Research Psychologist Salary: What You’ll Make and Why

Research psychologists make around $81,793 to $128,362 on average in the US, depending on experience, location, skills, and other factors.

According to various salary aggregate websites, a research psychologist’s salary in the US ranges between $81,793 and $128,362, with an average salary of $98,897. As of June 2022, the base salaries for research psychologists are listed as follows:


Keep in mind: Salary aggregate websites typically rely on data submitted anonymously by individuals using their site. Some websites may have received larger amounts of data of either higher or lower than average salaries, which may affect the site’s calculated average.

Read more: What Is a Research Psychologist? How to Become One

What influences a salary?

The salary of a research psychologist can be impacted by a number of factors, including their years of experience, the type of employer, and the geographical location. Here we will take a closer look at how these factors can affect a research psychologist’s salary.

Years of experience

Salary increases are generally tied to your experience level. In general, the more years you spend working as a research psychologist, the more you can expect to earn. Here’s how experience can impact your research psychologist salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Compensation Survey.

Level of experienceSalary
Entry-level (less than 1 year)$50,875
Early career (1 to 4 years)$81,719
Mid career (5 to 9 years)$109,422
Experienced (10 to 19 years)$117,989
Late career (20+ years)$131,826

Where you live can also impact how much you can make as a research psychologist. Typically, working in a large metropolitan area correlates to a higher salary, as well as a higher cost of living.

Here is a list of some major cities with their corresponding average research psychologist salary according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

CityAverage Salary
Chicago, IL$117,090
Washington DC, DC$103,598
Houston, TX$102,591
Philadelphia, PA$100,339
Seattle, WA$98,670
Milwaukee, WI$86,403
Salt Lake City, UT$85,316
Miami, FL$79,815
Pittsburgh, PA$78,472
Indianapolis, IN$77,484

How does this compare to similar jobs?

Here’s how a research psychologist’s salary stacks up against similar jobs.

Related JobsAverage Salary
Clinical Psychologist$100,800
Counseling Psychologist$86,938
Developmental Psychologist$72,767
Educational Psychologist$93,411
Forensic Psychologist$105,116
Health Psychologist$81,738
Industrial-Organizational Psychologist$111,034
Sports Psychologist$73,512

How to increase your research psychologist salary

Now that you have a better idea of what you could expect to earn as a research psychologist, let’s look at ways to boost your salary.

1. Strengthen your skills

Pursuing and improving in-demand skills could make you more competitive for promotions and higher-paying positions. These skills include:

  • Experimental Design: Understand how to design research studies to test hypotheses
  • Data Analysis: Analyze data using statistical methods to draw conclusions
  • Literature Review: Conduct reviews of the scientific literature to identify gaps in knowledge
  • Grant Writing: Write proposals to secure funding for research projects
  • Presentation: Present research findings at conferences and in scientific journals
2. Take more responsibilities

Research psychologists often work on teams, and one way to increase your salary is to take on more responsibility within your team. This could involve leading a project, presenting your findings to clients, or teaching a class on your area of expertise. By taking on more responsibility, you’re showing that you’re an asset to your team, and that you’re worth more money.

3. Seek regular feedback

Research psychologists should seek regular feedback from their supervisors in order to identify areas in which they can improve their performance. Additionally, research psychologists should keep up to date on the latest developments in their field, as this can make them more valuable to their employers.

Article Sources

1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “National Compensation Survey,” Accessed June 2, 2022.

2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Employment and Wages,” Accessed June 2, 2022.

3. Payscale. “Psychologist Salary,” Accessed June 2, 2022.

4. Ziprecruiter. “Research Psychologist Annual Salary,” Accessed June 2, 2022.

5. Indeed. “Indeed Salary Finder,” Accessed June 2, 2022.

6. “Research Psychologist Salary,” Accessed June 2, 2022.

7. Glassdoor. “Research Psychologist Salaries,,21.htm.” Accessed June 2, 2022.


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