Curious how much different mental health providers make? Salary depends on factors such as education and training, plus the setting in which you practice.
Geographic region also plays a big role in how much money therapists charge. Private practice therapists, for example, may set their rates by referring to the average session fees of their local peers.
That said, there are some national trends for provider types; below is a breakdown of salaries for therapists, psychiatrists, and psychologists.
Typical therapist salaries range widely – from $30,000 to $100,000
For a therapist (who is not a psychiatrist or a psychologist), salaries depend in part on education and training, as well as clinical specialization. Individual therapists may make anywhere from $30,000 per year to over $100,000.
Additionally, a therapist’s salary depends in large part on the setting in which they practice. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, for example, that the national annual median for therapists is:
- $30,350 for therapists who work in community rehabilitation centers
- $47,000 for mental health counselors in hospitals
- $72,580 for family therapists who work for the government
Typical psychologist salary is about $77,000 annually
The 2017 median salary for psychologists in the United States was $77,003 per year, or about $37 per hour. Again, this figure varies depending on geography and on the setting in which the psychologist works.
Psychologists who work for the government generally earn the most money on average, followed by those who work in hospitals and then in schools. For instance, Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the national annual median for therapists is:
- $74,470 for psychologists who work in school settings (elementary and secondary)
- $94,910 for psychologists who work in government positions
Psychiatrists average over $200,000 annually – making them the highest-paid professionals in the mental health field
Generally speaking, psychiatrists are the highest-paid mental health professionals, because they have medical credentials and more extensive education requirements. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that psychiatrists generally earn an average of over $200,000 annually, or over $100 per hour.
As with other therapists’ salaries, psychiatrists’ earning can vary according to geography and the nature of their clinical practice. For example, psychiatrists who work in the offices of physicians or other medical professionals often earn the most, while those who work in hospitals tend to earn less.
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