Why do psychologists make so little money?

In a social survey, 95% of students said that they had chosen their degree program on the basis of their interests.In contrast, only 47% saw a high income as the most important criterion. However, in the field of psychology, depending on the field of activity (for example in clinical psychology), you have to dig pretty deep into your pockets. Clinical psychologists have to complete a corresponding postgraduate training after studying psychology. Such training can take several years and cost a lot of money (usually this training has to be financed by yourself).

The question of all: What do you earn in psychology?

Your salary depends on various factors and can be quite different. In addition to your qualifications and professional experience, the industry, company size and region are key influencing factors. According to the AMS, the starting salary for psychologists is average 2.740 € to 2.930 € gross.

Looking at the different Occupational fields in psychology, according to the AMS career compass, you can expect the following salaries:

  • Clinical Psychology: € 2,850 to € 3,130
  • Neuropsychology: € 2,850 to € 3,130
  • School psychology: € 2,740 to € 2,900
  • Health psychology: € 2,740 to € 2,900

Basically: as a psychologist with own practice or in business you earn more than if you are employed in a practice or clinic. With your own practice you have a higher professional risk and expenses, but a monthly income of up to 6.000 € possible.

After graduation usually means before additional training

After this master Most finished psychologists are said to be costly Additional training and unpaid internships must complete in order to have a chance on the job market. For example, if you want to work as a clinical psychologist in Austria, you need a degree in psychology (master's or master's degree) and a postgraduate education. This training includes a theoretical and practical part lasting approx. 1 to 2 years with accompanying supervision. According to Veronika Holzgruber, Vice President of the Professional Association for Psychologists (BÖP), the number of practical hours can be achieved in one year, depending on the employment relationship. The practical lessons are accompanied by theory blocks, case studies and project work, which often have the scope of a master’s thesis. At the University of Graz, this includes postgraduate training 3 semesters with 54 ECTS. The course costs are € 4,960 (including admission and examination fees, excluding personal experience and supervision). If you add the chargeable units to this amount Self-awareness, the total financial burden is between at least € 7,810 and € 8,220.

Additional qualifications & further training: This increases your career opportunities

The acquisition of additional qualifications and the willingness for lifelong learning will greatly increase your job opportunities. You don't necessarily have to focus on psychology - similar ones Departments also have exciting additional qualifications ready. Examples are:

  • pedagogy
  • Health science
  • Social work

If you are more drawn to business after your psychology degree, business expertise is also a great advantage in order to be able to assert yourself against business administration graduates.

Job prospects: Mental stress within the Austrian population is increasing

Even if the psychology degree is very popular and the graduation rate is correspondingly high, the career prospects depend particularly on the department. Prof. Dr. Michael Krämer: "Unemployment among psychologists is even lower than among other academics and the demand for psychologists has increased in recent years." The increased demand can be explained by an increase in psychological stress within the population. Scientific survey data show: In the course of a year, every fifth person in Austria has a mental illness such as depression or anxiety disorder. A total of 1.2 million Austrians are affected by a mental illness. The University of Vienna's graduate tracking also provides reassuring news: On average, graduates take up their first job 2 months after graduation.

In which professional fields you are in demand as a psychologist and what you can expect from your career entry, we have in the blog post "Career entry psychology: Does the course promise more than just expensive further training?" summarized for you.