Historically, the Iowa mental health care industry has not had the best track record. From 2009-2011, billions of dollars were cut from the mental health budget, resulting in a severe lack of care for those suffering from mental illness.
However, in the past few years there have been vast improvements and in the psychology field. The Iowa Mental Health and Disability Redesign – implemented in 2014 – requires every region of Iowa to provide core mental health services to its citizens. This is supported by the Affordable Healthcare Act, which makes mental healthcare more attainable for those who could not previously pay for treatment.
The combination of these two new plans has resulted in many new opportunities for forensic psychologists in Iowa, and salaries that are significantly higher than the national average.
Job Growth and Salary Expectations for Forensic Psychologists in Iowa
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that in 2014, there were 1,370 psychologists working in Iowa, with just a small percentage of these specializing in forensics. The psychology field is projected to grow by one percent each year, which is equivalent to 50 job openings annually.
The average salaries for Iowa’s forensic psychologists are much higher than the national averages (BLS, 2014):
- Experienced (U.S.): $113,600
- Mid-Career (U.S.): $68,900
- Entry-Level (U.S.): $40,100
- Experienced (IA): $124,600
- Mid-Career (IA): $70,800
- Entry-Level (IA): $47,600
Salaries for Forensic Psychologists in Iowa’s Major Metro and Non-Metro Areas
According to a 2014 report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 160 psychologists are employed in the Des Moines and West Des Moines area. The Southeast Iowa nonmetropolitan area has the second most, with 100.
Though the Des Moines area has the most opportunities for forensic psychologists, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area has the highest average salary at $116,470. Other areas with above-average salaries include the Des Moines area with an average annual salary of $85,910; Davenport, where the average salary is $83,750; and the Northeast Iowa nonmetropolitan area, where forensic psychologists’ average salary is $80,960.
For a more detailed analysis of salary information for Iowa’s forensic psychologists, see the chart below (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014):
*The hourly wage is equal to or greater than $90 while the annual salary is equal to or greater than $187,199. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report salary data greater than these values.