Salary: how much does a psychologist earn?

To become a psychologist, you must have a bachelor's degree in “psychology” and a master's degree in “psychology”. You must also have completed a scientific dissertation and professional practice. Every psychologist has an ADELI number that allows the patient to ensure that the professional they are contacting is using their title correctly. Because, be careful, the word “psy” covers different realities.

A psychologist is not a doctor. However, he is authorized to conduct psychological evaluations, as well as intelligence and personality tests. He can choose to become a psychotherapist just like psychiatrists. The latter are doctors with completed ten-year studies. They are authorized to prescribe medicines. Their meetings are covered by social insurance. As for psychoanalysts, they do not necessarily have a state diploma. To obtain this title, you must have theoretical training and perform a self-analysis.

Psychologists can work in the hospital or territorial public sector or for the judicial protection of young people. In that case, their remuneration is determined according to the scales of civil servants. They can also work in medical-social institutions such as a medical-psycho-pedagogical center (CMPP) or an educational and pedagogical therapeutic institute (ITEP). Their salary then depends on the applicable national collective agreements. Finally, psychologists can choose private practice. In this case, their salary is not regulated by any legal text.

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1,730 euros net per month for psychologists in the hospital public service

The favorite occupation of the French (Top-metiers.fr 2023 ranking), it is not the best paid. In general, psychologists “do not earn much at the same level of study,” reports Florent Simon, general secretary of the national union of psychologists (SNP), and this is especially true early in their careers. According to the SNP, psychologists who start in the hospital civil service receive 1,730 euros net per month. Those who work in national education receive 1,898 euros net. As for psychologists in the public service of state justice, their salary is 2,150 euros net per month including the Ségur amount (183 euros). Social workers employed in public service and health and social institutions, such as psychologists, receive 183 euros net per month in addition to their salary. This measure came into effect on April 29, 2022. The salary of a psychologist in the public service varies depending on the promotion in the ranks. For example, for a normal class hospital psychologist, step 1 corresponds to a gross salary of 1,944.50 euros per month. At level 5, the index salary is 2,274.32 euros gross. At the last level, 11, the compensation is 3337.64 euros gross per month.

As for psychologists working in a medico-social institution, the salary is 1,910 euros net with Ségur (183 euros) at the beginning of their career if the psychologist is subject to the national collective agreement of 1951. If attached to the national collective agreement of 1966, the remuneration is 2,475 euros net with insurance (183 euros) for beginner psychologists. At the end of the career, the salary rises to “3,500 euros net”, according to the SNP.

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For professionals who work independently, it is more difficult to estimate the amount of salary. Rather, liberal psychologists can choose the status of microentrepreneurs. In this case, there are no official figures. If they decide on real costs, accounting agencies increase the salaries of psychologists. The National Union of Psychologists estimates that the salary at the beginning of a career is 1,557 euros net. This figure is “biased”, explains Florent Simon. “In private practice, many psychologists work in mixed activities. They work both in institutions or health and social institutions and in private practice,” he explains.

Furthermore, if liberal psychologists “have no difficulty in creating a patient base”, notes the SNP general secretary, their salary is limited by the nature of the work. Each session lasts between “45 minutes and 1 hour and 15 minutes”. “In one day, a psychologist cannot receive many patients compared to other health professionals”, which explains “rather slow and limited career development”.

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