was $92,500, based on 110 valid responses. The standard deviation ($136,218) is large for this group, indicating substantial variation around the mean of $130,750.
Administration of Applied Psychology
There were 98 respondents in these administrative positions. Administration of applied psychology includes the management of an organization or program in applied psychology, such as a firm specializing in market research or in industrial/organizational psychology. The primary responsibility of individuals in these positions is the administration of such programs, including the supervision of personnel. Figure 12 and Table 12 contain salary data on these respondents.
The largest single proportion of these respondents was located in consulting firms (31%). Sixteen percent were employed in business and industry settings, while 14% worked in a variety of organized health care settings (e.g., CMHCs, clinics, guidance centers, and rehabilitation facilities). Hospitals and other non-profit organizations were represented at 6% each.
The largest group of respondents in this position claimed industrial/organizational psychology as their major subfield (37%), followed by clinical psychology (17%). Counseling and school psychology were represented at 9% and 7%, respectively.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for doctoral-level respondents was $110,000 in 2003, based on 96 valid responses. The standard deviation ($113,277) is large for this group, indicating substantial variation around the mean of $143,344. Salaries of doctoral-level psychologists (particularly industrial/organizational psychologists) involved in the administration of applied psychology may also be found in the salary report by the SIOP entitled, 2003 Income and Employment Survey Results For The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Medsker, Katkowski, and Furr, 2005).
Other Administrative Positions
These positions involve managerial responsibilities in a business, government agency, or nonprofit association that cannot be described as the direct administration of educational, research, human services, or other applied psychology activities. These positions may be related to psychology, such as administration of government programs related to research funding, management of programs concerned with psychological issues in a nonprofit association, or personnel administration. There were 152 respondents at the doctoral level in 2003.
Among respondents in this category, the largest single proportion was employed in government agencies (24%), followed by other non-profit organizations (20%), and business/industry settings (16%). Although scattered across a variety of settings, most of these respondents could be found outside academia.
Overall, clinical psychology was the most frequently mentioned subfield among this position (29%). This was followed by industrial/organizational, counseling, and developmental psychology (14%, 9%, and 7%, respectively). Social psychology and business/management were represented at 5% each.
The overall 11-12-month median salary for doctoral-level respondents in other administrative positions was $100,500 in 2003, based on 140 valid responses. The standard deviation ($74,285) is large for this group, indicating substantial variation around the mean of $118,786. Figure 13 and Table 13 show salary data for these respondents.
This section contains salary information on master’s-level respondents, broken out by position and by years of experience where there are sufficient numbers of respondents (N=5). Some figures and tables have been omitted because of a low number of responses. Caution should be exercised when interpreting the data reported for master’s-level positions with a small N size.
There were 16 master’s-level respondents to the 2003 Salary Survey who were employed full time in faculty positions. The single largest proportion of these respondents were employed in two-year college settings (N=7), while 1/4 were located in university settings (university psychology departments and university research centers). Thirteen percent each (N=2) were employed in four-year college settings or elementary/secondary schools. The single largest proportion of respondents claimed general/methods and systems as their major subfield (N=6), followed by developmental psychology (N=3) and industrial/organizational psychology (N=2). The overall median 9-10-month faculty salary was $43,000 for master’s-level respondents (N=15).
There were six master’s-level respondents in this position. Of these, three respondents were employed in school system districts or elementary/secondary schools. Thirty-three percent (N=2) reported clinical psychology as their major subfield, while counseling, school, educational, and industrial/organizational psychology were represented at 17% each (N=1). The overall median 11-12-month salary at the master’s level was $68,500 for those employed full time in educational administration (N=6).
Ten master’s-level respondents were employed full time in research positions in 2003. Respondents were located in a variety of work settings to include university research centers, business/industry settings, and other non-profit organizations (N=2 each). Overall, 30% (N=3) of master’s-level respondents employed in research positions indicated quantitative/math/psychometrics/statistics as their subfield, followed by clinical psychology (N=2). The overall median 11-12-month salary in research positions at the master’s level was $61,000, based on 10 valid responses.
Administration of Research
Five respondents were in administration of research positions at the master’s level in 2003. Of these, two respondents each identified individual private practices or specialized health services as their primary employment setting. Two respondents each indicated clinical psychology or counseling psychology as their subfield, while one respondent claimed industrial/organizational psychology. The overall median 11-12-month salary for master’s-level respondents in administration of research positions was $57,000 (N=5).
Direct Human Services
Clinical. Thirty-six respondents indicated that they provided services in clinical psychology at the master’s level. The largest single proportion of respondents were employed in individual or group practices (31%). Twenty-two percent (N=8) were employed in CMHCs, specialized health services, or other human service settings. The overall median 11-12-month salary was $49,000 for direct human service providers at the master’s level who indicated clinical psychology as their major subfield (N=34).
Counseling. There were 18 respondents employed in counseling psychology positions at the master’s level in 2003. Overall, 28% percent (N=5) were employed in human service settings, that included CMHCs, specialized health services, and rehabilitation facilities. Another three respondents (17%) were employed in hospital settings (e.g., public general hospitals, private general hospitals, and military hospitals). The overall median 11-12-month salary for a master’s-level position within counseling psychology was $47,500 (N=16).
School. Twenty-two master's-level respondents were involved in direct human services and claimed school psychology as their major subfield. Most of the respondents in this category were located in educational settings (N=19) to include 64% in elementary/secondary school settings, 14% in other educational settings (e.g. special, or vocational education), and 9% in school system district offices. The overall median 11-12-month salary for master’s-level individuals providing school psychology services was $72,500 (N=22).
Other Psychological Subfields
Forty-one master’s-level respondents were involved in direct human services and were in a subfield other than clinical, counseling psychology, or school psychology. Twenty-four percent of respondents (N=10) were located in CMHCs or specialized health services, while 22% were employed in practices (e.g., individual private practices, group psychological practices, and medical psychological group practices). Seventeen percent of these respondents (N=7) identified general/methods and systems as their major subfield, followed by community psychology (12%). About 1/4 did not specify their major subfield (24%). The overall median 11-12-month salary for respondents in this category was $48,000 (N=39).
Administration of Human Services
Eighteen respondents indicated employment in administration of human services positions in 2003. Over half of the responses (N=10) were split across a number of human service settings to include public general hospitals, outpatient clinics, counseling guidance centers, specialized health services, or other human service settings. The largest proportion of respondents in this type of position reported counseling psychology as their major subfield (N=5). Two respondents each claimed clinical, community, school psychology or public administration as their subfields. The overall 11-12-month median salary for master’s-level respondents working as human service administrators was $56,500 (N=18).
Applied Psychology Positions (Industrial/Organizational Psychology)
Forty-seven respondents were located in applied psychology positions and identified industrial/organizational psychology as their major subfield. The majority of these respondents were employed outside educational and human service provider settings. Specifically, 32% percent were employed in business/industry settings and 30% were employed in consulting firms. Thirteen percent could be found in government agencies (e.g., federal, state, and local). The overall median 11-12-month salary for master’s-level respondents in applied (I/O) positions was $71,000 (N=47). Salaries of master’s-level respondents (particularly industrial/organizational psychologists) involved in applied psychology may also be found in the salary report by the SIOP entitled, 2003 Income and Employment Survey Results For The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Medsker, Katkowski, and Furr, 2005).
Applied Psychology Positions (Other Psychological Subfields)
There were 16 respondents identified in this type of position at the master’s level. The largest single proportion were located in business and industry settings (N=5). Thirteen percent each (N=2) worked in individual private practices, were employed in other non-profit organizations, or worked as independent consultants. The most frequently mentioned major subfield was counseling psychology (N=4), followed by clinical psychology (N=3). The overall median 11-12-month salary for master’s-level applied psychology positions in subfields other than industrial/organizational psychology was $75,000 (N=13).
Administration of Applied Psychology
Nine respondents were employed in this type of position at the master's level. Of these, four respondents were located in business and industry settings. All other employment settings were represented at 11% (N=1) or less. The largest proportion of respondents claimed industrial/organizational psychology as their major subfield (N=4), followed by community psychology (N=3). The overall median 11-12-month salary was $80,000 for master’s-level respondents in administration of applied psychology (N=9). Salaries of master’s-level respondents (particularly industrial/organizational psychologists) involved in the administration of applied psychology may also be found in the salary report by the SIOP entitled, 2003 Income and Employment Survey Results For The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Medsker, Katkowski, and Furr, 2005).
Other Administrative Positions
Eighteen respondents indicated employment in other administrative positions (e.g. budgeting, personnel administration). Thirty-three percent each (N=6) were located in business/industry settings or government agencies (state and local). The most frequently reported major subfield for respondents in this category was industrial/organizational psychology (N=6), followed by general methods/systems and community psychology at 11% each (N=2). The overall 11-12-month median salary for these master’s-level respondents was $58,500 (N=18).
Doctoral-level Salaries by Sex, Race/Ethnicity, and Years of Experience
This section presents doctoral-level salaries broken down by gender, race/ethnicity, and years of experience. Where possible (given sufficient Ns) the data also have been analyzed by type of position. Some of the categories have been left blank because there are too few responses on which to base summary statistics.
Table 15a presents salary data by years of work experience and gender. In general, the median salaries of men are higher than those reported by women. However, the disparities are less pronounced for men and women with less than 10 years of work experience. These smaller differences among "newer" psychologists have been observed in other survey results (Wicherski, Washington, and Kohout, 2004). The largest gender discrepancy in favor of men is evidenced in the 15-19 years and 25-29 years of work experience categories.
Table 15b contains salary data by sex, years of experience, and employment position. Similarly, with few exceptions, the salaries of men exceed those reported by women.
In Table 15c, salaries are reported by years of experience and race/ethnicity. Differences among the median salaries do exist, although they do not appear to be substantive.
Salary data are displayed by years of experience and minority status in Table 15d. Median salaries for minority and white psychologists do not differ greatly.
Doctoral-level Salaries for Selected Positions, Regions, Cities, and States
The previous sections have presented national data on the salaries/net incomes of doctoral-level and master's-level respondents who report full-time employment. This section provides geographic breakdowns of doctoral-level salaries. Table 16a presents data on median salaries and median years since the doctorate by geographic region and position. All full-time respondents were categorized into regions on the basis of zip code. Numbers are less than the totals for each region because respondents may be missing data on salary, position, or employment setting.
The category of "independent practice" includes licensed psychologists who are involved in individual, group, or medical-psychological group practices. Faculty positions in universities are limited to those who identify their primary employment setting as psychology departments, education departments, business departments or schools, or other academic units located in universities. "Faculty in other settings" includes those in other academic settings such as research centers, four- and two-year colleges, and medical schools. Medical school faculty typically are paid on an 11-12-month basis. The academic-year (9-10-month) medians given in Table 16a can be converted to their calendar-year equivalents by multiplying by 11/9.
The data in this table should not be applied to an individual salary or setting but should be used only in making very general comparisons among the different regions and positions. This is because the median salaries may be affected by factors such as gender, year of degree, years of experience, employment setting, subfield of degree, and cost of living in a specific area. To illustrate one of these factors, years of experience has been provided for each category and region.
Table 16b and Table 16c present data on the median salaries of doctoral-level faculty in university settings and for licensed doctoral-level psychologists involved in the delivery of direct human services in independent practice settings. Salaries for these two tables are presented by selected metropolitan areas. Inclusion of a city in Table 16b first hinged on its availability in the Inter-City Cost of Living Index report produced by the American Chamber of Commerce Researcher’s Association (ACCRA) and then on a sufficient number of responses from that city. Both adjusted median salary and actual salary are reported, as is the size of the group on which the salary is based. The adjusted salary data for this table were based on urban area index data from the second quarter of 2003. This index measures and reports prices for consumer goods and services for cities that supply this information. Table 16c includes those metropolitan areas for which the cost of living indices were unavailable but had a sufficient number of responses from each city. Therefore, given that the salaries in Table 16c are not adjusted for regional differences in cost of living, caution should be exercised when interpreting these salaries.
Similarly, Table 16d provides data on the median salaries of doctoral-level university faculty and for licensed doctoral-level independent practitioners involved in direct human service by state. Those states with fewer than 10 respondents were excluded. This table also does not account for regional differences in cost of living. Hence, state-by-state comparisons should be made with this in mind.
American Chamber of Commerce Researchers Association. (2003). ACCRA cost of living index (ISSN 0740-7130). Arlington, VA: ACCRA.
Human Resources Research Organization. (2005, March 31). 2003 Income and employment survey results for the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Retrieved June 17, 2005, from http://www.siop.org/salary%20survey2003.0305.pdf (PDF, 503KB)
Kohout, J. & Wicherski, M. (2004). 2001 Doctorate employment survey. Washington, DC. American Psychological Association.
Pate, W. & Kohout, J. (2004). Report of the 2003 medical school/academic medical center psychologists employment survey. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Thomas, A. (2002). School psychology 2000: Average salary data [Electronic version]. Communiqué, 28, (6).
Wicherski, M., Washington, T., & Kohout, J. (2004). 2003-2004 Faculty salaries in graduate departments of psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
|Appendix A||APA 2003 Salary Survey Form (PDF, 318KB)|
|Appendix B||States Comprising Geographic Regions in the United States (PDF, 7KB)|
Doctoral-level Salaries by Gender and Race/Ethnicity
Doctoral-level Salaries by Geographic Region
|Table 16a||2003 Median Salaries and Median Years Since the Doctoral Degree for Psychologists by Region and Position (PDF, 136KB)|
|Table 16b||2003 Median Salaries Adjusted for Cost of Living in Selected Metropolitan Areas (PDF, 90KB)|
|Table 16c||2003 Median Salaries for Other Selected Metropolitan Areas (PDF, 10KB)|
|Table 16d||2003 Median Salaries for Selected States (PDF, 61KB)|
This report is produced by the Research Office in the Central Programs of the American Psychological Association (APA). We are grateful for the support of Norman B. Anderson, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of the APA and L. Michael Honaker, PhD, Chief Operating Officer/Deputy Chief Executive Officer.
We would also like to give recognition to those who assisted with various aspects of this project. We would like to thank Ashraf Alnajjar, Aisha Asby, Elizabeth L. (Beth) Bodnar, and Tamara Washington.
Most importantly, we would like to thank those members of the Association who took the time to respond to the survey as well as for their many comments on the survey itself and on their own employment experiences. These comments help us to revise and update the survey as needed and keep us aware of changes occurring in the employment of psychological personnel. The APA's ability to provide current national data on the salaries of psychologists hinges on their participation.