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Clinical & Counseling Psychology Major

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Clinical & Counseling Psychology

20,355 Master's Degrees Annually
3,949 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#7 in Popularity (Master's)
$95,610 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Clinical & Counseling Psychology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many clinical, counseling and applied psychology graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 20,384
Doctor’s Degree 3,949
Graduate Certificate 2,291

What Clinical & Counseling Psychology Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to clinical psychology and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Clinical Psychology Majors

Clinical Psychology majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills for Clinical Psychology Majors

When studying clinical psychology, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for Clinical Psychology Majors

A major in clinical psychology will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Clinical & Counseling Psychology Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with clinical psychology:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Clinical Psychologists 14.2% $76,990
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Counseling Psychologists 14.2% $76,990
Industrial-Organizational Psychologists 5.9% $97,260
Investment Fund Managers 8.0% $107,480
Loss Prevention Managers 8.0% $107,480
Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists 10.3% $100,770
Psychology Professors 15.1% $76,710
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8.0% $107,480
School Psychologists 14.2% $76,990
Security Managers 8.0% $107,480
Supply Chain Managers 8.0% $107,480

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Clinical & Counseling Psychology?

20,384 Master's Degrees Annually
82% Percent Women
34% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is one of the most frequently chosen graduate majors. It is the 7th most popular in the country with 20,355 students graduating with a master’s in clinical psychology in 2019. The major attracts more women than men. About 82% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of clinical psychology majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Clinical Psychology Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 849
Black or African American 2,409
Hispanic or Latino 3,014
White 11,075
International Students 601
Other Races/Ethnicities 2,436

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Clinical Psychology. About 2.9% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • Canada
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Saudi Arabia

How Much Do Clinical & Counseling Psychology Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in clinical psychology was $42,900 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $38,500 (25th percentile) and $46,200 (75th percentile).

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One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to clinical psychology.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $88,490 to $109,030 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to clinical psychology. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Clinical & Counseling Psychology Major  ( 88490 to 109030 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with clinical psychology require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to clinical psychology have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 1.9%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 1.7%
Some College Courses 0.8%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 3.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 29.8%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 1.1%
Master’s Degree 22.4%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 4.4%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.2%
Doctoral Degree 16.4%
Post-Doctoral Training 17.2%

Online Clinical & Counseling Psychology Programs

In 2018-2019, 749 schools offered a clinical psychology program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 27 4
Certificate (1-2 years) 7 4
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 13 5
Bachelor’s Degree 131 40
Post-Baccalaureate 27 4
Master’s Degree 934 130
Post-Master’s 209 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 375 26
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 94 1
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 4 0

Is a Degree in Clinical & Counseling Psychology Worth It?

The median salary for a clinical psychology grad is $95,610 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 140% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,114,200 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to clinical psychology.

Major Number of Grads
General Psychology 130,917
Child Development & Psychology 13,150
Other Psychology 3,056

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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