Salaries For Sports Psychologist


Sports psychology is a lucrative profession that looks at and studies the mental well-being of athletes and how it affects their physical ability to perform in their desired field of sport. As a Sports psychologist, it is one’s responsibility to make sure that their clients i.e. primarily the athletes continuously maintain peak mental condition, physical condition and help them cope with pressures of stress, potential depression, and other factors, and work with their team in resolving such hurdles to their performance by prioritizing mental fitness. Let us know ‘Salaries For Sports Psychologist ‘.

Salaries For Sports Psychologist

Salaries For Sports Psychologist

A Sports psychologist’s salary is determined via multiple factors. A typical salary of a sports psychologist depends significantly on the area of sports psychology in which an individual specializes, level of education, level of training, and experience. Depending on these factors, sports psychologists easily make anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000 annually.

Introduction to sports psychology

  • Sports psychology is the scientific study of athletes and their psychological impact on performance. Sports psychologists work and interact with all levels of athletes, from amateur to professional.
  • The beginnings of the profession can be traced back to the early 20th century when initially the study of an athlete’s physical prowess used to be the main focus before further study slowly started shifting the focus to other aspects like cognitive skills and mental ability.
  • There are several ways in which sports psychology helps athletes improve their games. One way is by helping them to overcome mental barriers that may be holding them back from reaching their full potential. 
  • For instance, many athletes have a fear of failure that can prevent them from performing at their best. A sports psychologist can help these athletes to overcome this fear and perform at their best.
  • Another way in which sports psychology helps athletes is by assisting them in controlling their emotions. Many times, athletes let their emotions get the best of them, which can lead to sub-optimal performance. 
  • Sports psychologists help athletes in dealing with adversity. Adversity is inevitable in sports, and how an athlete deals with it can make a big difference in his or her performance. 
  • A sports psychologist can teach athletes how to deal with adversity constructively so that it doesn’t impact their confidence and mental health. It works wonders on athletes when they achieve big feats post their recovery. 

Responsibilities of a sports psychologist

Sports psychologists are trained professionals who help athletes improve their performance and overcome mental hurdles. Since they work with all types and levels of athletes, from amateur to professional, their duties can vary depending on the needs of the athlete.

Some common tasks that sports psychologists may perform include helping athletes:

-Choose the right competitive events

-Set realistic goals

-Cope with failure or disappointment

-Build self-confidence

-Overcome performance anxieties or stage fright

-Handle media pressure

-Improve focus and concentration

– Enhance motivation

  • Some sports psychologists also work closely with athletes that have suffered or are suffering from injuries. A study by Johns Hopkins University detailed that around 3.5 million sports-related injuries are reported among high school teens each year. 
  • Depending on how severe the injury is, a sports psychologist puts his/her efforts into helping athletes recover back to their prior selves all the while also improving their mental toughness. In certain limited cases, certain athletes don’t get to choose between taking extended hiatus to make mental health recoveries. 
  • However, they may need the assistance of a sports psychologist to help them come to terms with the fact that they might not be able to play their sport with as much passion, talent, and drive as they used to have before their issues of low confidence emerged as a result of a tragic injury.

How much do sports psychologists make?

  • The average salaries of a sports psychologist in the United States is about $68,637 per year. For comparison, other types of psychologists such as organizational psychologists and experimental psychologists earn about $130,000 and $100,000 per year respectively, as per
  • As per recent reports and data, entry-level sports psychologists earn between $40,000 and $48,000 whereas experienced and trusted sports psychologists on average bring in about $140,000 annually. 
  • States with the highest salaries for sports psychologists are Alaska ($76,942), California ($76,667), Columbia district ($76,345), New jersey ($75,885), and Massachusetts ($74,677)
  • A typical sports psychologist’s salary range is quite wide. Mark Aoyagi, the director of sport and performance psychology at the University of Denver said that sports psychology is very much an exclusive service that caters to individual clients who pay for the services from their pool of wealth.
  • According to Scott Goldman, who is the director of clinical and sports psychology at the University of Arizona, sports psychologist salaries in athletic departments of universities can be between $60,000 and $80,000 a year depending upon factors such as location, campus facilities, etc.

Factors affecting salaries of sports psychologists

  • Experience: sports psychologists with decades of work experience under their belt along with notable accomplishments and interpersonal skills are considered a more reliable choice for assistance in rehabilitation and recovery. 

Sports psychologists that have a successful track record, and are known for maintaining a positive relationship with their clients are ideally perceived as experienced practitioners and are likely to earn more than less popular practitioners in their area.  

  • Location of occupation: it is no surprise that sports psychologists working in areas or cities that require their services regularly will get to earn more. The cost of living is also a key factor when considering how much sports psychologists make when working in high-income cities or states. 

For instance, a sports psychologist living and practicing in the state of California would earn a yearly average salary of $76, 667 but if they decided to relocate and started practicing in Idaho, they would be making about $62,674 per year which in comparison is significantly lower.

  • Type of work environment: the type of employers and the work environment sports psychologists work under also affect their earning capabilities. 

For example, sports psychologists working closely with elite professional and college athletes are guaranteed to earn a handsome income compared to those who engage with individual clients weekly like other doctors.

  • Professional skills: this might be perhaps one of the most underrated of all factors. When potential clients are looking for the best sports psychologists to approach, one of the key determinants in their search is the psychologist’s track record and how successful they have been in assisting their clients in the past. 

Those with a better understanding of their client’s psyche and mental health and an even better approach towards helping them in their recovery always charge higher for their work and efforts. 


In simple words, practitioners of sports psychology go through years of rigorous training even after gaining a master’s and a doctorate in sports psychology as most high-ranking institutes and organizations deem these documents as requirements. Sports psychologists that work on the client to client basis get paid on average around $100,030 per annum while some with vast experience get paid at the very least over $300,000 per annum. On the other hand, sports psychologists working with well-known universities get paid around $60,000 to $80,000 per annum. Sports psychology is a fun and exciting profession once you have years of experience under your belt and achieving that takes skills, confidence, and patience.

Salaries For Sports Psychologist

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