1997: Salaries in Psychology
Steven Williams, Marlene Wicherski, Jessica Kohout
APA Center for Workforce Studies
The 1997 Salaries in Psychology report represents the tenth volume in the series and sixteen 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 more sparse 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.
Throughout the years, the report has intentionally remained fairly consistent in format and content. Nevertheless, some slight modifications are present in the current volume. First, a new section has been added that addresses how managed care has impacted doctoral-level salaries. Second, the tables that illustrates doctoral-level salaries by selected metropolitan areas have been expanded to include more major cities. Third, a new table depicting doctoral-level salaries by state has been included.
The 1997 Salary Survey was mailed in May, 1997 to a stratified random sample of 20,000 APA members. 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.
A one-page 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 the extent to which managed care has impacted net income. In order for nonrespondents to be tracked, the survey was not anonymous. A postcard reminder was mailed to nonrespondents in late June, 1997. Another reminder letter and survey were mailed in late July, 1997 to those members who had not responded by that time.
A total of 8,452 members returned useable surveys, indicating that they were employed full time, and provided some data on employment setting and position, as well as on other relevant variables. Surveys were excluded from analyses if the respondent was working on a part-time basis or failed to provide data on the other variables. Eighty-seven percent (N=7,350) of the respondents were at the doctoral level and were employed full time while 13% (N=1,102) were at the master's level and were employed full time.
Organization of the Report
The report is divided into 17 sections. The first 13 of these provide salary data for a specific type of position at the doctoral level. The sections are as follows:
- Faculty Positions
- Educational Administration
- Research Positions
- Research Administration
- Direct Human Services - Clinical
- Direct Human Services - Counseling
- Direct Human Services - School
- Direct Human Services - Other Psychological Subfields
- Administration of Human Services
- Applied Psychology (Industrial/Organizational)
- Applied Psychology (Other Psychology)
- Administration of Applied Psychology
- Other Administrative Positions
- Master's-level Positions
- Doctoral-level Salaries by Sex, Race/Ethnicity and Years of Experience
- Doctoral-level Salaries for Selected Positions, Regions, Cities, and States
- Impacts of Managed Care on Net Income Since 1996
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 one section 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 (Sections 1 and 14.A) 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 APA's Doctorate Employment Survey (e.g., Wicherski and Kohout, 1997).
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 and 14.A, 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 1995. There may have been changes between the collection of membership data and the selection of the sample for the Salary Survey from these data two years later. Furthermore, some members were excluded because they did not report employment data or reported inaccurate employment data.
A 42% response rate was obtained for the 1997 Salary Survey, which is considerably lower than the 60-65% response rate typically obtained with other surveys that are conducted by the APA Research Office. An effort was made to boost the response rate by over-sampling new doctorates and by not making the survey anonymous to allow follow-up mailings to nonrespondents. The Salary Survey was originally anonymous but this was changed in 1989. 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, but attempts were made to augment the representation of respondents at the master's level by including all eligible master's-level APA members. This was successful in that 13% of the respondents were at the master's level compared to just over 7% 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.
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. Section 16 presents information on salaries by region, selected cities and for selected states.
As is typically the case, respondents in doctoral-level faculty positions comprised one of the largest groups of respondents to this survey (N=2,589). Incumbents in these positions primarily were involved in university settings (61%), specifically university psychology departments (44%), university education departments (7%), university business departments (3%), and other academic departments in universities (5%). Fifteen percent were employed in four-year college settings and 3% were in two-year colleges. Eighteen percent were working in medical school settings and 2% reported professional schools (free standing and other professional schools).
The largest percentage of doctoral faculty in 1997 was in clinical psychology (26%), followed by social/personality psychology (13%). Ten percent claimed developmental and 8% claimed counseling psychology as their subfield in psychology. Experimental psychologists and industrial/organizational psychologists were each represented at 6%, while 4% of the respondents specialized in cognitive psychology. Three percent of doctoral faculty identified educational psychology, health psychology, and school psychology each as their subfield. Two percent or less of the remaining doctoral faculty reported any of the other subfields such as neuroscience, physiology/psychobiology, and community psychology.
Frequency distributions and summary statistics are presented for doctoral-level faculty in Figure 1. The data are reported by academic rank: full, associate, 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. 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 $48,000 in 1997. Graduate faculty salaries are examined in more detail, including breakdowns by years in rank, type of institution (e.g., public or private), and geographic region, in the report, 1997-98 Faculty Salaries in Graduate Departments of Psychology (Wicherski, Williams, and Kohout, 1998).
Table 1: Faculty Positions--Doctoral-level, 9-10-Month Salaries for Selected Positions: 1997
Figure 1: Faculty Positions--Doctoral Level
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.
The 140 doctoral-level respondents in this category were most likely to be employed in university administrative offices (24%), while 14% were in school system district offices. Eleven percent could be found in both four-year and two-year college administrative offices, 6% in other educational settings, and 4% in university psychology departments, free-standing schools of professional psychology, and other university academic departments.
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 school psychology as their major subfield (16%), followed by clinical (14%), counseling (12%), industrial/ organizational (11%), and educational psychology (7%).
Doctoral-level respondents in educational administration reported a median 11-12-month salary of $75,000.
Table 2: Educational Administration Positions--Doctoral-level, 11-12-Month Salaries for Selected Settings: 1997
Figure 2: Educational Administration--Doctoral Level
There were 299 respondents who worked full time in research positions in the 1997 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.
Most of the respondents were employed in university research centers (17%). This was followed by private research organizations (15%) and combined medical school settings (13%). Government research organizations claimed 12% of the researchers, while 6% were within both university psychology departments and other nonprofit organizations. Veteran's Administration (VA) hospitals housed 4% of the researchers.
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 most frequently reported subfields were clinical (23%), social/personality (13%), experimental and industrial/organizational at 7% each, developmental, cognitive, and quantitative/mathematics/psychometrics/statistics at 6% each, and educational (4%).
The overall median 11-12-month salary for doctoral-level respondents in research positions was $50,000.
Table 3: Research Positions--Doctoral-level, 11-12-Month Salaries for Selected Positions: 1997
Figure 3: Research Positions--Doctoral Leve
There were 127 full-time, doctoral-level research administrators who responded to the 1997 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 are presented in Table 4.
The largest proportions of respondents were working as administrators in private research firms (20%) and government research organizations (16%). These were followed by other non-profit organizations (11%), university research centers (8%), and business/industry (7%).
The most frequently reported subfields were clinical (25%), social, industrial/ organizational, and experimental at 9% each, quantitative/mathematical/psychometrics/ statistics (8%), and educational (4%).
The overall 11-12-month median salary for doctoral respondents in research administration was $70,000.
Table 4: Administration of Research--Doctoral-level, 11-12-Month Salaries for Selected Positions: 1997
Figure 4: Research Administration--Doctoral Level
There were 1,141 doctoral-level respondents who claimed clinical psychology as their major field, were licensed and who were involved in the direct delivery of health and mental health services to clients.
The largest single proportion of respondents was located in a private practice setting (52%), comprising individual private practitioners at 34% and group practitioners at 18%. Nineteen percent could be found in hospital settings. Twelve percent of the responding psychologists in this category were located in clinics, the majority of which were in community mental health centers (CMHCs). Nine percent of the respondents were located in various other human service settings (e.g., university/college counseling centers, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, specialized health services), 4% claimed government organizations/criminal justice system, and only 2% identified medical school settings as their primary place of employment.
Table 5: Direct Human Service Positions (Licensed Only): Clinical Psychology--Doctoral-level, 11-12-Month Salaries for Selected Settings: 1997
Figure 5: Direct Human Service Positions--Clinical Psychology-- (Licensed Only)--Doctoral Level
Six hundred and eight respondents were licensed and indicated that they were involved in the delivery of human services at the doctoral level in counseling psychology. More than half were employed in independent practices (57%), comprising 37% in individual private practice and 20% in group private practices. The next largest group (19%) was working in various other human service settings such as counseling/guidance centers, rehabilitation facilities, specialized health services (e.g., substance abuse programs), and nursing homes. Approximately 10% and 5% of these licensed, doctoral-level respondents claimed that they worked in hospitals and clinics (e.g., CMHCs, HMOs, outpatient clinics), respectively. Two percent each identified secondary educational settings/school district offices and government organizations/criminal justice system as their primary work environment. All other employment settings were represented at less than 2% for this group.
The overall 11-12-month median salary for licensed doctoral-level counseling psychologists was $57,000. Frequency distributions and summary statistics can be found in Figure 6 and Table 6, respectively.
Table 6: Direct Human Service Positions (Licensed Only): Counseling Psychology--Doctoral-level, 11-12-Month Salaries for Selected Settings: 1997
Figure 6: Direct Human Service Positions--Counseling Psychology-- (Licensed Only)--Doctoral Level
One hundred and fifteen respondents fit this category. As expected, the single largest proportion of school psychologists (59%) were employed in a pre-college educational settings. Specifically, 39% could be found in elementary and secondary schools, 13% claimed that they worked in school system district offices, and about 7% identified employment in other educational settings. The next largest proportion (22%) were primarily located in independent practices (11% in individual private practices and 10% in group private practices). Three percent each identified the state/local government agencies, clinics, hospitals, and other human service settings as their primary place of employment.
The median salary for licensed doctoral-level respondents providing school psychology services was $65,000 in 1997.
Table 7: Direct Human Service Positions (Licensed Only): School Psychology--Doctoral-level, 11-12-Month Salaries for Selected Settings: 1997
Figure 7: Direct Human Service Positions--School Psychology-- (Licensed Only)--Doctoral Level
There were 151 respondents in this category. The respondents are licensed, and are involved in the delivery of health/mental health services to client populations but are not in one of the three standard subfields (clinical, counseling or school psychology). The single largest proportion of these respondents identified health psychology as their major subfield (20%). Other fields included educational psychology and rehabilitation at 8% and 7% (respectively), and developmental psychology and neuroscience each at 5%. Four percent of the respondents claimed geropsychology and clinical neuropsychology each as their major subfield, while 3% each specialized in general/methods and systems, counseling, and industrial/organization psychology. Community psychology, behavioral medicine, cognitive psychology, pediatrics, and counselor education were each represented at 2%. Less than 2% of these respondents were from other subfield areas (e.g., business/management, experimental psychology, personality psychology).
Forty-six percent were employed in independent private practices (32% in individual practices and 14% in group practices). Twenty percent were located in hospitals, most of whom were in veteran's administration and public/private general hospitals. Outpatient clinics, CMHCs, and HMOs collectively employed about 7% of the respondents in this group. Eleven percent were employed in other human service settings such as rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, counseling/guidance centers, and special health services. Secondary schools, school district offices, and other pre-college educational settings employed about 6% of the respondents in this category. Although none of the respondents identified employment in universities, colleges, or professional schools, 3% did claim to work within a medical school settings. Similarly, 3% of the respondents claimed employment within the criminal justice system. Only 2% worked in a consulting firm, while 1% each were self-employed or worked in business/industry. Data for these psychologists are presented in Figure 8 and Table 8.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for licensed doctoral-level respondents in this category was $60,000 in 1997.
Table 8: Direct Human Service Positions (Licensed Only): Other Subfields of Psychology--Doctoral-level, 11-12-Month Salaries for Selected Settings: 1997
Figure 8: Direct Human Service Positions--Other Psychology-- (Licensed)--Doctoral Level
Section 9 contains salary information for positions involving the administration of human services, i.e., 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 519 respondents in this position are reported in Figure 9 and Table 9.
As we might expect, most of the psychologists in administration of human services were employed in organized settings. Twenty-eight percent were employed in non-university- affiliated guidance centers, specialized health service settings, and nursing homes. Twenty-two percent were positioned in clinics, CMHCs, and HMOs. Twenty-one percent worked in hospitals, 11% were located in university or college counseling centers, and eight percent were employed with the criminal justice system. Four percent worked in individual or group private practices.
Most respondents (61%) claimed clinical psychology as a major field in 1997. Counseling psychology was indicated by 26%, followed by school psychology at 2%. There were fewer than 2% each in all other subfields (e.g., developmental, educational, rehabilitation).
The overall median 11-12-month salary for health service administrators at the doctoral level was $54,000.
Table 9: Administration of Human Services--Doctoral-level, 11-12-Month Salaries for Selected Settings: 1997
Figure 9: Administration of Human Services--Doctoral Level
This section presents the salaries of those respondents whose positions may be called applied psychology (e.g., personnel selection, assessment, systems or equipment design, and organizational consultation, analysis or training) and whose current major field is industrial/ organizational psychology. Salaries for the 249 doctoral-level respondents are described in Figure 10 and Table 10.
Just over 43% of the respondents in these positions were employed in consulting firms. Thirty percent were in business and industry while 11% were self employed. Approximately 6% were working in government agencies and the criminal justice systems.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for doctoral-level industrial/organizational psychologists in 1997 was $80,000. Salaries of doctoral-level industrial/organizational psychologists also are examined by degree, age, gender, and salary change across years in the salary report by the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychologists (SIOP) entitled, Income of SIOP Members in 1994 (Zickar and Taylor, 1996).
Table 10: Applied Psychology (Industrial/Organizational)--Doctoral-level, 11-12-Month Salaries for Selected Settings: 1997
Figure 10: Applied Psychology (Industrial/Organizational)--Doctoral Level
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 127 doctoral-level respondents in these positions in 1997 and their salaries are reported in Figure 11 and Table 11.
The largest single proportion of respondents was employed in consulting firms (31%), followed by 17% who were employed with the government (federal, state, and local) and the criminal justice system. Thirteen percent were employed in business or industry, 12% had individual or group practices, and 8% were self-employed.
With 30% of the respondents, clinical was the most often mentioned field for this group. Seventeen percent indicated that they were in counseling and 7% identified themselves in the broad area of quantitative/mathematics/psychometrics/statistics. Six percent claimed experimental psychology as their subfield.
The overall 11-12-month median salary for doctoral-level psychologists in these positions was $67,000.
Table 11: Applied Psychology (Other Subfields)--Doctoral-level, 11-12-Month Salaries for Selected Settings: 1997
Figure 11: Applied Psychology (Other Subfields)--Doctoral Level
There were 87 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 was located in consulting firms (33%), followed by 17% in business and industry settings. About 21% were employed in a variety of organized health care settings (e.g., CMHCs, HMOs, nursing homes, guidance centers) or independent practices.
The largest group of respondents in this position specialize in industrial/organizational psychology (48%), followed by clinical at 17% and counseling at 13%.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for doctoral-level respondents was $83,000 in 1997. The standard deviation (72,565) is large for this group, indicating substantial variation around the mean of $110,920. Salaries of other doctoral-level psychologists (particularly industrial/organizational psychologists) involved in the administration of applied psychology may also be found in the salary report by the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology (SIOP) entitled, Income of SIOP Members in 1994 (Zickar and Taylor, 1996).
Table 12: Administration of Applied Psychology--Doctoral-level, 11-12-Month
Figure 12: Administration of Applied Psychology--Doctoral Level
These positions often involve managerial responsibilities in a business, government or nonprofit association that cannot be described as the direct administration of educational, research or 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 and personnel administration. There were 85 respondents at the doctoral level in 1997.
The largest single proportion was employed in business/industry settings (32%), followed by government settings (24%), and other non-profit organizations (16%). Sixteen percent of respondents also were employed in health care settings. Although scattered across a variety of settings, most of these respondents could be found outside academia.
Industrial/organizational psychology was the subfield of 35% of the respondents, followed by clinical psychology (26%). Counseling psychologists were represented at 6%. Five percent reported experimental psychology as their major field.
The overall 11-12-month salary for doctoral-level respondents in other administrative positions was $72,000. Not surprisingly for a catch-all category, the range of salaries was quite large. The mean of $96,459 and standard deviation of $83,542 indicates that the range of reported salaries extended from the mid-thirties to well over $100,000.
Table 13: Other Administrative Positions--Doctoral-level, 11-12-Month Salaries for Selected Settings: 1997
Figure 13: Other Administrative Positions--Doctoral Level
This section contains salary information broken out by position for master's-level respondents, and by years of experience when there are sufficient numbers of respondents (N=5). Figures and tables for this section follow the text.
There were 72 master's-level respondents in the 1997 Salary Survey who worked full time in faculty positions. Thirty-five percent of the respondents were employed in two-year college settings, 31% were located in university settings (mostly within departments of psychology), and almost 14% were working in four-year college settings. About 8% were found in medical school settings. The overall median 9-10-month faculty salary was $40,500 for master's-level respondents.
The subfields reported most often by the master's-level faculty were both clinical psychology and general/methods and systems at 19% each. Developmental psychology was mentioned by 10%. Finally, industrial/organizational psychology and education/teaching each were claimed by 8% of the respondents.
Only 17 respondents were in this position. Of those, 35% were employed in school system district offices, 12% were in elementary and secondary schools, and 12% were in university administrative offices.
Forty-one percent of the respondents identified school psychology as their subfield, followed by clinical psychology (18%), and then counseling psychology (12%). Less than 7% of the psychologists in educational administration each came from other subfields (e.g., industrial/organizational, special education, physiological/psychobiology).
The overall 11-12-month median salary at the master's level was $51,000 for those employed full time in educational administration.
There were 30 respondents in research positions in 1997. Private research organizations employed 17% of the respondents. Ten percent each were positioned in government research organizations, consulting firms, hospitals and various non-profit organizations. Seven percent each were either self-employed, or were working in business/industry, a university setting, or a school system district office.
The largest single proportion reported that industrial/organizational psychology was their major field (17%), followed by quantitative/mathematics/psychometrics/statistics (10%). Seven percent (N=2) chose one of each of the following fields: clinical, general/methods and systems, and social. Three percent each (N=1) reported experimental, community, counseling, education, neuroscience, psychopharmacology, child clinical, and computer science as a major field.
The overall median 11-12-month salary in research positions at the master's level was $47,500.
There were only 16 respondents in this position at the master's level in 1997. The largest percentage of this group were employed in private research organizations (25%). Nineteen percent each were employed in business/industry or government organizations. Various non-profit organizations employed about 13% of these master's-level respondents. Six percent each were either self-employed, or were positioned in consulting firms, university settings, or hospitals.
The majority of the respondents in this category were clinical psychologists or industrial/organizational psychologists (19% each). The subfields of social psychology, quantitative/mathematics/psychometrics/statistics, and social/behavioral science were each represented at 13%. Six percent of these master's-level respondents identified developmental psychology and public administration each as their subfields.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for master's-level respondents in research administration was $67,500. It is important to remember that this is based on a small N and should be interpreted with caution.
Direct Human Services
Clinical. Two hundred and thirty-eight respondents indicated that they were providing services in clinical psychology at the master's level. The largest single proportion of respondents was employed in individual or group practices (35%). That was followed by 15% in hospitals and clinics each. Specifically, the majority of these hospital employees worked in public psychiatric hospitals (6%), and the largest proportion of respondents within clinics worked at community mental health centers (13%). Eleven percent of the respondents were employed with the government, of which the largest proportion claimed that they worked within the criminal justice system (8%). Thirteen percent of the respondents worked in other human service settings such as nursing homes, non-university affiliated guidance centers, and rehabilitation facilities. Fewer than 6% of the respondents were employed in other settings such as business or industry, nonprofit organizations, and universities and colleges.
The overall median 11-12-month salary was $40,000 for master's-level respondents who indicated clinical as a major field and who are involved in the delivery of direct human services.
Counseling. There were 111 respondents in this category. Thirty-four percent were employed in individual or group practices. Clinics and hospitals claimed 19% and 14%, respectively. Eighteen percent were located in other human service settings (e.g., nursing homes). About 5% each were in educational (e.g., secondary schools) and government settings.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for a master's-level position providing counseling psychology services was $40,000.
School. The majority of the 108 respondents in this category were employed in educational settings (83%), comprising 47% in elementary/secondary schools, 22% in school system district offices, and 14% in other educational settings (e.g., vocational education). Only 6% of these respondents each worked for the various other human service settings (e.g., nursing home, rehabilitation facility) and the government. Less than 5% each were in other settings such as universities and colleges, independent practices, and business/industry.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for master's-level individuals providing school psychology services was $57,000 in 1997.
Other Psychological Subfields
One hundred and sixty master's-level individuals were involved in direct human services and were in a field other than clinical, counseling and school psychology. Most of the respondents (11%) identified counseling as their major field. Almost one quarter of the respondents were in individual or group practices (24%), and 27% were in service provider settings such as nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, specialized health services, guidance centers, and student counseling centers. Government organizations claimed 13% of these master's-level respondents, most of whom were employed with the criminal justice system (6%). Clinics and hospitals each employed 12% and 8% of these individuals, respectively.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for respondents in this category was $42,000.
Administration of Human Services
There were 146 respondents in this position in 1997. Slightly more than one fifth of the respondents (23%) were employed in clinics, 16% of which comprised community mental health clinics, 5% comprising outpatient clinics, and 2% consisting of HMOs. Sixteen percent were employed in a hospital setting, and 13% worked within a specialized health service (e.g., substance abuse program, service for mental retardation). Twelve percent were employed by the government. Of that proportion, the majority worked within the criminal justice system (8%), followed by state and government agencies at 2% each. Eight percent each were positioned in other human service settings and other nonprofit organizations. Three percent each identified rehabilitation facilities, university/college counseling centers, school system district office, and other educational settings as their primary employment setting. Only 2% each claimed that they worked in a group psychological practice or in the business/industry sector.
The largest proportion of respondents reported clinical as their major field (29%). Twenty-three percent reported counseling psychology, while 11% claimed community psychology. Seven percent of the respondents were in school psychology, and 4% were each in general/methods and systems, rehabilitation psychology, and counseling.
The overall 11-12-month median salary was $50,000 for master's-level respondents working as human service administrators.
Administration of Applied Psychology
Only 13 respondents identified themselves in this position, the majority of which were employed in consulting firms (46%), followed by the criminal justice system (15%). All other employment settings were represented at less than 8% each.
As expected, the majority of respondents in this category were industrial/organizational psychologists (46%). All other subfields were represented at less than 8% each.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for master's-level respondents in administration of applied psychology was $60,000. Due to the small sample of respondents for this category, this data should be interpreted with caution. Salaries of other master's-level psychologists (particularly industrial/organizational psychologists) involved in the administration of applied psychology may also be found in the salary report by SIOP entitled, Income of SIOP Members in 1994 (Zickar and Taylor, 1996).
Other Administrative Positions
There were 47 respondents who indicated employment in other administrative positions (e.g., budgeting, personnel administration). Twenty-six percent were in business/industry settings, followed by 17% in government settings (local, state, federal, and criminal justice system). Fifteen percent of the respondents were employed in various nonprofit organizations and 9% were employed in hospital settings.
Respondents were in a variety of subfields. Twenty-three percent identified themselves as industrial/organizational psychologists, 15% as clinical psychologists, and 6% each claimed general/methods and systems, counseling psychology, educational psychology, and business/management. Political science and community psychology subfields were represented at about 4% each. All other subfields were represented at 2% or less.
The overall 11-12-month median salary for those at the master's level in administrative positions was $60,000.
Applied Positions (Industrial/Organizational Psychology)
Seventy-four respondents were located in applied psychology positions and were in industrial/organizational psychology. The majority of the respondents were employed outside of educational and human service provider settings. Thirty-nine percent were employed in business or industry and 36% could be found in consulting firms. About 14% were employed in government and 4% were self-employed.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for master's-level respondents in applied (I/O) positions was $60,000. Salaries of other master's-level industrial/organizational psychologists may also be obtained in the salary report by SIOP entitled, Income of SIOP Members in 1994 (Zickar and Taylor, 1996).
Applied Positions (Other Psychological Subfields)
Only 30 respondents were identified in this position at the master's level. Thirty-seven percent were located in consulting firms, while 23% were in government settings. Ten percent could be found in business/industry and 7% were self-employed.
Most of the respondents identified clinical psychology (23%) or counseling psychology (20%) as their subfield. Ten percent of the respondents were in quantitative/mathematical/ psychometrics/statistics subfield.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for master's-level applied psychology positions in fields other than I/O was $59,500.
Master's Level Positions:
Table 14.A: Faculty Positions--Master's-Level, 9-10-Month Salaries for Selected Settings: 1997
Table 14.E: Direct Human Service Positions: Clinical Psychology--Master's- Level, 11-12-Month Salaries for Selected Settings: 1997
Table 14.F: Direct Human Service Positions: Counseling Psychology--Master's- Level, 11-12-Month Salaries for Selected Settings: 1997
Table 14.G: Direct Human Service Positions: School Psychology--Master's- Level, 11-12-Month Salaries for Selected Settings: 1997
Table 14.H: Direct Human Service Positions: Other Subfields of Psychology-- Master's-Level, 11-12-Month Salaries for Selected Settings: 1997
Table 14.I: Administration of Human Services: Master's-Level, 11-12-Month Salaries for Selected Settings: 1997
Table 14.J: Applied Psychology--Industrial/Organizational--Master's-Level, 11-12-Month Salaries for Selected Settings: 1997
Figure 14.A: Faculty Positions--Master's Level
Figure 14.C: Research Positions--Master's Level
Figure 14.E: Direct Human Services--Clinical Psychology-- Master's Level
Figure 14.F: Direct Human Services--Counseling Psychology-- Master's Level
Figure 14.G: Direct Human Services--School Psychology-- Master's Level
Figure 14.H: Direct Human Services--Other Subfields of Psychology-- Master's Level
Figure 14.I: Administration of Human Services--Master's Level
Figure 14.J: Applied Psychology--Industrial/Organizational--Master's Level
Figure 14.K: Applied Psychology--Other Subfields--Master's Level
Figure 14.M: Other Administrative Positions--Master's Level
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. As is obvious, some of the categories have been left blank because there are too few responses on which to base summary statistics.
Table 15.A presents salary data by years of work experience and gender. In general, the median salaries of men are substantially 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. It is speculated that they may be due to efforts among employers to render salaries paid to women and men more equitable. The largest gender discrepancy in favor of men are evidenced in the 20-24 years and 25-29 years of work experience.
Table 15.B 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 15.C, salaries are reported by years of experience and race/ethnicity. Differences among the median salaries do exist although they may not be substantive. Salary data are displayed by years of experience and minority status in Table 15.D. Medians for minority and white psychologists do not differ greatly, but where differences do exist, they are consistently in favor of white psychologists. The two sets of salaries are more equitable among those with 2-4 years, 5-9 years, 10-14 years, and 20-24 years of experience. The widest disparity in salaries is evidenced among psychologists with 25-29 years, followed by 15-19 years, and then by 30 or more years of work experience.
Table 15.A: Full-time Salaries of Doctoral-level Respondents Across All Settings by Years of Work Experience and Gender: 1997
Table 15.B: Doctoral-level Salaries in Selected Full-time Employment Positions by Gender and Years of Work Experience: 1997
Table 15.C: Full-time Salaries of Doctoral-level Respondents Across All Settings by Years of Work Experience and Race/ethnicity: 1997
Table 15.D: Full-time Salaries of Doctoral-level Respondents Across All Settings by Years of Work Experience and Minority Status: 1997
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 16.A 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 16.A can be converted to their calendar-year equivalents by multiplying by 11/9.
The figures 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, field 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 16.B and Table 16.C 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 16.B 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 third quarter of 1997. This index measures and reports prices for consumer goods and services for cities that supply this information. Table 16.C 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 16.C are not adjusted for regional differences in cost of living, caution should be exercised when interpreting these salaries.
Similarly, Table 16.D 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.
Table 16.A: 1997 Median Salaries and Median Years Since the Doctoral Degree for Psychologists by Region and Position
Table 16.B: 1997 Median Salaries Adjusted for Cost of Living in Selected Metropolitan Areas
Table 16.C: 1997 Median Salaries for Other Selected Metropolitan Areas
Table 16.D: 1997 Median Salaries for Selected States
This section addresses the impact that managed care and other changes in the health care system have had on net income since 1996 for doctoral-level, independent practitioners. "Independent practitioners," in this case, primarily refers to licensed clinical, counseling, and school psychologists who are involved in full-time individual, group, or medical-psychological group practices.
Table 17.A illustrates, by years of experience, the percentage of independent practitioners who have undergone a salary increase or decrease as a result of managed care, and those who have not experienced any noticeable flux in income. The majority of independent practitioners (58%) reported experiencing a decrease in salary due to the changes in the health care system. Just under 6% of these psychologists reported an increase in salary, while approximately 36% acknowledged that they did not experience any measurable impact on salary as a result of managed care. In general, those practitioners who had more years of experience were more apt to report a negative impact due to managed care. About 63% of those practitioners who had over 10 years of experience reported a decrease in income since 1996. Fifty-five percent of practitioners with 5-10 years of experience revealed that they are earning considerably less than the previous year. Last, 38% of practitioners with less than 5 years of experience underwent a decrease in salary. Although salary increases were generally less common, those practitioners with more years of experience were less likely to enjoy the benefit of an increased salary as a result of changes in the health care system.
Table 17.B presents the actual percentage of change in net income as a result of managed care. Overall, independent practitioners underwent a median decrease and a median increase in net income of 15% and 10%, respectively. One noteworthy finding was that practitioners with less than 5 years of experience enjoyed a median salary increase of 40%, exceeding all other groups of practitioners.
In comparison, the impacts of changes in the health care system on salary since 1996 are fairly similar to the changes reported between 1994 and 1995. That is, in 1995, practitioners with more years of experience also were more likely to report a negative impact due to managed care. Furthermore, for the most part, the percentage of change in income since 1996 was comparable to those reported between 1994 and 1995. The slight differences that exist between 1996-1997 and 1994-1995 may not be substantive.
Table 17.A: Impacts of Managed Care on Net Income--Licensed, Doctoral-level, Full-time Independent Practitioners: 1997
Table 17.B: Percentage of Change in Net Income as a Result of Managed Care-- Licensed, Doctoral-level, Full-time Independent Practitioners: 1997
ACCRA. (1997). Cost of living index, third quarter, 1997. (ISSN 0740-7130). Alexandria, VA: ACCRA.
Wicherski, M., Williams, S. & Kohout, J. (1998). 1997-98 Faculty salaries in graduate departments of psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Wicherski, M. & Kohout, J. (1997). 1995 Doctorate employment survey. Washington, DC. American Psychological Association.
Zickar, M. & Taylor, R. (1996, January). Income of SIOP members in 1994. The Industrial/Organizational Psychologist, 33, 63-71.
|Appendix A||APA 1997 Salary Survey Instrument (PDF, KB)|
|Appendix B||States Comprising Geographic Regions in the United States (PDF, KB)|
|Appendix C||Demographics Characteristics of the Membership, Sample, Respondents and Nonrespondents (PDF, 8KB)|
Master's Level Positions:
Doctoral-level Salaries by Gender and Race/Ethnicity:
Doctoral-level Salaries by Geographic Region
|Table 16.A||1997 Median Salaries and Median Years Since the Doctoral Degree for Psychologists by Region and Position (PDF, 8KB)|
|Table 16.B||1997 Median Salaries Adjusted for Cost of Living in Selected Metropolitan Areas (PDF, 12KB)|
|Table 16.C||1997 Median Salaries for Other Selected Metropolitan Areas (PDF, 6KB)|
|Table 16.D||1997 Median Salaries for Selected States (PDF, 9KB)|
Impacts of Managed-Care on Doctoral-level Salaries
|Figure 14.A||Faculty Positions--Master's Level (PDF, 4KB)|
|Figure 14.C||Research Positions--Master's Level (PDF, 3KB)|
|Figure 14.E||Direct Human Services--Clinical Psychology--Master's Level (PDF, 4KB)|
|Figure 14.F||Direct Human Services--Counseling Psychology--Master's Level (PDF, 4KB)|
|Figure 14.G||Direct Human Services--School Psychology--Master's Level (PDF, 4KB)|
|Figure 14.H||Direct Human Services--Other Subfields of Psychology--Master's Level (PDF, 4KB)|
|Figure 14.I||Administration of Human Services--Master's Level (PDF, 4KB)|
|Figure 14.J||Applied Psychology--Industrial/Organizational--Master's Level (PDF, 4KB)|
|Figure 14.K||Applied Psychology--Other Subfields--Master's Level (PDF, 4KB)|
|Figure 14.M||Other Administrative Positions--Master's Level (PDF, 4KB)|
This report is produced by the Research Office in the Central Programs of the APA. We are grateful for the support of Raymond D. Fowler, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of the APA and L. Michael Honaker, Ph.D., Deputy CEO.
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 this participation.