SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Do I need the PhD/pay differences/help me?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by fallaur, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. fallaur


    Sep 22, 2014
    Hello! I am in my 4th year of a clinical psych phd and will be going off to internship in the summer of 2016. I have a little under 2 years left and I am feeling disheartened by how little I am enjoying my time in the program. I have a neuropsych concentration and the plan is to do a neuro post doc and be a neuropsycholgoist. I am on a very good track to doing this (# of pubs, GPA, hours, etc).

    Problem is... I am not sure my heart is in it. I don't want to go through years of training to end up doing something I do not absolutely love. Currently I enjoy teaching and doing neuro evals (I work with college students doing ADHD/LD evals and I also do dementia evals). However, I do not enjoy research and will never step foot in a career for academia. While I do enjoy the other things, I am not sure how happy I am. I currently have my masters and am contemplating leaving before finishing the whole thing out.

    I am willing to hear out any advice about/experience with leaving a program early. If you left a phd program with your masters, what did you do? Do you think you made the right choice?
    BUT, my main question.... what can I do with a masters in clinical psych? I can be a psychometrist and teach community college, right? What's the pay difference (i.e., what can I expect doing both of these jobs at a masters level)? Thank you in advance for your help, SDNers!
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist Psychologist 7+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2009
    Check out the pay for master's jobs, then look at GS-13 pay at some VA's, that might give you a rough estimate of the pay difference. Psychometrists are GS-9 I believe. And, community college used to be a great deal for teaching, about 20 years ago, newer faculty are getting shafted at many places though as states pull more funding.
  4. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    The Beach
    MS + teaching at a CC is a far far different experience than a Ph.D. and teaching at a college/uni…particularly in the past 5-10 years. The $ can be quite poor at both teaching options, but at CC it can be ridiculously low bc of budget cuts. Short of serious illness or a family emergency (e.g. move out of state to take care of a family member), dropping out completely would be very hard to recommend.
  5. OneNeuroDoctor

    OneNeuroDoctor Clinical Neuropsychologist 2+ Year Member

    Nov 1, 2013
    The future for psychology is projected to be a growing profession.
    Since you are close to finishing up your degree the easiest path is to continue with the PhD.

    With MS degree licensing for LPC you will still have to do a six to nine month internship, normally unpaid and then three years of supervision where you have to pay a supervisor out of your own pocket, $100 per hour.

    With MS degree training you have limited career options. Everyone tends to have second thoughts as we get closer to reaching a goal. Talk to your advisor before making hasty decisions and you may benefit from talking with University Counselor.
  6. mindfulnessiszen


    Nov 19, 2013
    I was about at your point when I contemplated leaving my program. After talking to other students at my program and others, I realized that this is a very normal feeling. I am embarrassed to tell people how much time I have invested into this process but my husband and immediate family know. When you think about the time, money and all the moving around, no wonder we have doubts. My advice would be to not make any rash decisions. I liked @OneNeuroDoctor 's suggestion of speaking with an advisor or someone in the profession you can confide in. I am so glad that I made it through my hump and decided to stay.

    That being said, I know some very successful LPCs out there. In some parts of the US they make roughly the same as some psychologists. I also know some masters level practitioner's that hate their job because they are making half the pay and doing twice the work. I've talked to many that wish they could go back to get their PHD. Maybe talk to a variety of master's level practitioners to get advice on that front.
  7. I have worked in the past as an adjunct faculty because I love teaching but don't want a career in academia. It also provided a little extra cash a few times a year that really helped out early in my career. if you are enjoying assessments, then why are you doubting your path? A practicing neuropsychologist does more assessments than I do as a generalist practitioner and I still do a variety of assessments.
    To answer your main question, everyone I have worked with who was a masters level practitioner has made much less than me almost from the gate even before getting my license. Four years post-license, I doubt if there are many master's level people that have my earnings. The stats tend to show us making double.
  8. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist 10+ Year Member

    Dec 18, 2005

    Large community college: offered 1.5k/class/semester.
    Private University Adjunct offered: 2-3k/class/semester

    Divided by 15 weeks, 3-4 hrs per week, the pay was a nonstarter.

    The heads of the psych departments for two large public universities I know are paid around 150k/yr.
  9. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist Psychologist 7+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2009
    Wow, those are low. I can get 3-4k for one night a week/12 week class at a local university.
  10. I was making a little more than what the university was offering and during my post-doc year, that really helped. Also, it isn't just about the money. Number one, I love to teach and thus it becomes a type of self-care. Also, it helps me to make connections in the community which leads to increased opportunities for generating business.
  11. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist Moderator Psychologist Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    Jan 7, 2010
    Yeah, the adjuncting rates are probably going to vary by location, but those I've heard/seen were fairly similar to what PSYDR mentioned--roughly $3k/class/semester. I believe those rates also carried over to the abbreviated semesters, though (e.g., winter, early summer), so if you had the flexibility in your schedule and the class was already prepped, it wasn't a horrible gig.
  12. Doctor Eliza

    Doctor Eliza Psychologist 7+ Year Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Don't assume that you can be licensed with a masters in clinical psych. Some of this stuff is state dependent. My friend was having problems with her dissertation so wanted to be licensed with her masters. The psych board couldn't help her because they only license doctoral level providers in this state. The LPC/Social Work board wouldn't license her because her degree wasn't in social work or counseling. She tried really hard to advocate for herself and prove her training was equivalent, but they wouldn't budge.

    Good luck to you.
  13. Rivi

    Rivi 7+ Year Member

    Jan 29, 2009
    I felt like you do many, many times. I finished, and I am glad that I did. I recommend that you tough it out.

Share This Page