How Much Can I Earn With a Degree in Counseling or Psychology?

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With high levels of job satisfaction and interesting career opportunities, most students probably don’t get into Counseling and Psychology for the paycheck. The rewarding work and opportunity to help people are often their main motivations.

When you look at salary data, there’s a pretty broad range of earning potential in Counseling and Psychology. But with increased experience and education, you can expect to make a pretty good living!

Let’s take a look at some of the most well-paid and in-demand jobs in Counseling and Psychology, or take a look at the College Choice homepage on Counseling & Psychology.

Highest Paying Jobs

To land the highest paying jobs in Counseling and Psychology, you’ll need an advanced degree. That will prepare you to advance into a leadership role, where you can take home a great salary.

[format fontcolor=”blue” bold=”true”]Head of Department, Civil Service

According to PayScale, civil service department heads are among the highest paid professionals who hold Psychology or Counseling degrees.

People in this role manage government departments in different areas, including those related to psychology. And they are well-compensated for their work! Civil service department heads with doctoral degrees in Psychology earn a salary of approximately $137,000 per year.

[format fontcolor=”blue” bold=”true”]Behavioral Health Director

Behavioral health directors

use their clinical skills and managerial expertise to run behavioral health departments in organizations. Typically, they work in a healthcare setting.

According to PayScale, behavioral health directors with doctoral degrees in clinical psychology earn a salary of approximately $101,000 per year.

Both civil service department heads and behavioral health directors are in management roles, so neither position works directly with patients. But they have the power to create a huge impact in their organizations.

Fastest Growing Jobs

While the highest paid jobs tend to require doctoral degrees, some of the jobs that are in highest demand only require a master’s degree – so you can get into the workforce much more quickly than you would if you enrolled in a seven-year Ph.D. program

[format fontcolor=”blue” bold=”true”]Marriage and Family Counselors

If you want to work with individuals, couples, and families, addressing mental health issues by treating your clients’ relationships, you might enjoy working as a marriage and family counselor.

These counselors use a family-centered approach to deal with interpersonal issues, as well as with mental health challenges like low self-esteem and stress.

And as more and more people seek counseling to improve their lives, this career is projected to grow 20 percent by 2026. That’s much faster than the average growth for all professions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Wondering how much marriage and family counselors can make? The median annual wage was $49,170 in 2016.

[format fontcolor=”blue” bold=”true”]Mental Health Counselors

Like marriage and family counselors, mental health counselors can work with individuals, couples or families. In addition, they may also work with groups in a clinical setting.

Some mental health counselors specialize in working with specific types of patients, like children or the elderly. They are trained to help people with a variety of mental health issues, and they may work with severely troubled patients.

This in-demand career is expected to grow 20 percent by 2026. And the median salary for mental health counselors is around $42,840 per year.

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