Counseling Psychologists: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Counseling Psychologists assess and evaluate individuals’ problems through the use of case history, interview, and observation and provide individual or group counseling services to assist individuals in achieving more effective personal, social, educational, and vocational development and adjustment.

  • Collect information about individuals or clients, using interviews, case histories, observational techniques, and other assessment methods.
  • Document patient information including session notes, progress notes, recommendations, and treatment plans.
  • Counsel individuals, groups, or families to help them understand problems, deal with crisis situations, define goals, and develop realistic action plans.
  • Develop therapeutic and treatment plans based on clients’ interests, abilities, or needs.
Read more about what does a Counseling Psychologist really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$85340 per year

Average hourly wage
$41 per hour

Counseling Psychologists with little to no experience tend to make between $44040 and $58220 while the more experienced ones can earn over $100760 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
CA $52 $108,350
OR $50 $103,870
NJ $47 $98,470
DC $46 $95,500
HI $45 $94,550

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Counseling Psychologist is to move to a higher paying state like CA. Right now, the highest paying states for Counseling Psychologists are CA, OR, NJ, DC and HI.

However, a higher pay at CA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at CA might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Counseling Psychologist is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Doctoral degree

We asked other Counseling Psychologists what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Post-Doctoral Training followed by a Master’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Psychology, General
Developmental and Child Psychology
Clinical Psychology
Counseling Psychology
School Psychology
Read more about how to become a Counseling Psychologist and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Counseling Psychologist.

Suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Suitable for people who values relationships between co-workers and customers and wants to work in a friendly non-competitive environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
Very good salary
Normal working hours (40 hours per week)
Not suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
It is very hard to get into this career. Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience is required for this career.

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

78% of Counseling Psychologists said they were satisfied with their job and 88% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Helpers and The Thinkers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others..

They also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Learn more about Counseling Psychologists

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