A psychological therapist is a trained psychologist who specializes in counseling patients who grapple with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. These licensed professionals usually work on an outpatient basis, helping people deal with emotional or substance abuse problems, as well as family and other relationships. According to the American Psychological Association, millions of Americans have taken advantage of therapists' skills and services in a variety of settings.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 100,850 psychologists were working as therapists in clinics, counseling centers and schools in the United States as of May 2011. These psychologists earned a mean annual wage of $73,090, according to the bureau. The best-paid 10 percent earned $110,410 or more, while the lowest-paid 10 percent earned $39,060 or less.
Most Common Industries:
The largest number of psychological therapists worked as school counselors, numbering 40,930 of the nationwide total. These psychologists earned a mean annual wage of $71,510, according to the bureau. The second-largest employer was private health-practice offices, with 12,670 psychologists finding work in these counseling centers. They earned an average wage of $83,650 a year.
The best-paying industry for psychological therapists is the employment services industry, in which they could make a mean annual wage of $97,060, according to the bureau. Close behind were business schools, where they could make $95,670 a year on average. Scientific research and development was another high-paying industry for these psychologists, paying a mean annual wage of $87,550.
California was the state where the most psychologists worked, according to the bureau, with 15,990 earning a mean annual wage of $84,580. The best-paying state, however, was New Jersey, with a mean annual salary of $96,200. The New York City area had the largest employment among metro regions, with 5,770 therapists earning $88,430 on average. The best-paying area was once again in New Jersey, as psychologists in the Trenton area earned $121,950 a year on average.