If you’re thinking of becoming a professional in the field of psychology, it’s prudent to conduct some research into the different specializations to find out their salaries. In the current struggling global economy, looking for high-paying jobs is important and obvious, and the field of psychology has increasingly become a reliable source of lucrative careers.


Just remember that although some careers offer high annual salaries, the actual income is usually determined by various factors, such as years of experience, geographical location, and educational achievement.

Keep reading to discover the top five paying specializations in psychology today.

Counseling psychology

This is a form of applied psychology that is often used to assist people facing emotional problems to gain control of their feelings. If you become a counseling psychologist, your work would mainly involve treating people with various emotional, social, and behavioral issues. Note that this specialization is different from clinical psychology, as counseling psychologists only treat mental and emotional problems that are relatively less severe.


Great examples of issues that you can treat as a counseling psychologist are everyday stresses, depression, and anxiety. Your focus, in this case, would be to help an individual adjust to life’s rollercoaster ride by helping them overcome their negative feelings and thoughts.

On the other hand, a clinical psychologist mainly focuses on more serious mental disorders. Counseling psychologists usually work in mental health clinics, schools, and hospitals.

The average salary for a counseling psychologist is $86, 938 as of 2021.


Neuropsychology specializes in understanding the relationship between behavior and the physical brain. Granted, brain and nervous system disorders can affect cognitive function and behavior; therefore, as a neuropsychologist, you should expect to work closely with neurologists and other medical professionals to evaluate and treat different types of nervous system disorders based on the specific physical symptoms exhibited by your patients.


To become a neuropsychologist, you have to earn a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree in psychology, and a Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in neuropsychology.

Neuropsychologists usually work at research centers, hospitals, pharmaceutical labs, mental health clinics, and educational institutions, such as universities and colleges.

The average annual salary for a neuropsychologist is $90, 460.

Clinical psychology

Clinical psychology is mainly focused on identifying, treating, and preventing different mental health disorders. As a professional in this line of work, you’re tasked with providing an outlet for individuals, families, and other groups to work through issues through communication and other methods.


A clinical psychologist generally works in various settings, such as schools, hospitals, and healthcare organizations, the military, and private practices. To practice as a clinical psychologist, you need to have a doctorate in psychology and a license, whose requirements vary across states. For instance, some states require candidates to produce a degree from a program accredited by the American Psychological Association.


The average salary per year for clinical psychologists is $100,281. Just remember that obtaining a high-quality certification, such as the BCBA Certification, can attract a higher pay in this and other fields of psychology.

Industrial and organizational (I/O) psychology

An industrial and organizational psychologist usually assists companies with their growth by boosting the performance and well-being of their employees. More precisely, if you became an I/O psychologist, your work would mainly involve overseeing the employee selection process, handling and improving work attitudes, performance management, leadership and motivation, and establishing a harmonious and symbiotic work environment in the company. Unlike other psychology disciplines, practicing I/O psychology doesn’t require a formal license.

The average annual salary for I/O psychologists is $116, 270.


This psychology specialization is usually obtained after completion of a bachelor’s degree in biology or psychology, a medical degree, and a four-year residency. As a psychiatrist, you’d likely find yourself diagnosing mental disorders and illnesses, prescribing medications, treatments, or therapies, and developing medical treatment plans. Of course, this psychiatry is one of the highest paying fields in psychology mainly because of the large extent of schooling and training it requires.

The average annual salary for a psychiatrist is $216, 090.


As you may already know, there are many more disciplines and specializations in the broad field of psychology that offer good pay. However, psychiatry, I/O, neuropsychology, clinical psychology, and counseling psychology are the specializations that pay the highest.


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