Psychology in the Twin Cities: Big Data Behind MN’s Psych WorkforcePosted November 3, 2015 | By Tricia Hussung
Psychology has always been a popular field of study. According to the American Psychological Association, about 5,000 doctoral graduates enter the workforce each year, in various specialties and subfields. Despite the constant influx of psychology graduates, the field is expected to grow at about 12 percent through 2022. This is the average for all occupations, but psychology jobs span more than those available to those at the doctoral level. Many professionals in these roles hold master’s degrees in related fields. This wide variety of subfields is one of the reasons that psychology is so attractive to students: jobs range from marriage and family therapist to clinical social worker and involve different settings, types of clients and daily responsibilities.
In fact, many new psychology positions are designed for individuals who hold master’s degrees. As part of the nationwide health care movement toward prevention, insurance companies and health care providers are paying close attention to how mental health affects physical wellness and overall well-being, creating more demand for therapists and other psychology professionals.
Minnesota in particular is an ideal location for practicing professionals in the field of psychology. According to PsychologyCareerCenter, “With over 5 million year round residents, Minnesota has a constant and growing need for health care services—as well as professionals to administer those services. In addition to the demand for traditional health care, there is also high demand for psychiatric, mental health and counseling services. Job opportunities are plentiful for trained and qualified psychologists and mental health counselors.” While salary and benefits packages vary by specific specialty, experience and other factors, the annual median wage for all psychologists in Minnesota is around $68,000. These graphs and charts provide a comprehensive look at the psychology services industry in the state, including popular subfields, education levels and more.
To compile this research, we examined 470 therapists, psychologists, counselors and other mental health professionals in the Twin Cities. Though our data does not reflect all psychology professionals who work in the area, it encapsulates those with profiles listed on PsychologyToday.com.
Psychologists, who make up 36.6% of Twin Cities psychology professionals, have the most variance in terms of education credentials. Degree credentials are closely split in thirds among MAs, PhDs and PsyDs.
In the Twin Cities, psychologists, marriage and family therapists and clinical social workers/therapists are the most prevalent job titles, with 83.7% of all professionals identifying as such. The least prevalent job titles are psychiatric nurses, drug and alcohol counselors, art therapists and pastoral counselors.
To help define Minnesota’s top psychology roles, the following career profiles are based on the jobs that are most common in the state. All demand and salary information is taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Clinical social worker/therapist
These mental health professionals focus on the social aspects of public health. They advocate for patients, explaining health care resources and policies. They also assist patients in finding additional treatment, in addition to offering guidance for how to cope with psychosocial issues. Daily responsibilities could include research, diagnosis and treatment of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. Employment of social workers is expected to rise almost 27 percent through the year 2022, and the average salary is $50,820.
Counseling psychologists work with clients who are dealing with issues such as depression and anxiety that arise from daily life, as well as those who have mental health, emotional and behavioral disorders. They focus on holistic, therapeutic-based care to work through psychosocial problems and define healthy coping behaviors. The average salary for psychologists is $69,280, and job outlook is at 12 percent, the national average.
These mental health professionals are medical doctors . Because they hold medical degrees and are trained in the specialty of psychiatry, they are able to prescribe medications to treat various disorders. Psychiatrists perform exams and order diagnostic tests as well as practicing psychotherapy. They may also work as part of a mental health team, consulting with social workers and psychologists. The average salary for psychiatrists is $182,700, and the job outlook is at 18 percent.
Drug and alcohol counselor
Substance abuse counselors specialize in helping those who are dealing with addiction. They can work in private practice, clinics, hospital settings and more. They meet with patients in both private and group settings to provide therapy, discuss ongoing issues and develop plans for treatment. Substance abuse counselors can also work with family members of addicts to provide support and facilitate communication. The average salary for drug and alcohol counselors is $38,520, and the job outlook is strong at 31 percent.
Marriage and family therapist
Marriage and family therapists provide guidance to couples, families and those who are dealing with interpersonal issues that affect their well-being. Most approach their work holistically, using a model of wellness rather than illness. They observe and evaluate relationship problems, helping to mitigate them. Marriage and family therapists also guide clients through difficult transitions such as divorce or the death of a loved one. The average salary for marriage and family therapists is $41,500 with a very high demand of 29 percent.
Psychology Education at Concordia University, St. Paul
For those interested in a psychology career in Minnesota, an online degree from Concordia University, St. Paul is an ideal place to start. The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program provides a solid educational foundation for continued education through graduate study. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of psychology concepts and applications that prepares them to meet their future career goals. You can learn more about this online degree program here.