The average salary of a clinical psychologist in the United States is $74,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That’s a slight increase from the year prior, when the average salary was $69,000.
That means a salary for a clinical social worker, who does social work in private practice, is roughly $40,000 higher than it was just a few years ago.
And, of course, this increase does not take into account the fact that more and more clinical psychologists are also starting their careers as social workers.
In fact, the median salary for clinical psychologists is currently $68,000–and that’s even after accounting for additional compensation that comes with being a social worker.
But even after taking into account these additional costs, you’ll still end up paying a lower salary than your average, non-clinical psychologist.
A clinical psychologist can be earning more than a social work assistant or a nurse practitioner or even a social workers assistant, but they’re still working for a profession that requires a certain level of specialization.
This means that a social studies teacher or a social-work psychologist is not necessarily a good fit for an office or for a small business, where they’ll likely be competing for the same number of patients.
And even for the most specialized professions, a clinical psychologists salary may not be worth the extra cost.
If you work in a small practice or a small office with limited staff, a professional may be able to find a better deal by working as a clinical nurse practitioner.
A nurse practitioner may have a greater scope and expertise, but the average cost per patient is significantly lower, at around $10,000 per patient, compared to a social science teacher who might be paid $70,000 a year or a clinical psychology professor who might have a salary of $70 a hour.
So if you’re looking to earn as much as a social scientist, a social social worker or a psychotherapist, you may want to consider an outside career instead.
Salary Comparison Chart: Clinical Psychology vs. Social Science