Forensic Psychologist Salaries in California

In 2014 the United States Department of Labor reported that the North Coast of California nonmetropolitan region was the highest paying metropolitan area in the nation for forensic psychologists. In addition, the following regions were among the top ten highest paying metropolitan areas for forensic psychologists in the nation:

  • Hanford-Corcoran
  • San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles
  • Vallejo-Fairfield
  • Salinas
  • Madera-Chowchilla

That same year California was also heralded as a national leader in terms of employment for forensic psychologists with some notable distinctions including:

  • More forensic psychologists than any state in the country
  • The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale metropolitan division had the highest number of forensic psychologists of any metropolitan area in the country
  • The Hanford-Corcoran metropolitan region held the second highest concentration of forensic psychologists of any other metropolitan areas in the country
  • The Mother Lode Region nonmetropolitan district held the second highest concentration of forensic psychologists of any nonmetropolitan area in the country

Experience Leads to High Salaries for California’s Forensic Psychologists

Salary surveys administered by the United States Department of Labor reveal that experience is the number one factor in determining salaries for forensic psychologists in California. In fact, California’s forensic psychology experts earned nearly three times that of those just entering the field (2014):

  • Entry-Level (CA): $40,500
  • Mid-Career (CA): $80,500
  • Experienced (CA): $119,200

These statistics also show that forensic psychologists at all levels of experience still earned salaries that were higher than the national average that year:

  • Entry-Level (US): $40,100
  • Mid-Career (US): $68,900
  • Experienced (US): $113,600

How Location Impacts Salaries for California’s Forensic Psychologists

In 2014, the United States Department of Labor discovered great salary diversity among forensic psychologists employed throughout California. For example, forensic psychologists working in the highest paying regions earned the following average annual salaries:

  • Hanford-Corcoran: $109,900
  • San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles: $105,780
  • Vallejo-Fairfield: $102,960
  • Salinas: $100,610
  • Madera-Chowchilla: $99,170

By contrast, average salaries for forensic psychologists employed in the lowest paying areas of California were as follows:

  • Chico: $59,270
  • Modesto: $61,360
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale: $71,470
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana: $75,410
  • Yuba City: $76,720

The following data table provides a more detailed account of forensic psychology salaries in several major metropolitan and nonmetropolitan regions of California:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Bakersfield-Delano CA
220
89570
Chico CA
30
59270
El Centro CA
60
86270
Fresno CA
590
81960
Hanford-Corcoran CA
100
109900
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale CA Metropolitan Division
6200
71470
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana CA
7700
75410
Madera-Chowchilla CA
90
99170
Merced CA
110
83820
Modesto CA
240
61360
Oakland-Fremont-Hayward CA Metropolitan Division
1690
78220
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura CA
240
87640
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario CA
1380
85960
Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville CA
660
80750
Salinas CA
230
100610
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos CA
1350
89750
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont CA
3250
78640
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City CA Metropolitan Divi
1560
79100
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara CA
690
89170
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles CA
200
105780
Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine CA Metropolitan Division
1500
91740
Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta CA
90
84790
Santa Cruz-Watsonville CA
70
76850
Santa Rosa-Petaluma CA
220
79120
Stockton CA
360
88870
Vallejo-Fairfield CA
210
102960
Visalia-Porterville CA
130
90530
Yuba City CA
30
76720
Mother Lode Region of California nonmetropolitan area
100
81940
North Coast Region of California nonmetropolitan area
100
95840
Northern Mountains Region of California nonmetropolitan area
50
78200

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