Psychotherapist Salary Guide and Career Outlook

The average psychotherapist in the United States can expect to bring home about $55,000 per year, and the psychotherapist salary can range from as low as $38,000 to $89,000 per year. Psychotherapists in the UK see salary ranges from £26,250 to £35,250 ($31,095 to $41,756), while psychotherapists in Australia will see average salaries of $77,000. Factors that can influence pay include the geographic location, career length and experience, where you are employed, educational background, and professional certifications held.

Even the most well trained and certified psychotherapists will not see the highest end of the pay scale. If you want to become a certified psychotherapist, then you need to learn how the state or country you work in, your education and experience, and other factors will influence your salary and career prospects. In this guide we hope to inform potential psychotherapy career seekers of the various aspects that can influence potential salaries.

psychotherapist salary

How Much Does a Psychotherapist Make per Year by State?

The following table breaks down the average hourly rate as well as average annual pay by selected geographical locations.

Salary USCanadaUKAustraliaNew ZealandIndiaSouth Africa
Hourly Pay$35.80C$51.39£32.26$85.00NZ$35.40INR177.10R119.53
Annual Pay$55,000C$61,726£39,174$77,000NZ$73,630INR368,367R248,613

Psychotherapist Salary Influencing Factors

A Google search for average psychotherapist salaries will yield a wide variety of results, with websites such as Indeed.com, Salary.Com and Payscale.com providing a wide range of salary results. These results are based on the respondents to their surveys and can also be affected by a wide variety of criteria such as location, experience and where you are employed. We will expand on each of these criteria in the sections below.

1. Location

The following tables illustrate how geographical location can affect a pyschotherapist salary. It’s important to keep in mind that differences can vary between countries due to the level of importance that culture places on mental healthcare. Additional differences beyond culture can include differences in standards that the specific country places on their professionals with regard to education and licensure. Differences in benefits and bonus received can be attributed to whether a specific country requires employers to provide health insurance or whether it is government sponsored, and cultural differences on which industries receive bonuses based on performance. Finally, the economic condition of the country can drastically affect a psychotherapist salary.

How Much Does a Psychotherapist Professional Make in the US?

Psychotherapist SalaryPer YearPer Hour
Minimum$35,000$22
Maximum$89,000$120
Bonus/Tip$3,091N/A
OvertimeSee hourly rates$59.18
Total Pay$39,660-$130,332

How Much Does a Psychotherapist Professional Make in Canada?

Psychotherapist SalaryPer YearPer Hour
MinimumC$38,476C$24.42
MaximumC$86,333C$136.93
Bonus/TipC$9,696N/A
OvertimeN/AN/A
Total PayC$40,534 to C$225,671

How Much Does a Psychotherapist Professional Make in the UK?

Psychotherapist SalaryPer YearPer Hour
Minimum£20,671£14.43
Maximum£47,695£96.96
Bonus/TipN/AN/A
OvertimeN/AN/A
Total Pay£22,002-£104,000

How Much Does a Psychotherapist Professional Make in Australia?

Psychotherapist SalaryPer YearPer Hour
MinimumAU$41,000AU$22.50
MaximumAU$98,000AU$77.00
Bonus/TipN/AN/A
OvertimeN/AN/A
Total PayAU$41,000-AU$98,000

How Much Does a Psychotherapist Professional Make in New Zealand?

Psychotherapist SalaryPer YearPer Hour
MinimumNZ$58,725NZ$28.23
MaximumNZ$102,086NZ$49.08
Bonus/TipNZ$2,035N/A
OvertimeN/AN/A
Total PayNZ$59,721-NZ$103,379

How Much Does a Psychotherapist Professional Make in India?

Psychotherapist SalaryPer YearPer Hour
MinimumINR178,609INR85.87
MaximumINR727,658R349.84
Bonus/TipINR78,297N/A
OvertimeN/AN/A
Total PayINRs181,811-INRs845,634

How Much Does a Psychotherapist Professional Make in South Africa?

Psychotherapist SalaryPer YearPer Hour
MinimumR60,484R70.00
MaximumR556,044R800.00
Bonus/TipR974-99,340N/A
OvertimeSee hourly ratesR200.00
Total PayR83,200-R830,830

2. Experience

A psychotherapist salary depends on a multitude of factors including your specialization within the field of psychotherapy, your location, whether you work for a government agency, a private clinic or are self-employed and your level of experience. Beginners with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn on the lower side of the pay scale at approximately $49,000 according to payscale.com. It can take 10 to 20 years of experience before a psychotherapist is considered a senior or pro in the field, and at that point they can expect to make upwards of $73,000 depending upon the employer type.

3. Industry

As with most public sector jobs, a psychotherapist working for a non-profit or government entity can expect to earn substantially less than those who choose a job with a private clinic. There are many career path options for a psychotherapist and pay will also vary depending on the chosen career path. Examples of available career paths include clinical psychologist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Clinical Social Worker, Clinical Director, Forensic Psychologist, and Neuropsychologist to name a few. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker will average a salary of $52,000 in the United States, while a Clinical Psychologist can see average salaries of $71,000.

Schedule & Working Hours

Working hours can vary depending on your specialization, employer and client base. Many psychotherapists work Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm but will often have extended days or even a “split-shift” style of work hours. Those in private practice will often extend their hours well past 5pm to accommodate clients who work their own 9am to 5pm shifts. There are times when a psychotherapist will also work weekend hours to accommodate clients. Some psychotherapists can successfully navigate a part-time schedule, although this is fairly uncommon. Finally, many psychotherapist maintain a 24/7 on-call schedule to meet the unexpected needs of their patients.

Bonuses & Benefits

Information on the qualifications to receive a bonus in this field is limited, but appears to be largely determined based on experience and success of the practice the psychotherapist is employed by. Many new entrants to the field do not receive bonuses while they are establishing their client base. Additionally, those who are employed by government agencies rarely receive a bonus. In the United States, more than two-fifths of all psychotherapist are without benefits such as medical and dental coverage. Benefits coverage and retirement benefits are also largely dependent on employment in the public versus private sector. Additional determinants of healthcare coverage include the country you are employed in, as certain countries such as the UK provide government sponsored insurance to all legal residents. Most psychotherapists report high job satisfaction since the job does allow workers to dictate their own schedules and to harness their joy of helping others.

Career Outlook

Psychotherapy is a speciality field that falls under the broader work of a psychologist. The job outlook for the profession from 2014 to 2024 shows a 19% growth rate which is much faster than the national average of all jobs. In the years to come tenured professionals in this field will face greater competition from students with master’s degrees and with specialized training in some of the career paths mentioned earlier.

The industry is a sound choice for individuals who have the ability to empathize with patients and communicate effectively. As medical technology advances there is more knowledge gained about what can traumatize individuals making this profession all the more necessary in the future.

The job outlook is similar in countries such as Canada, the UK, New Zealand and Australia as advancements in healthcare lead to the need for specialized professionals in mental healthcare. Also, it is essential to obtain formalized education and specialized training in psychology as well as the specialized career path within psychotherapy that the practitioner desires. Psychotherapists in the United States often require a master’s degree in addition to four years of clinical internship prior to licensure. Additional licences in specialized fields may also be required and the educational requirements and certifications can also vary greatly among countries.

Conclusion

Psychotherapy is considered a medical profession and there are therapists who hold a doctorial level degree. While the psychotherapist salary is certainly not the highest in the medical profession, the flexibility in scheduling can offset the lack of pay for some individuals. The profession is well-known world-wide and can offer the practitioner the opportunity to practice in various global locations. With a large choice of specialized career paths and a growing field of employment opportunities someone looking into the psychotherapy profession should have little trouble finding a career post college.

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