A new study suggests that some therapists can earn as much as $500,000 a year, according to a report by The Associated Press.
A recent study found that the top-earning therapists in the country earned more than $3.7 million in 2016, a number that’s more than double the average salary for a therapist in the United States.
The AP report found that some of the highest-earners in the profession, such as psychologists, account for about 75% of the total salary at $5 million or more.
The highest-paid therapists in 2016 included two psychiatrists at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a clinical social worker at the Los Angeles County Psychiatric Hospital.
A spokesman for the California Psychiatric Institute, which is run by the state, said in a statement that the study did not find that the highest earners had higher incomes than the rest of the profession.
“The findings of this research suggest that we need to reexamine the salary structures of the largest professions in our society to ensure that everyone is paid fairly,” said Dr. Jonathan Klineberg, executive director of the California Institute for Behavioral Health and Development, which manages the state’s Medicaid and Medicare programs.
The report also found that a therapist’s base salary is higher than the average compensation for all professions in the U.S. But the AP report did not examine the compensation of therapists in other professions.
The top-paying professions in 2018 include nursing, computer, and social work.
A 2017 study by the nonprofit Institute for Work and Employment Research found that psychologists earned the highest salaries among therapists, while other professions paid a median of $62,000.
In 2017, the National Employment Law Project found that nurses earned the most at $105,000, while social workers earned the lowest at $33,000 and psychologists earned about $17,000 per year.
But a spokesman for American Therapists, an association representing therapists, told The Associated Post that his organization is “confident” that the salary levels reported by the AP are accurate.
“We’ve seen these numbers and we know that those numbers are correct,” said Paul Todl, a spokesman.
“I know that it’s a pretty good number, and I know that American Therapeurs, our members, do an amazing job, so we don’t need to change our numbers.”
He added that the AP’s study is “one of the most complete” he has seen.