How Much Do Psychologists Make In California?

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Psychology is an exciting, interesting and dynamic field to work in. You can also earn a good salary as a psychologist, depending on the discipline you choose to specialize in.

So, how much can you expect to earn, how much are psychologists paid in California, and what factors affect this wage? Read on to find out.

Average Psychologist Salary In US

To give you a better understanding of psychology salaries in the US, let’s take a look at the average salary across the country. The average salary for psychologists is around $94,000 per year in the United States.

However, this does tend to vary state by state. For instance, let’s take a look at some of the highest paid psychologist salaries (see also ‘How Much Do Art Therapists Make?‘) across the states:

  • Oregon – $103,870
  • New Jersey – $98,470
  • Hawaii – $94,500
  • New York – $94,150
  • Alaska – $91,500
  • Georgia – $89,200
  • Louisiana – $86,700

How Much Do Psychologists Make In California?

If you are looking to try another state, and jump start your career elsewhere, then you may be wondering where to start.

California is actually a great choice for psychologists, as the career is in high demand in this location.

Of course, you’d like to know how much money you could be making as a psychologist in California, however, it is not a simple, one rule for all answer.

There are many different fields of psychology, and therefore many different roles that all pay different salaries in California.

According to a 2022 study, the annual average pay for a psychologist in California is about $107,800 per year. Approximately, this means that psychologists can make around $52 per hour.

That being said, roles such as Clinical Psychologist can pay much more. According to Indeed, with over 344 different salaries considered, a clinical psychologist in California can earn upwards of $128,553 per year.

Also on Indeed, you’ll find the average salary for a School Psychologist in California is around $83,728 per year, whereas Psychologists in California can get paid up to $130,259 per year depending on the location.

The common theme also seems to be that the more years of experience you have as a psychologist in California, the more you can expect salaries to go up. 

Those with 1-2 years of experience can earn upwards of $90,247, whereas those with more than 10 years experience can expect to earn more than double this, with average salaries surpassing $190,000.

Locations With Highest Psychologist Salaries In California

California is a large state, with over 39 million residents. Therefore, it is highly populated, and is the third largest state in the US by area.

As you can imagine, there are many cities that offer different wages and salaries for psychologists.

For instance, in Burbank, CA, you can expect an average salary of about $122,000 per year, which rises to around $126,672 in Sacramento, CA

Over in San Diego, CA, you will find a slight average increase to $127,013 per year for psychologists, whereas places such as Los Angeles, CA pay around $130,121 per year. 

At the highest is San Francisco, which may offer salaries of up to $144,733 per year for a psychologist, depending on the field. 

A hundred dollar passed across the table.

Is Psychology A Good Career In California?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in the psychology and human services industries are ever growing, and it is estimated to grow even more. Job growth in this area is also expected to rise 12% in the coming years.

In addition to this, it is important to note that California employs more psychologists every year than any other US state.

It is also predicted that employment growth can increase by up to 15% in the next few years. 

This, with the fact that psychologist salaries are some of the highest in California in relation to the other states, means that a career in psychology in California is a great choice.

What Field Of Psychology Makes The Most Money?

You may be wondering which field of psychology can make you the most money and can be the most financially rewarding.

Most will argue that Psychiatric positions are the most high paying, with some salaries landing in around $218,000 per year

Following that, you may find that forensic psychologists also make good salaries, of up to $120,000 per year.

In addition to this, outpatient care center psychologists can earn an average salary of up to $133,000 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Industrial organizational psychologists can also earn a good wage, with those who work in scientific research and development industries earning an average of $149,000 per year. Those working at universities and colleges may average about $70,000 per year.

Further down the line, clinical psychologists and neuropsychologists can earn up to $90,000 per year.

What Do You Need To Be A Psychologist In California?

To act as a psychologist in California, you must become licensed. To become licensed in California, you will need to have at least a doctorate degree in psychology, which can take you up to 10 years to achieve.

In addition, you will need to have undergone 3,000 hours of supervised experience, and only 1,500 hours of this can be pre-doctoral level

To qualify, you will need to have submitted your application for licensure in California, shown evidence of your 3,000 hours of supervised professional experience, along with your official doctoral transcript, and paid the designated fees. 

To conclude, the answer to how much psychologists get paid in California is incredibly varied.

There is no one answer, as this depends on the field and speciality of psychology, location within the state, and your level of experience.

That being said, the most recent studies show that the average salary for a psychologist in California is around $107,000 per year.

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