Here’s How Much Therapists Really Make

How much Therapists make

Salary for mental health professionals who provide psychotherapy can vary remarkably, depending on the therapist’s licensing, experience and skill set. Other elements that determine how much a therapist may make include professional certifications, years of experience,  and whether the therapist works for a large institution or is self-employed.

Job Description

Therapists provide mental health services to couples, individuals, groups and families in need of care. They may be able to diagnose and identify mental health problems, depending on their scope of practice and skills and. They may also use various therapeutic methods to help clients manage and understand their relationships and emotions better.

Educational Requirements

There are several different kinds of mental health therapists that offer psychotherapy to clientele. These include licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed counsellors, clinical psychologists and clinical social workers. Medical doctors, psychiatrists,  who specialize in the treatment of psychiatric conditions, sometimes also offer therapy, although this has become less common. Psychiatrists predominantly move into providing medication management services to patients.

Each state makes its own regulations for issuing licenses to mental health professionals. Also, there are differences between states and the types of professional titles used to describe different types of practitioners. For instance, some states, such as Texas and California, family therapists and license marriage. In other states like Illinois, this classification doesn’t exist. Anyone who’s keen in taking up a career as a therapist should research the licensing regulations and laws in their state to know what his/her options are.

Because there are different types of licenses for practising psychotherapy, educational requirements also keep changing. In almost every case, the therapist will at least need a master’s degree to practice. Licensed professional counsellors, clinical social workers,  and family and marriage therapists, for instance, must all earn a master’s programme from an approved degree and complete an internship before being able to practice. Clinical psychologists need a doctoral degree, either a Psy.D. or a PhD, and must complete a supervised apprenticeship before being able to practice privately/ independently.

How much do therapists make

Careers in the US:

The numbers below represent the average median salaries for each profession.

  • Marriage and family therapists: $49,170
  • Clinical social workers: $46,890
  • Licensed professional counsellors: $42,840  
  • Clinical and counselling  psychologists: 73,570

Careers in Europe:

There’s no standard scale of fees for private practice work and rates vary considerably. Psychotherapists generally charge between £45 and £110 for a 60-minute session depending on a range of factors, including the client’s circumstances and location.

Careers in Asia:

An experienced Physiotherapist with 10-20 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹411,515. In their late-career (20 years and higher), employees make an average total compensation of ₹610,519.

[ Read: How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant ]


Therapists generally provide their services in an office setup. These offices can be part of a hospital, outpatient or inpatient mental health centre, part of a medical clinic, or a stand-alone office owned or rented by a therapist in private practice. Therapists generally work full time and can offer services on evenings or weekends, depending on personal preferences and client needs.

Years of Experience

Therapists can typically expect to earn more as they gain job experience. The exact salary increases vary between kinds of therapists, however. A survey by indicated the following correlation between years of experience and income for professionals who practice as psychotherapists:

  • 0-5 years: $50,000 
  • 5-10 years: $59,000 
  • 10-20 years: $68,000 
  • 20+ years: $74,000

Job Growth Trend

The BLS predicts robust employment growth for therapists. Job growth projection from 2016 to 2026 are as follows:

  • Counseling psychologists: 14 percent
  • Social workers: 16 percent
  • Mental health counsellors: 23 percent
  • Marriage and family therapists: 23 percent

A Final Note on Therapist Salaries

Before jumping to conclusions, it’s essential to consider the elements that factor into the above figures. With any statistical data, these numbers are meaningless unless you understand what elements generate the sum. 

Remember, there is no set-in-stone salary. Some therapists make $35,000 a year while others fill their bank account thanks to a six-figure salary. The variations can be extreme. And are dictated by whether or not a therapist works for a hospital, the government, or other healthcare facilities, or has their own practice. 

How much you make isn’t dependent on data, but your skillset.