Starting salaries in psychology

Starting salaries in psychology

If you’re studying  Psychology,  you may be wondering what you can expect to earn once you graduate.In today’s article, we’ll look at starting salaries in the field of psychology.

Factors that influence your salary

In a field as broad as psychology, there are many factors that can influence your future salary. The type of employment will play a major role. Are you planning to work in the public or private sector? Or perhaps you’d like to be your own boss and set up as an independent psychologist or consultant.

As an employee in the public sector, you’ll be paid according to the Public Service Wage Agreement ( TVöD, Ö This is divided into different pay groups and levels of experience. The TVöD also differentiates according to your qualifications and years of experience. It is worth considering a master’s degree as this will enable you to start on a higher level salary.

In the private sector, your salary will be influenced by multiple factors, such as your qualifications and professional training, the location and size of the company, the position you are aiming for, and the sector you hope to work in. Whichever type of employment you opt for, your practical experience and qualifications will play a key role.

Starting out in the healthcare sector

Many psychology students aspire to a career in the healthcare sector after they graduate. Psychotherapy and clinical psychology are particularly popular professional fields. As a psychotherapist, your salary could range from 3600 to 5000 euro gross per month ( Your earnings as a psychologist will also depend on your employer. You can expect to earn around 33,000 euro gross per year working for social services as a graduate with two years of professional experience ( In an educational institution or the healthcare sector, you can earn a gross annual salary of around 36,000 euros ( Research institutes generally offer the highest salaries in the public sector paying approx 1000-1500 euros more per year.

Counseling psychology is another career option for psychology graduates. There are many professional openings for counseling psychologists in a wide range of contexts from schools and other educational institutions, to therapy for depression and addiction problems, or relationship counseling. As a psychological consultant, you can expect an hourly wage of 40 to 50 euro when you start your career ( Once you’ve built up a reputation, this could increase to as much as 150-200 euro per hour (

Of course, you may also decide to specialize further; according to the statutory scale of fees for sports psychologists (GOSP 2012,, you can charge an hourly fee of 75 euro as a sports psychologist. Other interesting specializations include traffic psychology, rehabilitation psychology, and legal psychology, which covers the fields of forensic and criminal psychology.

Psychologists in business and management

As a qualified psychologist, there are numerous opportunities outside the field of healthcare. There are many exciting and well-paid jobs in  business psychology. As a junior HR manager, you can earn a starting salary of around 3500 euro gross per month ( Entry-level salaries for recruitment consultants are also around 3200 euro gross per month ( In the business sector, you may also receive an additional annual bonus.

Working in the business world also offers other advantages, such as excellent opportunities for advancing your career and the associated increase in earnings. Your salary will rise as you climb the career ladder and could reach between 6000 and 10,000 euros per month (

Other potential career paths in business psychology include occupational health management, change management, and sales psychology, as well as product development and online marketing management. 

With a degree in psychology, you can work in a wide range of professions. Many graduates aspire to a career in the healthcare sector, but there are also great job opportunities in business psychology. Whatever career path you choose, practical experience and qualifications matter. So specializing with a master’s degree and additional professional training will enhance your career prospects.

Starting salaries in digital business and data sciences

Are you fascinated by about digital transformation, big data, and data analysis? If you are studying a combination of management and programming, you are probably curious to know what you can expect to earn as a fresh graduate. In our next article in the ‘Starting salaries’ series on Friday, August 2, 2019, we’ll take a close look at entry-level pay in the fields of digital business and data sciences .

Are you are still looking for your ideal study program in this field? You can find out all you need to know about our  Digital Business & Data Sciences bachelor’s program.

Contact us to know more

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