The focus of health psychologists is the study and implementation of healthy living and disease prevention through clinical counselling, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They also help those dealing with chronic and terminal medical conditions adjust psychologically and behaviorally to improve their quality of life. Health psychologists make salaries above the national average.
The average income of a health psychologist was reported to be £47,001 per year as of 2009 in the BLS' publication Occupational Employment Statistics. This makes for an hourly wage of £22.6 for clinical, counselling and school psychologists, a group that includes the speciality of health psychology.
The lowest and highest reported wages by the BLS were £25,525 and £71,155 per year, the 10th and 90th percentile respectively. The middle 50 per cent of health psychologists under the clinical, counselling and school psychologists category made between £32,636 and £55,425 per year or £15.6 and £26.6 per hour.
The industry a health psychologist practices in affects the average salary he can expect. For example, those health psychologists working in the offices of other health practitioners made a mean salary of £56,725 per year or £27.2 an hour, while those working in outpatient care centres only averaged £45,253 a year or £21.7 hourly. Those working in a psychiatric or substance abuse hospital averaged £54,028 annually or £25.90 an hour, a 19.3 per cent increase over outpatient care centres but only 5 per cent less than in an office of other health practitioners.
Location affects the salary of health psychologists as it does with all other professionals. The BLS reports health psychologists in Idaho made a mean £41,008 per year, 14 per cent less than the national average. Colleagues in Ohio fared better, taking home an average salary of £52,305. New Jersey reported the highest average income at £60,047, an impressive 21.7 per cent higher than the national average salary of £47,001.
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