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The Southern Mind: Psychology Salaries in Georgia
Psychologist and patient by Mike Renlund
In Georgia, people with doctoral degrees in psychology may call themselves “psychologists,” if they work for an accredited research lab, college or university, and don’t charge fees to clients. However, those wanting to charge fees, as in a solo practice, must have a Ph.D., and at least two years of psychology experience, and pass written and oral exams administered by the State Board of Examiners of Psychologists.
The U.S. Department of Labor shows that clinical, counseling and school psychologists in Georgia earn a mean $33.69 per hour or $70,080 per year. Other types of psychologists make $37.65 per hour or $78,310 per year. Both types comprise among the highest-paid life, physical and social science occupations, where the average mean is $29.63 per hour or $61,620 per year. Psychologists’ salaries are over 60 percent greater than the mean wages for all workers in the state, which run $20.32 per hour or $42,270 per year.
In the state’s largest city of Atlanta, the pay for clinical, counseling and school psychologists averages $33.70 per hour or $70,100 per year, which is lower than the state mean for the profession. The wages for all other psychologists, at a mean $34.51 per hour or $71,780 per year, is similarly depressed. These wages contrast with the higher than state means of $31.26 per hour or $65,020 for all life, physical and social science occupations in the city. It also goes against the higher than state means of $22.33 per hour or $46,440 per year for all workers in the city.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies the rural area of the state into four regions: North, Middle, East and South. South Georgia shows the highest wages for clinical, counseling and school psychologists at a mean $37.54 per hour or $78,080 per year, which is slightly under the state mean. The lowest wages are in Middle Georgia, with means of $27.73 per hour or $57,670 per year. None of the rural regions show any statistics for other types of psychologists.
The Georgia Labor Market Explorer predicts that jobs for clinical, counseling and school psychologists will increase by 28.1 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is an annual growth rate of 2.5 percent. This puts it at the lower end of increases for all jobs with Ph.D.s in the state. Some of the lower growth rates belong to postsecondary teachers and medical scientists at 27.9 percent and 28.1 percent respectively. More typical growth rates include 38.2 percent for psychology teachers, 38.5 percent for art and drama teachers, and 39.8 percent for social science teachers. However, the increases for psychology Ph.D. holders are far greater than the declining growth that animal scientists and biophysicists will suffer at –7.3 percent and –12.3 percent respectively.
© Copyright 2011 by Aurelio Locsin.
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