The Salary for an Abnormal Psychologist

Abnormal psychologists are paid to study abnormal human behavior.
Abnormal psychologists are paid to study abnormal human behavior. (Image: Hemera Technologies/ Images)

In 2008, a total of 170,200 people were working as psychologists in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau projects the number of jobs will grow by 19,700 by 2018, an increase of 12 percent. Salaries for psychologists can vary by area of specialization. Abnormal psychologists study abnormal behavior, both mild and extreme, and are paid salaries comparable to other research psychologists.

Average Salary

Determining the average salary for an abnormal psychologist is not a simple exercise as no definitive sources provide an exact figure. However, an average salary range can be deduced by examining more than one source. For instance, Simply Hired indicates that the average salary for an abnormal psychologist was $54,000 as of June 2010. Similarly, CB Salary indicates the average salary for abnormal psychologists was $56,217 as of June 2010.

Pay Scale

The pay scale for abnormal psychologists shows that salaries vary greatly across a wide spectrum. According to CB Salary, the median salary of abnormal psychologists was $56,217 as of June 2011. The middle 50 percent of those working in the abnormal psychology field made salaries ranging from $36,263 per year to $75,347 annually. This means that the typical salary for those working in this field tends to range between these two extremes.


Location also provides a fairly reliable indicator of what abnormal psychologist can expect to make. According to a survey of abnormal psychologists in 10 major U.S. cities conducted by Salary Expert, abnormal psychologists made between $47,610 and $62,360 per year as of June 2011. Those working in Chicago earned $62,360, in Charlotte $47,610, in New York City and Manhattan $61,240, and in Dallas $48,722. Areas with higher living costs tend to pay toward the top end of this pay scale, while those known for lower living costs tend to be toward the bottom.

Job Outlook

The 12 percent growth in new jobs for psychologists is expected to occur because of the continued growth and aging of the existing population. The BLS indicates that the best job opportunities will be for those who have a Ph.D. in their field of expertise. The bureau indicates that more psychologists will be needed to deal with various types of abnormal behavioral problems. Some jobs will be directly related to the growth of the elderly community and the associated disorders that often accompany aging.

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