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What are the highest paying psychology jobs in the UK?

Discover the highest paying psychology jobs in the UK to help you start planning your psychology career in this helpful guide.

psychologist talking to patient

Thinking about a career in psychology? Whether you’re considering studying psychology or have just graduated with a psychology degree, we’ll show you the highest paying psychology jobs in the UK, so you can start planning how best to approach your future career. 

Why work in psychology?

From the job satisfaction that comes with helping others to the high salaries on offer, there are a multitude of reasons why you should study psychology.

Psychology careers often bring a deep and rewarding sense of meaning from helping your clients as you encourage them to work through struggles and achieve their potential. 

The psychology career landscape is incredibly vast because there are many different types of psychology jobs to choose from. This profession allows you to work with a variety of people from different ages, cultural, and religious backgrounds and offers a unique set of challenges, meaning no two days are the same. 

Additionally, there’s the potentially high salary that comes with certain types of psychology careers, where you can earn upwards of £48,000 per year. 

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Highest paying psychology jobs

Let’s explore the best paying psychology jobs in the UK and what they entail. 

After you graduate from your psychology degree, which you may have completed in-person at a university campus or online, you’ll have a range of career options. However, do you have the interpersonal skills to match your academic expertise? Top paying psychology jobs demand dedication, a meticulous work ethic, and a deep sense of compassion for the people you work with. Fortunately, with great responsibility comes great financial reward. 

Below is a break-down of the best paying psychology jobs in the UK:

  • Head of Psychology Services, up to £103,000.
  • Further Education Teacher/Lecturer Manager, up to £63,000.
  • Senior Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, up to £51,500.
  • Head of Sports Psychology, £48,000 plus.

Read on to find out more about what each role requires. 

Head of Psychology Services

The Head of Psychology Services is the most well paid psychology career in the UK. It requires considerable experience in leadership roles, service development, and people management to oversee entire departments. The role offers a brilliant opportunity to provide leadership for psychological therapists and the chance to liaise with trusted professionals from other occupations. You’ll manage the clinical practice or institution you’re part of to make sure everything runs smoothly day to day.

Representing the department 

You’ll represent psychological therapies at the highest level across the board. This could be within a medical, educational, or private practice context. If you take on this role within a higher education setting, you may work with examination boards and other awarding bodies to help craft the syllabus and set examination standards. 

Managing others

Whether you work for a private practice or educational institution, your team may include colleagues, students, or both. Recruiting employees, tracking their career development, and feeding back on their contribution to the department is an essential part of this role. After all, it’s your responsibility to lead and inspire your department, encouraging their progression to help them reach their highest potential. 

Managing the department

You will have in-depth experience of professional and general management. This includes employee planning, recruitment, retention, and performance management. You’llkeep track of new and exciting developments in psychology research including teaching practices and psychology methods. This monitoring extends to service development, clinical audits, and working with the Chief Finance Officer on departmental budgeting. 

As the best paying psychology job in the UK, Head of Psychology Services is a challenging yet highly prized career path. 

Further Education Teacher/Lecturer Manager

Psychology Teachers and Lecturer Managers who are involved in further education are well paid and can go on to have long-standing, rich, and fulfilling careers. The majority of the work includes giving lectures and seminars on different types of psychology either at college, degree, or postgraduate level. You may even have the opportunity to design modules based on your specialism or preferred topics. The best candidates for these positions are highly analytical, excellent at time management, and have outstanding written and spoken communication skills.

Teaching Students

You are responsible for student tuition and managing the student learning experience from the interview and induction until their graduation. You’ll spend most of your time preparing and delivering lectures and seminars within an educational institution either online or in person. 

Within these sessions, you’ll assign class activities, homework, and essays, working with students to inspire and develop their psychology skills. One-to-one meetings with students is also part of the role. This way, you can continue to mentor them closely, tailoring your approach to each individual student. It’s not uncommon for lecturers to also take on a pastoral or advisory role to support their students when necessary. 


This role may give you the opportunity to design your own modules and courses. On top of this, you’ll be expected to write and moderate examinations and grade assignments. You’ll also attend faculty meetings and participate in staff training activities to keep your own teaching skills up to date with the latest teaching methods. 


Staying informed with new psychology findings is one of the key elements of this job role. In light of this, you may end up collaborating with other researchers. You’ll also have the chance to review publications, collect and analyse data, write reports and publish your research. There are also opportunities to travel to new and exciting places to attend academic conferences. If you’re lucky, you may be invited to present your own research at these events.

With the diversity and expert level of skills needed to fulfil this role, further education Psychology Teachers and Lecturer Managers can expect to earn up to £63,000.

Senior Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner 

Another rewarding and high paying role in the psychology sector is a Senior Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner. Not only will you manage your own clients, but you’ll manage, supervise and train your team of Psychology Wellbeing Practitioners to provide the best care possible for patients. 

Assessing Patients 

When a patient first comes to you, you’ll be expected to decide on their suitability and whether they should be referred to alternative services such as a more high-intensity psychology therapy. Safety always comes first, so you’ll assess the risk level that they pose to themselves and others. You may even be tasked with educating their family members on the patient’s needs to help everyone make the often challenging treatment process easier. Therefore, an initial interview with patients becomes customary as you help them identify areas they wish to improve. Following that, you’ll begin regular sessions with your patient to guide them along their journey to help resolve whatever ails them and achieve their hopes.   

Managing the department 

There are many exciting and instrumental activities outside of patient work required from a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner. You will often contribute to new processes and protocols to deliver mental health services safely and effectively. This requires attending and holding meetings about client referrals and treatment, so everyone on your team knows how to best proceed. Additionally, it’s paramount that you keep meticulous records of patient sessions and clinical activity.

Navigating external organisations

Depending on your patient’s situation, you may have the opportunity to liaise with external organisations such as housing, police, local authorities, and mental health workers.  Consequently, having a great ability to understand and relate to people from different professions is a must. 

With all this in mind, a Senior Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner is one of the best paid psychology careers, with salaries up to £51,500 per year.

Head of Sports Psychology

A Sports Psychologist helps athletes enhance their mental health and sporting performances by navigating them through the obstacles and challenges they face. Usually, you’ll be counselling and creating unique treatment plans for athletes. You’ll work with medical practitioners and coaches to plan the most effective methods to help athletes improve their performance or recover from physical and emotional setbacks. 

Mental preparation 

An athlete’s body might be in peak condition, but their mind could be holding them back. It’s not uncommon for competitors to experience performance-related apprehension or anxiety. It’s your job to help them overcome feelings of shame, anxiety, dissatisfaction and embarrassment. You’ll be expected to teach them techniques such as relaxation, positive self-talk,and visualisation. By guiding them over these hurdles, you’ll improve their consistency, focus, composure, and confidence to ultimately enhance their overall physical performance.

Injury recovery 

After sustaining an injury, a sports person may experience feelings of trauma. Sports Psychologists create carefully tailored rehabilitation programmes to support the lengthy and challenging recovery process. You’ll offer techniques for managing the injury’s impact both mentally and physically as they gear up for returning to the sport.  

Maintaining routine 

Sports professionals sometimes struggle to maintain motivation and discipline, especially between seasons. You’ll assist and encourage them to stay devoted to their practice and make the most out of training sessions by teaching them about motor learning and performance.  

You could become Head of Sports Psychology within a sports team or as part of an educational institution to oversee and lead your department. In this role, you can expect to earn upwards of £48,000 per year. 

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Final thoughts

Careers in psychology are both challenging and incredibly rewarding, personally and professionally, giving you the opportunity to help people around you, from clients and the public to colleagues and students. We hope that one of the four highest-paying psychology jobs mentioned above resonated with you, and we wish you luck on your career path.

Check out our online psychology degrees and earn your degree at your own pace.

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