In 2014, CBS News published an article declaring South Dakota one of the country’s top ten fastest-growing states. As the Mount Rushmore State continues to welcome a growing population due to thriving oil and gas industries, more highly skilled professionals like forensic psychologist will be needed to accommodate a larger pool of residents and the subsequent increase in crime and incarceration rates.
The United States Department of Labor expects an 11% employment growth trend for forensic psychologists in South Dakota between 2012 and 2022. As a result, forensic psychologists can anticipate a greater number of high-paying jobs as the demand for their specialized expertise continues to rise.
How Experience Affects Earnings for Forensic Psychologists in South Dakota
According to the United States Department of Labor, forensic psychologists are listed among South Dakota’s highest-paying occupations that require at least a master’s degree education.
In 2014, forensic psychologists working statewide earned an average annual salary of $73,830 and an average hourly wage of $35.50. Forensic psychologists that intend to surpass this state average are encouraged to attain as much experience as possible and consider establishing independent practices so as to provide consultation services on a contract basis.
In South Dakota, the most experienced forensic psychologists typically earn more than twice that of their less experienced colleagues:
- Forensic psychologists in entry-level positions earned an average annual salary of $47,900 and an average hourly wage of $23.05.
- Forensic psychologists at their mid-career point were awarded a higher average annual salary of $68,400 and an average hourly wage of $32.87.
- Forensic psychologists with the most experience (top 10%) were handsomely compensated with an average annual salary of $98,700 and an average hourly wage of $47.46.
Forensic Psychologist Salaries in South Dakota by Region
Salary information published by the United States Department of Labor shows that forensic psychologists in South Dakota experienced salary variations depending upon the region in which they were located.
For example, in 2014 forensic psychologists working in Rapid City were paid an average annual salary of $83,930. However, those practicing in Sioux Falls made an average annual salary of $76,870. Meanwhile, forensic psychologists in the Eastern South Dakota nonmetropolitan area earned a much lower average annual salary of $58,710.
The following occupational wage table provides a closer look at forensic psychologist salaries in the abovementioned regions of South Dakota (US Department of Labor, 2014):