How Much Do Psychologists Make In Australia?

Psychologists in Australia earn about AU$70,000 to over AU$170,000 every year. The median annual salary of psychologists in Australia is AU$85,700 with AU$59,000 as the base salary.

Most people strongly consider the salary rating of any potential career before committing efforts towards getting qualifications. And if you plan to become a qualified psychologist, several factors can influence your pay scale.

That’s why this article provides valuable details to add clarity to your career path as a psychologist. You’ll also get vital information on the best specialty psychology areas that earn more money in Australia.

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How Much Do Psychologists Make in Australia?

These are average annual salaries of psychologists across professions in Australia:

  • Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors – AU$64,900
  • Sports Psychologist – AU$92,600
  • Social Worker – AU$70,800
  • School Psychologist – AU$78,300
  • School Counselor – AU$80,600
  • Psychiatrist – AU$254,300
  • Neuropsychologist – AU$127,500
  • Marriage/Family Therapists – AU$70,100
  • Industrial Psychologist – AU$130,200
  • Health Psychologist – AU$107,350
  • Forensic Psychologist – AU$92,900
  • Developmental Psychologist – AU$86,100
  • Clinical Psychologist – AU$107,400
  • Career and School Counselor – $70,700

The figures above are estimates and might not represent how much psychologists actually earn across professions. However, these numbers provide a basis to measure how much psychologists earn in different sectors.

It’s also worth noting that several factors can influence the median annual salary of psychologists. The next section sheds more light on these factors and how they affect how much psychologists earn in Australia.

Highest Paying Cities for Psychologists in Australia

Psychologists who practice in Perth, Darwin, and Melbourne earn much more than colleagues in other locations. Other high-earning cities for psychologists are Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney, and Adelaide.

Factors that Influence Salary Potential of Psychologists in Australia

Checking pay estimates is one way to know how lucrative a profession is. However, psychologists must consider other factors to earn more in their chosen profession.

The following factors directly influence how much a psychologist earns after offering professional services:

Location of practice

Exposure to lucrative markets is essential for psychologists.

A psychologist with the best skills will only receive meager pay while practicing in a hard-to-reach area. Often times, psychologists may earn less than expected when they practice in an area with little demand for their services.

Psychologists that set up their practice in large cities like Perth, Darwin, and other big cities usually charge higher rates. You need to consider the following before setting up your practice at any location:

  • Average salaries of psychologists and other professionals in related fields,
  • Demand for therapy, counselling, and mental health care services,
  • Proximity to the target population who seek professional psychological assistance, etc.

In some rare cases, psychologists may earn competitive rates with colleagues practicing in larger cities. However, most factors cited above must be in your favor to earn more as a psychologist in Australia.

Most importantly, your location might introduce other factors that can increase your expenses.

Consider the weight of living expenses on your annual salary before moving to developed cities. Sometimes, psychologists who live and work in Wollongong might have more cash left than colleagues in Sydney and other mega-cities.


Psychologists with advanced degrees might have good job prospects and job opportunities in several Australian cities. However, psychologists with doctoral degrees usually earn more and have greater career prospects.

Attaining the terminal level of psychologists in Australia will likely place your practice in a specialty area. Specialty psychologists usually earn much more than entry-level practitioners across Australian cities.

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Your chosen industry for psychology practice has a huge impact on your overall annual earnings. Psychologists on high pay scales usually work for private companies and large industries or organizations.

Most psychologists on low pay scales usually work in the public education sector. Counsellors and social workers in the psychology field earn a lot less than colleagues in clinical practice too.


Psychologists earn more for their services as they accumulate experience from practice. In most specialty areas, a psychologist’s experience might be the only factor considered while drafting a pay scale.

Experienced psychologists are expected to earn tens of thousands more than entry-level practitioners. Psychologists improve their professional skills with time and should expect more pay.

Over time, psychologists develop a reputation among clients and colleagues. Amassed experience and professional worth helps a psychologist grow their worth and pay check.


Specialty psychologists are in high demand and professionals are usually few and far between across cities. Some of the most sought-after specialty psychologists could charge 2 to 3 times more than regular practitioners.

Several specialty psychology careers require special training and certification before practice. Such special status gives psychologists more leverage to set consultation, therapy, and intervention fees at high rates.

Top Earning Psychology Careers in Australia

These careers in psychology pays much more annually than other professions do. Get more information on these careers and their average annual salary estimates below:

Forensic psychologist

Qualified forensic psychologists must possess a Masters or doctorate degree in forensic, counselling, or clinical psychology.

Psychologists in this field perform the following duties:

  • Creating psychological profiles,
  • Handling child custody issues,
  • Child abuse investigation,
  • Expert testimony services,
  • Witness preparation,
  • Training of law enforcement officers, etc.

Forensic psychologists can earn between AU$70,000 and AU$80,000 per year. The industry of practice could increase the average annual salary of a forensic psychologist.

Counselling psychologist

Counselling psychologists usually require a Ph.D. or equivalent qualification to practice in Australia.

A counselling psychologist performs psychotherapy, mental health therapy, and related treatments. These psychologists usually work with patients experiencing mild to average symptoms of mental illness.

Some counselling psychologists can also specialize in research and many of them practice in the public education sector. Regular counselling psychologists earn up to AU$90,000 per year.

Engineering psychologist

Entry-level engineering psychologists require a Masters while advanced level practitioners must possess a doctorate degree in psychology.

These psychologists practice in industry, R & D, and related fields to enhance the design of several engineering systems. The focus of engineering psychologists is to:

  • Minimize injury from operating certain systems,
  • Improve productivity of systems, and
  • Increase system efficiency

The employment area of an engineering psychologist determines their average annual salary. Most engineering psychologists receive between AU$100,000 and AU$120,000 as annual salaries.

Clinical psychologist

Clinical psychologists usually require a doctoral degree to practice in Australia. In some areas, clinical psychologists must complete a supervised residency and licensing examinations to practice legally.

Clinical psychologists assess, diagnose, treat and engage preventive measures against mental illnesses. Most psychologists in Australia practice in this field.

These psychologists practice privately or in hospitals and mental health clinics. Experienced clinical psychologists usually earn up to 50% more than newly-qualified practitioners.

Entry-level psychologists earn about AU$90,000 annually while veterans can earn up to AU$140,000 per year.


Neuropsychologists require a doctoral degree in neuropsychology to work in Australia. An intending neuropsychologist can also practice with a doctorate degree in clinical psychology.

Neuropsychologists study the human brain and other forms of cognitive science. Qualified neuropsychologists perform the following duties:

  • Conducting brain scans
  • Brain injury assessments
  • Studies on the impact of drug abuse on nervous system functions

Most neuropsychologists practice at these locations:

  • Universities
  • Research centers
  • Hospitals, and
  • Mental health institutions

A qualified neuropsychologist can earn within AU$130,000 to AU$150,000 per annum.

Industrial Psychologist

Industrial psychologists require a Masters in I/O psychology to practice in Australia. In some cases, a doctoral degree may be required for some industrial psychologists to practice their profession.

Earning a doctoral degree as an industrial psychologist makes more opportunities available and increases the average pay scale.

Industrial psychologists employ their knowledge towards solving issues in the workplace. Some duties of an industrial psychologist include:

  • Increase workforce productivity
  • Employee selection for specific duties
  • Developing research surveys for markets, etc.

Industrial psychologists working in science R & D industries could earn up to AU$200,000 every year. However, industrial psychologists in the public education sector might earn about $140,000 annually.


A psychiatrist may be considered as a medical practitioner, but this profession shares several ties with psychology. Psychiatrists require several years of undergraduate and postgraduate study to qualify for practice.

After earning degree, psychiatrists need to graduate from relevant medical schools and complete their residency.

Psychiatrists could earn over $240,000 per year when they practice in Australian cities with massive demand for their services. No other profession linked to psychology earns more as a mean annual salary.

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10 Top Earning Specialty Psychology Careers in Australia

These specialty careers are in demand and psychologists can expect earnings around these estimates:

  1. Clinical social workers
  2. Community counsellors/psychologists
  3. Counselling psychologists
  4. Domestic violence counsellors
  5. Educational psychologists
  6. Geriatric social workers
  7. Family and marriage counsellors
  8. Medical/public health social workers
  9. Substance abuse/ mental health social workers
  10. Rehabilitation counsellors and psychologists

The factors described above can increase or decrease actual figures psychologists in these areas get to earn.

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Dave P
Dave P
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