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Salary and Career Info for a Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology

Counseling psychology education is generally offered through doctoral programs that include extensive research or clinical training. Continue reading for an overview of the programs as well as career and salary info, and some career options for graduates.

Essential Information

The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree prepares prospective counseling psychologists to apply psychological and developmental principles to elicit certain cognitive and behavioral responses. While similar to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Counseling Psychology, a Psy.D. degree program emphasizes clinical practice.

Career Title Counseling Psychologist
Education Requirements Ph.D. or Psy.D. Degree in Counseling Psychology
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022) * 12% (Clinical, counseling and school psychologists)*
Median Annual Salary (2012) $67,650*

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

After earning their doctoral degrees in counseling psychology, individuals might go on to become practicing counseling psychologists. They could also have the option of building careers in research or academic teaching.

Salary Information for a Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology

A counseling psychology specialization in a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) program focuses on fostering lifelong healthy psychological development in addition to addressing mental illness, and is one of the most general specializations recognized by the American Psychological Association. Mental health counselors who work for insurance companies and the government earned more, on average, than counselors working in outpatient care centers and hospitals, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). The BLS reported the median salary for counseling psychologists to be $67,650 as of May 2012.

Career Information

The BLS expected employment of counseling psychologists to grow by 12% from 2012 to 2022, due to the increase in psychological services rendered at schools, hospitals, substance abuse clinics and social service agencies. Holders of doctoral degrees, either a Ph.D. or a Psy.D., are expected to have better employment prospects over master's and bachelor's degree holders.

Counseling Psychology Ph.D. and Psy.D. Programs

Counseling psychology doctoral students can choose a Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Psychology program. Both degree programs require similar coursework and internship placements over 4-7 years, and a doctoral dissertation at the end of the degree program. A Ph.D. program focuses more on research, while a Psy.D. focuses more on clinical hands-on training, providing more training in psychological assessments and testing than Ph.D. programs. The research-intensive Ph.D. program prepares graduates for careers in research and teaching, while a Psy.D.-holder is more likely to find work in clinical settings. However, both degrees are recognized by all state licensing agencies for counseling psychologists.

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