Psychologists and Psychotherapists
Psychologists and Psychotherapists investigate, assess and provide treatment and counselling to foster optimal personal, social, educational and occupational adjustment and development.
collecting data about clients and assessing their cognitive, behavioural and emotional disorders
administering and interpreting diagnostic tests and formulating plans for treatment
developing, administering and evaluating individual and group treatment programs
consulting with other professionals on details of cases and treatment plans
conducting research studies of motivation in learning, group performance and individual differences in mental abilities and educational performance
collecting data and analysing characteristics of students and recommending educational programs
formulating achievement, diagnostic and predictive tests for use by teachers in planning methods and content of instruction
developing interview techniques, psychological tests and other aids in workplace selection, placement, appraisal and promotion
conducting surveys and research studies on job design, work groups, morale, motivation, supervision and management
performing job analyses and establishing job requirements by observing and interviewing employees and managers
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow strongly
- is likely to reach 35,100 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 52% of people employed as Psychologists and Psychotherapists work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 14 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 43 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
Median full-time earnings are $2,066 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,730
- 1 in 4 earn more than $2,329
Median hourly earnings are $59, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Psychologists and Psychotherapists||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Most Psychologists and Psychotherapists work in the Health care and social assistance industry. They are also employed in industries like:
- Education and training
- Public administration and safety
- Professional, scientific and technical services.
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Psychologists and Psychotherapists||All Jobs Average|
Around 70% of Psychologists and Psychotherapists live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Sydney - Eastern Suburbs
- Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby
- Newcastle and Lake Macquarie
- Sydney - Inner West
- Sydney - City and Inner South.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Psychologists and Psychotherapists is 44 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 35 to 44 years.
Females make up 80% of the workforce. This is 32 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Psychologists and Psychotherapists||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||8.5||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A postgraduate degree in psychology and a period of supervised practice is needed to work as a Psychologist. While a bachelor degree in psychotherapy is usually needed to work as a Psychotherapist.
Registration with the Psychology Board of Australia is required.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Psychologists and Psychotherapists||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||76.8||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||0.0||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Psychologists who are caring, compassionate, empathetic and work well in a team.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Reading work related information.
Talking to others.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Looking for ways to help people.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
57%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
55%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Teaching people how to do something.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
46%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
43%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
97%Therapy and counselling
Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
77%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
66%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
56%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
53%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
51%Philosophy and theology
Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.
49%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
47%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
45%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
43%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
41%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
32%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
17%History and archeology
Events of the past, their causes, how we learn about them, and how they influence the way we live today.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Communicate by speaking.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Read and understand written information.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
46%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
46%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
39%Speed of recognition
Quickly make sense of and organize things you can see like letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
See details that are far away.
Remember things like words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
Do two or more things at the same time.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
88%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
87%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
84%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
82%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
80%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
78%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
78%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
72%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
71%Negotiating and resolving conflicts
Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.
71%Coaching and developing others
Working out the needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or helping them to improve.
69%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
68%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
67%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
65%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
64%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
63%Coming up with systems and processes
Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.
62%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
59%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
50%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Talk with people face-to-face.
99%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
Talk on the telephone.
96%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
93%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
92%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
92%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
87%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
84%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
Use electronic mail.
83%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
79%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
77%Consequence of error
Work where mistakes have serious consequences.
Work to strict deadlines.
70%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
Deal with conflict or disagreements.
65%Disease or infection
Be exposed to disease or infections.
Work with people in a group or team.
64%Angry or unpleasant people
Deal with unpleasant, angry, or rude people.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-3031.02 - Clinical Psychologists.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.