1999: Salaries in Psychology
Steven Williams, Marlene Wicherski, Jessica L. Kohout
APA Center for Workforce Studies
The 1999 Salaries in Psychology report represents the eleventh volume in the series and eighteen 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 masters-level respondents are by position, employment setting, and median years since degree only. Masters-level salary breakdowns are sparser due to an insufficient number of masters-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.
The 1999 Salary Survey was mailed in May, 1999 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, 1999. Another reminder letter and survey were mailed in late July, 1999 to those members who had not responded by that time.
A total of 10,232 members responded to the survey. Of that total, 9555 were employed, and provided some data on employment setting, position, and 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. Sixty-nine percent (N=6,605) of the eligible respondents were at the doctoral level and were employed full time while 9% (N=832) 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:
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 only 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 the report of the results of APA's Doctorate Employment Survey (e.g., Kohout and Wicherski, 1999).
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 1998. 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. Furthermore, some members were excluded because they did not report employment data or reported inaccurate employment data.
A 51% response rate was obtained for the 1999 Salary Survey. An effort was made to boost the response rate 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-level, 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, doctoral-level respondents in faculty positions comprised one of the largest groups of respondents to this survey (N=1,909). Incumbents in these positions primarily were involved in university settings (64%), specifically university psychology departments (41%), university education departments (11%), university business departments (3%), and other academic departments in universities (9%). Fourteen percent were employed in four-year college settings and medical school settings each. Only 4% and 1% were in two-year colleges and professional schools (free standing and other professional schools), respectively.
The largest single proportion of doctoral faculty in 1999 was in clinical psychology (14%), followed by social psychology and developmental psychology, each at 12%. This was followed by counseling psychology at 11%. Six percent each claimed experimental psychology and cognitive psychology, and 5% claimed industrial/organizational as their subfield in psychology. Educational psychology and school psychology each were represented at 4%, while 3% of doctoral faculty identified health psychology as their primary subfield. Two percent or less of the remaining doctoral faculty reported 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 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 $52,000 in 1999. Graduate faculty salaries are examined in more detail in the report, 1999-2000 Faculty Salaries in Graduate Departments of Psychology (Wicherski, Guerrero, and Kohout, 2000). In addition, medical school faculty salaries are described at length in the report, 1997 Employment Characteristics and Salaries of Medical School Psychologists (Williams, Wicherski, and Kohout, 1998). Both reports include salary breakdowns by years of experience, academic rank, geographic region, and other categories.
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 130 doctoral-level respondents in this category were most likely to be employed in university administrative offices (32%), while 12% were in school system district offices. Nine percent and 6% could be found in four-year and two-year college administrative offices, respectively. Five percent could be found in university/college counseling centers and other types of university academic departments, respectively.
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 counseling psychology as their major subfield (26%), followed by school psychology (15%), clinical psychology (10%), and educational and social psychology at 6% each.
Doctoral-level respondents in educational administration reported a median 11-12-month salary of $82,500.
There were 202 respondents who worked full time in research positions in the 1999 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 highest single proportion of respondents were employed in private research organizations (17%). This was followed by university research centers (13%) and government research organizations (12%). Eight percent of the respondents in this category were found in other nonprofit organizations.
The most frequently reported subfields were social psychology (17%), clinical (11%), developmental (10%), and experimental (7%). Health psychology and quantitative/ mathematics/psychometrics/statistics 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 for doctoral-level respondents in research positions was $60,000.
There were 96 full-time, doctoral-level research administrators who responded to the 1999 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 proportion of respondents in this category were working as administrators in government research organizations (18%). This was followed by private research organizations (16%), business/industry (15%), and other nonprofit organizations (8%). Federal government settings and university research centers were represented at 7% each.
The most frequently reported subfields were industrial/organizational (14%), social psychology (13%), developmental (8%), and clinical (7%). Cognitive psychology and health psychology were represented at 6% each.
The overall 11-12-month median salary for doctoral respondents in research administration was $83,500.
There were 955 doctoral-level respondents who were licensed, claimed clinical psychology as their major field, and who were involved in the direct delivery of health and mental health services to clients.
The majority of these respondents were employed in independent practices (63%), comprising 43% in individual private practices and 20% in group private practices. Approximately 14% and 7% of these licensed, doctoral-level respondents reported that they worked in hospitals and clinics (e.g., CMHCs, HMOs, outpatient clinics), respectively. The next largest group (6%) 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. Four percent identified academic settings as their primary workplace, and 3% claimed a government organization.
Five hundred and forty-four were licensed and indicated that they were involved in the delivery of human services at the doctoral level in counseling psychology.
The majority of respondents were located in a private practice setting (58%), comprising individual private practitioners at 40% and group practitioners at 18%. Twenty-six percent of the responding psychologists in this category were located in clinics, community mental health centers (CMHCs), and various other human service settings (e.g., university/college counseling centers, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, specialized health services). Ten percent could be found in hospital settings. Three percent were employed in government organizations/criminal justice system, and 2% claimed an academic setting as their primary setting.
The overall 11-12-month median salary for licensed doctoral-level counseling psychologists was $60,000. Frequency distributions and summary statistics can be found in Figure 6 and Table 6, respectively.
One hundred and forty-one respondents fit this category. As expected, the largest single proportion of school psychologists (64%) were employed in a pre-college educational setting. Specifically, 45% could be found in elementary and secondary schools and 15% reported that they worked in school system district offices. The next largest proportion of respondents (22%) were primarily located in independent practices (14% in individual private practices and 8% in group private practices). Four percent and 1% identified hospitals and clinics, respectively, as their primary place of employment. Last, two percent claimed a government agency as their primary setting.
The median salary for licensed doctoral-level respondents providing school psychology services was $71,000 in 1999.
There were 283 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 health service provider subfields (i.e., clinical, counseling, or school psychology). The largest single proportion of these respondents identified health psychology as their major subfield (11%). Other subfields included educational psychology, developmental psychology, and rehabilitation at 7% each. Six percent of the respondents claimed neuroscience, while 5% claimed counseling. Four percent identified behavioral medicine and general/methods and systems each. Community psychology and geropsychology were represented at 3% each. Less than 2% of these respondents were from subfields such as business/management, experimental psychology, personality psychology, and social psychology.
Fifty-two percent were employed in independent private practices (38% in individual practices and 14% in group practices). Fifteen percent were located in hospitals. Outpatient clinics, CMHCs, and HMOs collectively employed about 6% of the respondents in this group. Thirteen percent were employed in other human service settings such as rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, counseling/guidance centers, and special health services. Primary or secondary schools, school district offices, and other pre-college educational settings employed about 6% of the respondents in this category. Five percent claimed employment with government agencies, and 2% were employed within a postsecondary academic institution. 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 $65,000 in 1999.
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 434 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-nine percent were employed in clinics, community mental health centers (CMHC), and HMOs. Twenty-four percent worked in hospitals, 13% were located in university or college counseling centers, and 5% were employed with the criminal justice system. Only three percent worked in individual or group private practices.
The largest single proportion of respondents (43%) claimed clinical psychology as a major field in 1999, followed by counseling psychology (28%). Community psychology was represented at 3%, followed by school, developmental, and health psychology each at 2%.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for health service administrators at the doctoral level was $65,000.
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 111 doctoral-level respondents are described in Table 10.
Forty-two percent of the respondents in these positions were employed in consulting firms. Thirty-one percent were in business and industry, while 14% were self-employed. Seven percent worked in government agencies.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for doctoral-level industrial/organizational psychologists in 1999 was $90,000. 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 and Employment of SIOP Members in 1997 (Burnfield and Medsker, 1999).
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 89 doctoral-level respondents in these positions in 1999 and their salaries are reported in Table 11.
The largest single proportion of respondents were employed in consulting firms (33%), followed by 18% who were employed in business/industry settings. Fifteen percent were placed in the criminal justice system and other government (federal, state, and local) agencies. Nine percent had individual or group practices, and 7% were self-employed in settings other than independent practices.
With 24% of the respondents, counseling psychology was the single most often mentioned field for this group. Eighteen percent indicated that they were in clinical psychology. Six percent reported that they were in experimental psychology, educational psychology, and business/management each.
The overall 11-12-month median salary for doctoral-level psychologists in these positions was $72,000.
There were 79 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 were located in consulting firms (37%), followed by 20% in business and industry settings. About 22% 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 specialized in industrial/organizational psychology (48%), followed by clinical psychology at 14%. Counseling and experimental psychology were represented at 8% each.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for doctoral-level respondents was $92,000 in 1999. The standard deviation (52,080) is large for this group, indicating substantial variation around the mean of $109,544. 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 Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology (SIOP) entitled, Income and Employment of SIOP Members in 1997 (Burnfield and Medsker, 1999).
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, and personnel administration. There were 123 respondents at the doctoral level in 1999.
The largest single proportion was employed in government agencies (26%), followed by health care settings (24%). Twenty-one percent of respondents in this category were employed in business/industry settings, and 16% could be found in other non-profit organizations. Although scattered across a variety of settings, most of these respondents could be found outside academia.
Clinical psychology was the subfield of 22% of the respondents, followed by industrial/organizational psychology (14%). Counseling psychologists were represented at 8%. Seven percent reported developmental psychology as their major field.
The overall 11-12-month median salary for doctoral-level respondents in other administrative positions was $80,000. Not surprisingly for a catch-all category, the range of salaries was quite large with salaries exceeding $200,000. Figure 13 and Table 13 show salary data for these respondents.
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. Some figures and tables have been omitted due to a low number of responses. Caution should be exercised when interpreting master’s-level positions with a small N size.
There were 62 master’s-level respondents in the 1999 Salary Survey who worked full time in faculty positions. Thirty-seven percent of the respondents were employed in two-year college settings, slightly more than a fifth were located in university settings (mostly within departments of psychology), and almost 18% were working in four-year college settings. About 8% were found in medical school settings.
The subfield that was reported most often by the master's-level faculty was clinical psychology at 23%. General/methods and systems was mentioned by 15%, followed by counseling psychology represented at 11%. Ten percent of respondents indicated developmental psychology as their subfield. Finally, educational and social psychology each were claimed by 6% of the respondents. All other subfields were represented at 5% or less.
The overall median 9-10-month faculty salary was $46,500 for master's-level respondents.
Only 11 respondents were in this position. Of those, 27% were employed in school system district offices and 18% were in university/college counseling centers. The remaining respondents indicated other types of academic settings.
Twenty-seven percent of the respondents identified counseling psychology as their subfield, followed by clinical psychology and school psychology each at 18%. Nine percent indicated health psychology and theology/religion each.
The overall 11-12-month median salary at the master's level was $72,000 for those employed full time in educational administration.
There were 21 respondents in research positions in 1999. Criminal justice settings and other government organizations employed 19% of the respondents. Fourteen percent were positioned in university settings, and 10% each were in hospital settings or other human service settings such as nursing homes.
The largest single proportion reported that clinical psychology was their major field (19%), followed by industrial/organizational psychology (14%). Ten percent identified one of each of the following fields: experimental, general/methods and systems, and social psychology. Only 5% stated school psychology as their subfield.
The overall median 11-12-month salary in research positions at the master's level was $39,000.
Administration of Research
There were only 6 respondents in this position at the master's level in 1999. The largest single percentage of this group were employed in hospital settings (33%). Seventeen percent each were employed in business/industry or government organizations.
Fifty percent of respondents in this category (N=3) reported quantitative/ mathematics/psychometrics/statistics as their subfield. Only 17% each reported subfields such as industrial/organizational psychology, and social/behavioral sciences.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for master's-level respondents in administration of research positions was $61,500. It is important to remember that this is based on a small N and should be interpreted with caution.
Direct Human Services
Clinical. One hundred and sixty-two respondents indicated that they were providing services in clinical psychology at the master's level. The largest single proportion of respondents were employed in individual or group practices (39%). That was followed by 15% in hospitals and clinics each. Specifically, the majority of these hospital employees worked in public psychiatric hospitals (9%), and the largest proportion of respondents within clinics worked at community mental health centers (9%). Fourteen percent of the respondents were employed with the government, of which the largest proportion claimed that they worked within the criminal justice system (9%). Ten percent of the respondents worked in other human service settings such as nursing homes, non-university affiliated guidance centers, and rehabilitation facilities. Fewer than 5% 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 $45,000 for master's-level respondents who indicated clinical psychology as a major subfield and who were involved in the delivery of direct human services.
Counseling. There were 95 respondents in this category. Thirty-three percent were employed in individual or group practices. Clinics and hospitals housed 17% and 13%, respectively. Twenty-one percent were located in other human service settings (e.g., nursing homes). About 5% were located in government agencies, particularly the criminal justice system. Finally, 3% of the respondents in this category were in elementary/secondary schools.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for a master's-level position providing counseling psychology services was $39,500.
School. As expected, the majority of the 60 respondents in this category were employed in educational settings (82%), comprising half in elementary/secondary schools, 18% 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 4% 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 $61,000 in 1999.
Other Psychological Subfields. Eighty master's-level individuals were involved in direct human services and were in a field other than clinical psychology, counseling psychology, and school psychology. Most of the respondents (14%) identified general/methods and systems as their major field, followed by 11% of the respondents who claimed counseling. Six percent each claimed developmental psychology, educational psychology, and rehabilitation. Cognitive, industrial/organizational, and community psychology each were claimed by 5% of the respondents. Fewer than 4% of the respondents in this category identified other subfields such as behavioral medicine, experimental psychology, and social psychology.
More than a third of the respondents were in individual or group practices (35%), and 19% were in other health service provider settings such as nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, specialized health services, guidance centers, and student counseling centers. Government organizations claimed 11% of these master’s-level respondents, most of whom were employed with the criminal justice system (6%). Clinics and hospitals employed 10% and 8% of these individuals, respectively. Finally, academic settings such as elementary/secondary schools, school system district offices, and other pre-college educational settings collectively employed 9% of the respondents in this category.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for respondents in this category was $44,000.
Administration of Human Services
There were 97 respondents in this position in 1999. Slightly more than a quarter of the respondents (26%) were employed in clinics, comprising community mental health clinics, outpatient clinics, and HMOs. Fifteen percent were employed in a hospital setting, and 28% worked in other human service provider settings. Thirteen percent worked for the criminal justice system or another government agency. Last, 4% were employed in a school system district office or other primary or secondary educational setting.
The largest proportion of respondents reported clinical psychology as their major subfield (34%), followed by 16% who reported counseling psychology. Five percent and 4% indicated general/methods and systems and school psychology (respectively) as their subfields.
The overall 11-12-month median salary was $51,000 for master's-level respondents working as human service administrators.
Administration of Applied Psychology
Only 8 respondents identified themselves in this position, the majority of whom 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 (63%). Other subfields such as counseling psychology and educational psychology were represented at about 13% each.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for master’s-level respondents in administration of applied psychology was $67,500. Due to the small sample of respondents for this category, this data should be interpreted with caution. 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 SIOP entitled, Income and Employment of SIOP Members in 1997 (Burnfield and Medsker, 1999).
Other Administrative Positions
There were 26 respondents who indicated employment in other administrative positions (e.g., budgeting, personnel administration). Twenty-three percent each were in business/industry and government settings. This was followed by 15% in hospital settings and 4% in clinics such as CMHCs and HMOs. Twelve percent indicated other human service provider settings as their primary place of employment. Academic settings such as universities or four-year colleges housed about 8% of respondents in this category.
The largest single proportion of respondents (35%) indicated industrial/organizational psychology as their subfield. Twelve percent identified themselves as counseling psychologists, and 8% reported quantitative/mathematics/psychometrics/statistics as their subfield. Other subfields such as experimental, developmental, clinical, and school were claimed by 4% of the respondents in this category. The overall 11-12-month median salary for these master's-level respondents was $48,500.
Applied Psychology Positions (Industrial/Organizational Psychology)
Forty-nine 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. Slightly more than half (51%) were employed in business or industry settings, and 35% could be found in consulting firms. About 10% were employed in government organizations, and 4% were self-employed.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for master's-level respondents in applied (I/O) positions was $68,000. Salaries of master’s-level industrial/organizational psychologists may also be obtained in the salary report by SIOP entitled, Income and Employment of SIOP Members in 1997 (Burnfield and Medsker, 1999).
Applied Psychology Positions (Other Psychological Subfields)
Only 20 respondents were identified in this position at the master's level. Thirty percent were located in consulting firms, while 15% each were in government settings and consulting firms. Ten percent of the respondents in this category were self-employed.
The largest single proportion of the respondents identified clinical psychology (30%). Fifteen percent claimed general/methods and systems, followed by 10% who claimed counseling psychology. Five percent each reported subfields such as school psychology, community psychology, rehabilitation, and organizational behavior.
The overall median 11-12-month salary for master's-level applied psychology positions in subfields other than industrial/organizational psychology was $63,000.
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 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 (e.g., Wicherski and Kohout, 1997). The largest gender discrepancy in favor of men is evidenced in the 15-19 years and 20-24 years of work experience categories.
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 do not appear to be substantive.
Salary data are displayed by years of experience and minority status in Table 15.D. Median salaries for minority and white psychologists do not differ greatly.
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 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 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 second quarter of 1999. 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.
This section addresses the impact that managed care and other changes in the health care system have had on net income since 1998 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 experienced 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 (53%) reported undergoing a decrease in salary due to the changes in the health care system. Slightly less than 7% of these psychologists reported an increase in salary, while approximately 40% 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. Over half of those practitioners who had over 10 years of experience reported a decrease in income since 1998. A little under half of practitioners with 5-10 years of experience revealed that they are earning considerably less than the previous year. By comparison, a fifth 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 or a median increase in net income of 15% and 10%, respectively.
In comparison, the impacts of changes in the health care system on salary since 1998 are fairly similar to the changes reported for previous years. That is, in 1994-1995 and 1996-1997, practitioners with more years of experience were also more likely to report a negative impact due to managed care. Furthermore, for the most part, the percentage change in income since 1998 was comparable to those reported between 1994-1995 and 1996-1997. The slight differences that exist between 1998-1999 and previous years do not appear to be substantive.
ACCRA. (1999). Cost of living index, second quarter, 1999. (ISSN 0740-7130). Alexandria, VA: ACCRA.
Burnfield, J.L. & Medsker, G.J. (1999). Taylor, R. (1999, April). Income and Employment of SIOP members in 1997. The Industrial/Organizational Psychologist, 36, 19-30.
Kohout, J. & Wicherski, M. (1999). 1997 Doctorate employment survey. Washington, DC. American Psychological Association.
Wicherski, M., Guerrero, R., & Kohout, J.L. (2000). 1999-2000 Faculty salaries in graduate departments of psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Wicherski, M. & Kohout, J. (1997). [Starting Salaries for 1995 Doctorate Recipients in Psychology by Gender]. Unpublished raw data.
Williams, S., Wicherski, M., & Kohout, J. (1998). 1997 Employment Characteristics and Salaries of Medical School Psychologists. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
|Appendix A||Survey instrument (PDF, 328KB)|
|Appendix B||States comprising geographic regions (PDF, 3KB)|
|Appendix C||Characteristics of the population respondents, and no-respondents to the 1999 APA Salary Survey (PDF, 6KB)|
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 Raymond D. Fowler, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of the APA and L. Michael Honaker, PhD, Deputy CEO.
We are also thankful to Darnell Singleton for his assistance with the formatting of selected figures and the proofing of tables. 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.