Child psychologists diagnose and treat children age 17 and younger with mental issues and social, behavioral and emotional problems that stem from those mental issues. Child psychologist salaries in the US are the highest at $72,580 followed by New Zealand with NZ$81,500 ($59,035.34 USD), while those in South Africa and India have the lowest earnings at R12,998.27 and Rs7,911.85, respectively.
Experience, geographic region and work setting affect salary ranges worldwide with additional details outlined in this guide.
How Much Does a Child Psychologist Make per Year?
Child Psychologist Salaries
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Factors that Influence the Child Psychologist Salary
Because of the education required to practice as a child psychologist, this factor is not a heavy influence in salary range. According to payscale.com and indeed.com, salary ranges for child psychologists vary based on experience, geographic region and work setting.
1. Geographic Area
Child Psychologist Salary in US
Child psychologists in the US earn an average yearly salary of $72,580. Those beginning their careers earn just under $40,000 on average while experienced professionals can see incomes in excess of $105,000 with salary and bonus. For those who move to private practice, salary ranges can be significantly higher at nearly $200,000 per year.
Child Psychologist Salary in Canada
Child psychologists in Canada earn C$68,784 per year on average; however, income levels can vary greatly depending on work setting. According to canadianbusiness.com, those working in an institutional setting such as a hospital may earn C$100,000 compared to C$200,000 for those in private practice. Geographic region within Canada also affects income as professional associations have recommended guidelines for hourly rates with Ontario at $225 and Alberta at $180 per hour.
Child Psychologist Salary in UK
Most child psychologist positions in UK are funded under the National Health Service (NHS) Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). According to nhs.uk, while in training, individuals are classified at Band 5 and earn a starting yearly salary of £21,692 to £28,180. Upon completing training and earning full certification, child psychologists advance to Band 6 with a salary between £26,041 and £34,876.
Those at the senior level bring home between £39,632 and £47,559 at Band 8a. While the NHS scale may be referred to as a guideline, those working in private practice have the potential to earn significantly higher incomes as there is no standard fee scale. Geographic region also affects pay with child psychologists in London earning 16.5% more than the national average.
Child Psychologist Salary in Australia
In Australia, child psychologists earn a median yearly salary of AU$58,958. Entry level professionals earn about AU$24,328 per year compared to those at the senior level who bring home about AU$147,949. The American Psychological Association (psychology.org.au) states that demand is growing in schools where child psychologists are needed. This demand will likely help maintain income levels for these positions.
Child Psychologist Salary in New Zealand
Child psychologists in New Zealand may work in positions funded by the District Health Board (DHB) or in private practice. According to careers.govt.nz, while in training, salaries for interns working for the DHB are between NZ$51,000 and NZ$54,000 a year.
Upon completion of training and earning certification, salaries increase to a range of NZ$64,000 to NZ$88,000 and senior level professionals earn between NZ$91,000 and NZ$112,000. Those who work in private practice have the potential to earn significantly higher amounts of between NZ$108,000 and NZ$288,000.
Child Psychologist Salary in India
Child psychologists in India earn a median income of Rs 527,285 per year. Work setting has an impact on salaries as those who work in a hospital setting earn between Rs 90,244 and Rs 681,483 compared to those in private practice with salaries ranging from Rs 88,912 and Rs 747,604. At the low end are child psychologists who work in counseling centers with salaries between Rs 77,516 and Rs 403,016.
Child Psychologist Salary in South Africa
Child psychologists in South Africa earn about R180,000 per year. Those beginning their careers have incomes of about R100,000 compared to experienced professionals who earn just over R500,000.
Child psychologists are highly educated and skilled healthcare professionals; however, worldwide data shows they do not have a lot of professional experience. For this reason, those with more experience have the potential for higher earnings. According to payscale.com, 82% of child psychologists in Australia and 87% in South Africa have four years’ experience or less.
In Canada and UK, child psychologists with nine years’ experience or less total 89% and 90%, respectively. This indicates that within a relatively short period of time professionals can earn higher level salaries. In fact, experienced child psychologists in UK earn 585% more than those beginning their career. In Australia, the gap between salaries for entry level and experienced professionals is 506%.
To practice as a child psychologist in most countries, an individual must have an undergraduate degree, graduate level education and one to two years of supervised training. Licensure also requires passing an exam and maintaining continuing education and training.
Child psychologists work in schools, hospitals, agencies and private practice. Those employed in private practice often have potential for the highest earnings, and additional bonuses are more common for those working in the private sector. This career can be challenging and stressful as a result of working with children suffering from mental issues; however, professionals in the field indicate high job satisfaction gained from helping children cope with and overcome their problems.
Work hours for child psychologists vary depending on work setting, but 37.5 to 40 hours is typically regarded as full-time. Those employed in schools will have work hours that correspond with the school day and school year schedule. For those employed in hospitals where 24-hour care is provided, work hours can span any time or day of the week.
Clinics and agencies generally offer hours Monday through Friday during typical business hours. For those in private practice, normal hours often mirror those of clinics and agencies; however, evening and weekend hours may be necessary to accommodate client schedules. Some agencies and clinics also offer part-time hours.
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
A full benefits package that includes medical, dental and vision coverage is common worldwide for employees. If self-employed in private practice, insurance is often the responsibility of one’s self. Child psychologists working in the private sector may see potential for bonuses. In UK, the NHS offers a supplement for working in high-cost areas in and near London.
Global demand for child psychologists is high and continues to increase with all countries covered in this guide indicating higher demand than supply. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) estimates growth in the field at 19% from 2014 through 2024. According to careers.govt.nz, there is a shortage of child psychologists in New Zealand that has prompted the government to actively recruit experienced professionals from overseas to relocate and work in the country.
While lower than physician salaries in the healthcare field, child psychologists earn respectable incomes and have the potential for additional bonuses. A career in this field offers a high level of job satisfaction and a positive outlook on future employment opportunities.