How much do sports psychologists make?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the mean annual salary for psychologists in general in 2014 was $89,810. The range of salaries recorded was quite large, with the bottom 10 percent of earners making less than $42,230 annually and the top 10 percent taking home more than $120,670.
Sports psychologists tend to be employed among a relatively narrow selection of industries. Here are the 2014 mean annual salary figures reported by the BLS for a few industries where sports psychologists might find jobs:
- Outpatient care centers: $170,930
- General medical and surgical hospitals: $92,930
- Offices of physicians: $83,230
- Colleges, universities and professional schools: $64,490
The BLS data isn't specific to sports psychologists and includes other professionals in the field as well. According to the American Psychology Association, sports psychologists may be able to command higher incomes than those listed here. The association notes university athletic departments typically pay psychologists between $60,000-$80,000 a year, with some in the field making as much as $100,000.
Geographical location can also factor heavily into a sports psychologist salary. Here are the five states where psychologists were paid the highest mean annual salaries in 2014, according to BLS data:
- Illinois: $125,230
- Minnesota: $120,500
- Maryland: $100,710
- Virginia: $99,410
- Wisconsin: $98,910
Of these, Virginia may be a particularly good choice for aspiring sports psychologists, according to a cost of living index produced by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. Not only is the state reported as one of the top five highest paying states for psychology professionals, but Virginia is also listed as 20th on the cost of living index, making it the most affordable state of those listed above.