Average Mental Health “Clinician” Earns Over $200k


The average salary for psychiatrists and other mental health “clinicians” is $216,000 per year, reports Psychiatry Advisor. The source was the Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2015, a survey of some 19,500 physicians.

Average Mental Health Clinician Compensation More Than $200K (Psychiatry Advisor, April 29, 2015)


  1. And the overwhelming majority of that money is funded by tax payers, since most people who receive psychiatric treatment do not have private insurance or can afford to pay out of pocket. Most of psychiatry’s “patients” are destitute and yet society allows them to pocket all this money just to drug them up in the hospitals and send them back to the streets, their trailers, the ghettos… I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, we’ve got homeless people on the streets in this country who can honestly say that the tax payers have spent MILLIONS on them, and yet there they are…

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  2. Total bullshit.

    I’m sorry but the “average mental health professional” in this story counts pyschiatrists, psychologists, and PMHNPs.

    The bulk of the mental health field, believe it or not, is not comprise of psychiatric prescribers. It is comprised of marriage and family therapists, social workers, and case managers, most of whom work for organizations, not in any sort of private practice. I held one of the highest paid mental health jobs with my former agency, do you know how much money I made? $17 an hour. Today, I make less than 45k a year, and I get paid ABOVE the average in the county. The number of people like me, social workers, therapists or case managers, totally dwarfs the number of psychiatrists, psychologists or psychiatric prescribers – who, yes do get paid a lot more and also represent a far smaller percentage of “mental health professionals” overall.

    Headlines like this really make me angry, because I participate in this community for accurate information – not just headlines that we like because this suit our predisoposed biases based on her belief system.

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    • Hi Andrew,

      I think you’re raising an accurate concern here. I changed the headline in response to your comment, from “professional” to “clinician.” The original source I link to you’ll see uses both terms, but overall I think they, and the source they were using, meant to refer to a specific subgroup of mental health professionals. That said, a more detailed analysis could end up sharpening the specificity even further — I certainly know many psychotherapists in private practice who don’t earn anywhere near that amount.

      Thanks for raising the issue.

      And btw, I do certainly try to check and vet everything I post in Around the Web and In the News at least to some degree, but with time constraints in part I am also simply linking and briefly summarizing things I think may be worthy of reading and further analysis — not always posting things I think are “accurate”. In fact, the majority of what I post here I think can still stand a critical analysis to parse out what’s truly important from what’s bordering on nonsense. So ultimately, no one should read my posts or MIA any less critically than anything else on the web or in the media. And in part we’re creating a ‘community’ at MIA so that we can help each other sharpen our critical approaches on all of these issues. So thanks for the feedback!


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    • The headline is misleading, since the article is discussing payments of physicians only, not the average of all mental health “clinicians.” From the article:

      “The average salary for psychiatrists and other mental health professionals is $216,000 per year, which is above what primary care physicians earn but well below with other specialists make. The results come from the Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2015, which was based on responses from more than 19,500 physicians. Orthopedists were the highest paid doctors, earning an average of $421,000 per year. Pediatricians had the lowest annual pay at $189,500. General practitioners weren’t much higher at $195,000.”

      Definition of Clinician:

      “A clinician is a health care practitioner that works as a primary care giver of a patient in a hospital, skilled nursing facility, clinic, or patient’s home. Only a clinician diagnoses, prescribes treatment, treats, and discharges patients from therapy. For example, physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants are clinicians, a nurse is not; a speech-language pathologist (SLP) is a clinician, a speech-language pathology assistant (SLPA) is not. Clinicians complete graduate degrees (master’s or doctorates) in their field of expertise; complete clinical practicums; and pass national and state testing and certifications before being granted full licensure….”

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  3. The problem is not just that psychiatrists and others enlisted under the aegis of the psychopharmaceutical industrial complex are making exorbitant amounts of money. The real problem is that they are making any money at all. The therapeutic state has devised a way of incentivizing the subjugation and torture of its citizens. Although many good people with good intentions are employed (mostly unwittingly) by the therapeutic state, every dirty cent of the oppressive “mental health” apparatus subsidizes the suffering of untold millions of people.

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  4. In the Occupational Outlook Handbook, psychiatry is listed among the highest paying professions ($173,330 per year): http://www.bls.gov/ooh/mobile/highest-paying.htm

    Mental Health Counselors make a whopping average of $41,500 per year or $19.95 per hour: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm

    Psychiatric Technicians and Aids make, on average, $27,440 per year or $13.19 per hour http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/psychiatric-technicians-and-aides.htm

    Pharmacists, $116,670 per year or $56.09 per hour: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacists.htm

    The search for the term “mafia” rendered no results.

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