A psychologist at work
A psychologist at work

Average Psychologist Salary in Australia: What Will I Earn?


Pursuing a career in psychology offers you the chance to make a positive, meaningful impact in the lives of others. The importance of this profession has never been more prominent, with psychologists now counted among the most in-demand professionals in Australia.

Many students seek a psychology degree to enhance their value and employability in industries such as HR, marketing and more. Why? Because a deeper understanding of human behaviour can improve your expertise and give you a cutting edge in a number of career paths. Businesses are made up of humans, after all.

If you’ve considered a postgraduate qualification in this field, you may be wondering, “How much does a psychologist earn?” The short answer is: it depends.

In the article below, we’ll break down the long answer – including the typical psychology salary in Australia depending on specific roles, experience levels, industries and location.

Psychologist salaries by role

When many people picture a career in psychology, they might conjure the image of a professional counselling a client in a one-on-one setting. While this is a popular mode of psychology, it’s only one of the many roles the field has to offer. The realm of psychology is a vast one; there are a number of specialisations that each have their own unique focus and earning potential.

Here’s a glance at the average salaries for common types of psychologists in Australia.

Clinical psychologist

Clinical psychologists often – but not always – work in the one-on-one setting described above. This specialiation provides comprehensive and ongoing mental and behavioural care for individuals, but they can also work with couples, families and groups, and consult with agencies and organisations. People in this profession also work in education settings, conduct research and develop programs.

In Australia, the average annual salary for a clinical psychologist is $107,642 - $124,725, with the higher-paid positions reaching up to $140,000.

Clinical neuropsychologist

Clinical neuropsychologists specialise in assessing, diagnosing and treating people with brain disorders that impact cognitive abilities such as attention, memory, learning, decision-making and more. Neuropsychologists can also work in a research capacity to help improve the diagnosis and treatment of brain-related issues.

In Australia, the average annual salary for a neuropsychologist ranges from $107,642 - $124,725.

Community psychologist

As the title may imply, community psychologists go beyond an individual focus and work specifically with communities, such as rural and remote communities and migrant groups. Their primary aim is to promote positive mental health and well-being at individual, community and systemic levels.

The average community psychologist salary in Australia can range from $92,638 - $117,103.

Counselling psychologist

Counselling psychologists typically adopt a more person-centred approach to assess, diagnose and treat individuals suffering from mental health issues or enduring challenging life circumstances such as grief or trauma. While they are able to diagnose mental health conditions, they cannot prescribe medication – but will refer patients to a specialist who can.

In Australia, counselling psychologists earn an average annual salary between $105,415 - $125,865.

Education psychologist

Specialists who pursue this field of psychology typically work in education or specialised private settings to support children, parents, teachers and carers who may be dealing with child behavioural or developmental issues. The role can involve analysing social, cognitive and behavioural issues in children to provide tailored treatment plans, consulting schools and organisations, educating families and conducting research on development issues to keep up with industry developments.

In Australia, education psychologists earn an average salary of $99,500 - $152,917.

Forensic psychologist

Forensic psychologists are primarily focused on understanding criminal behaviour to prevent crimes and assist people in the legal and criminal justice system, such as police, lawyers and government officials. Much of their work involves interacting with criminal perpetrators, victims and caseworkers to understand the root cause of criminal acts in order to prevent them from occurring or reoccurring.

Salaries for this position can range from around $108,508 - $129,500 and beyond.

Organisational psychologist

Organisational psychologists employ psychological principles and techniques to study and assess individual, group and organisational conditions and behaviour in the workplace. The overall aim of this role is to manage workplace issues such as stress, interpersonal conflicts, motivation and job satisfaction to ultimately improve business performance and retention.

The average salary in Australia for organisational psychologists ranges between $110,798 - $136,344 but the earning potential of this role can increase significantly depending on which organisation you’re employed by. 

Sports and exercise psychologist

Psychologists who specialise in sports and exercise play a key role in supporting elite athletes to reach their performance potential. The role typically involves working with athletes in both a one-on-one and team setting to help them deal with performance anxiety, competition preparation, returning to sport after injury and developing mental resilience needed in high-level competitive sports.

In Australia, the national average salary range of a sport psychologist is $88,490 - $104,365, but this can vary significantly depending on the size and budget of the team or athlete you’re working with. Some reports say sports psychologists can earn up to $400,000.

Psychologist salaries in Australia

Psychologist salaries by industry

As you’ve learned, psychologists can apply their expertise in a number of settings and industries. In addition to experience level and specialisation, a typical psychologist salary in Australia can vary depending on which field you work in.


Psychologist roles in the healthcare industry can span hospitals such as oncology units or palliative care, specialised health clinics, aged care facilities and more. In Australia, the average health psychologist salary sits at $110,234, with higher-paid positions reaching $135,000 and beyond.

Community and social services

Community services psychologists often work in community centres, charity groups, or specialised organisations such as youth services or drug and alcohol clinics.

Talent.com reports that the average social psychologist salary in Australia ranges from $89,041 - $117,000.

Education and training

Psychologists who work in the education and training space may find themselves in educational institutions such as schools and universities or taking an education and training role to develop psychologists working in other sectors such as healthcare or community services.

Talent.com reports the median educational psychologist salary as $117,000+, with higher earners taking home an average of $120,000.

Government and defence

Government and defence psychologists can work in a number of settings, such as working with military members or in higher-level government departments. These roles tend to have high stakes and are compensated accordingly.

Per Indeed.com, these positions can earn up to $186,000 – but salary ranges also vary according to which state you’re in.

Psychologist salaries by state

In many instances, a psychologist salary in Australia is relative to the cost of living and local demand – so it can also vary depending on which state you’re based in.

How much does a psychologist earn in New South Wales?

Indeed.com lists the average psychologist salary in NSW at almost $94,000, and this increases in certain areas.

In Sydney, the average psychologist salary is reported as $93,846 - $120,200+, with higher-paying positions earning $185,000 and beyond.

How much does a psychologist earn in Queensland?

According to Indeed.com, the average psychologist salary for the state of Queensland is $96,270. In the state’s capital, Brisbane, this average increases to $110,000.

How much does a psychologist earn in Victoria?

The average salary for a psychologist in Victoria is almost $100,000, according to Indeed.com, which also lists Melbourne’s average as slightly higher at approximately $101,000.

How much does a psychologist earn in South Australia?

Psychologists working in South Australia can expect an average salary of $95,826, according to Indeed.com – and range up to $110,000, according to Seek.com.

How much does a psychologist earn in the Northern Territory?

Psychologists in the Northern Territory can expect an average of $101,414, with higher-paying positions offering over $130,000 and beyond.

How much does a psychologist earn in Western Australia?

According to Jora.com, psychologist salaries in Western Australia average between $95,000 - $105,000. In the capital city of Perth, the average salary is almost $98,000 and higher-paying positions can earn $140,000 and beyond.

How much does a psychologist earn in Tasmania?

The average salary for a psychologist in Tasmania is listed as almost $90,000 on Indeed.com – with higher-paying positions advertised at up to $110,000. In Hobart, this range increases to $100,000 - $130,000.

Take the next step in your psychology career

Interested in expanding your understanding of human behaviour to take your career to the next level? Whether you’re looking to pursue a profession in psychology or applying the expertise to advance in your current field, a postgraduate qualification in psychology can be an effective way to increase your earning potential.

ECU Online’s Graduate Diploma of Psychology and Graduate Diploma of Advanced Psychology are both fully accredited and designed to equip students with the skills needed to progress in the field of psychology and beyond.

To find out more about studying psychology online with ECU, reach out to one of our Student Enrolment Advisors on 1300 707 760, email future.student@studyonline.ecu.edu.au or download a brochure.

Note: All figures are correct as of February 2024.