How much does a psychologist make? This is a question that I’ve been asked over and over again, and although I already talked about it in the article: Do you want to study Psychology?, I will try to be more specific.
First of all, I must admit that it bothers me a little that the young people who are going to start their career ask themselves this, but then I leave idealism aside and understand that it is quite normal to be worried about the economic benefits carried by time and effort as well as the corresponding economic investment dedicated to the career.
Choosing a career in Psychology, Medicine or Social Work, as professions directly linked to the health of other people, should be a choice motivated more by vocation than by the economic benefit it will bring. Among other things because the average salary of a psychologist can range between 1,000 and 1,500 euros per month (in Europe) but these are merely indicative figures since it depends on the work location and, above all, on the Psychology branches chosen.
A psychologist of a public hospital does not make the same as one who performs personnel selection in a big company, nor does one who owns a small and modest private practice earn the same as one who runs a specialized clinic.
There are also differences given by different countries and even within the same country. Thus, everyone will imagine that, on average, a British or Italian psychologist earns more than a Spanish or Ecuadorian psychologist, a psychologist from Barcelona than one from the Canary Islands.
Obviously, these differences are observed in all professions and jobs because they do not depend so much on professional recognition as on the cost of living, which is obviously higher in the United Kingdom and Italy than in Spain and Ecuador, in Barcelona than in the Canary Islands.
However, it must be also said that the world is changing very fast, so nowadays it is possible to find professional opportunities in countries that were previously unthinkable.
In the United States, for example, according to data from the Department of Labor Statistics, the psychologist’s annual average income is $ 51,000 a year. Of course, it varies according to the branch, thus, the psychologist employed in health offices makes an average of $ 60,000 a year; those employed in elementary and secondary schools make an average of 54,000, forensic psychologists reach about 35,000 and the self-employed are around 37,000.
However, I consider that no career should be chosen taking as sole or more important selection criterion the economic benefits it will bring. If we make this mistake, it is very likely that later we will pay it because we will end up with a pocket full of money but with an empty and unsatisfied soul, examples of it are the number of suicides among wealthy people.
Finallly, I would like to resume an investigation carried out by Albion with 1500 university graduates. After 20 years of follow-up, 101 people achieved extremely high levels of prosperity from an individual, economic and social point of view, and only one of them had set a goal of prospering economically, the other 100 were creative people, who loved their professions, assumed risks and preferred to put their personal motivations and desires above the perspective of achieving economic wealth.