Average Clinical Psychologist Salary in South Africa (2024)

The average Clinical Psychologist’s Salary in South Africa is R103,470 per month. An entry-level Clinical Psychologist earns a salary range of R61,041, a Mid-career level earns about R107,000, and a senior/experienced level earns R143,000 per month.

Average Clinical Psychologist Salary in South Africa

Job Title Approximate Monthly Salary (ZAR)
Entry-Level Clinical Psychologist 61,041
Mid-Career Clinical  Psychologist 107,000
Experienced Clinical Psychologist 143,000

Types of Clinical Psychologists and Their Functions in South Africa

Clinical psychologists in South Africa play diverse roles across various specialities. Here are some types of clinical psychologists and their functions in the country:

1. Clinical Psychologist

Provide psychotherapy and counselling to individuals, couples, and groups dealing with mental health issues. Conduct assessments and diagnosis to develop treatment plans.

2. Counseling Psychologist

Focus on helping individuals cope with personal and emotional challenges. Provide guidance and support for issues such as stress, grief, and relationship problems.

3. Health Psychologist

Specialize in the connection between psychological and physical health. Work with patients dealing with chronic illnesses, pain management, and behaviour change for better health outcomes.

4. Neuropsychologist

Assess and treat individuals with neurological disorders or injuries affecting cognitive functions. Collaborate with medical professionals to understand the brain-behaviour relationship.

5. Educational Psychologist

Address psychological issues related to learning and education. Work with students, teachers, and parents to enhance learning environments and support academic success.

6. Forensic Psychologist

Apply psychological principles to legal issues. Evaluate individuals involved in legal cases, such as criminal offenders or witnesses, and provide expert testimony in court.

7. Child Psychologist

Specialize in the mental health and development of children and adolescents. Provide interventions for behavioural issues, learning disorders, and emotional challenges.

8. Trauma Psychologist

Assist individuals dealing with trauma, such as survivors of violence, accidents, or natural disasters. Offer therapeutic support and interventions for post-traumatic stress.

9. Sports Psychologist

Work with athletes to enhance their mental well-being and performance. Address issues like anxiety, motivation, and concentration to optimize athletic achievement.

10. Geriatric Psychologist

Focus on the mental health needs of the elderly. Address issues like dementia, depression, and anxiety in older populations, often in collaboration with healthcare professionals.

11. Rehabilitation Psychologist

Assist individuals with disabilities in adapting and thriving. Provide psychological support for rehabilitation and adjustment to life-changing circumstances.

12. Community Psychologist

Work within communities to address mental health issues at a broader level. Develop and implement programs to promote mental well-being and prevent psychological problems.

In South Africa, these clinical psychologists play a crucial role in addressing the diverse mental health needs of the population. They may work in private practices, hospitals, schools, or community organizations, contributing to the overall mental health landscape of the country. It’s important to note that this is not an exhaustive list, and there may be emerging specialities as the field evolves.

Factors Affecting Clinical Psychologist Salary in South Africa

Several factors can influence the salary of clinical psychologists in South Africa. These factors can vary from one individual to another and may include:

1. Experience

Experience is a significant determinant of salary. Clinical psychologists with more years of practice generally command higher salaries compared to those who are just starting their careers. Experienced psychologists often have a larger client base and more specialized skills, which can lead to higher earnings.

2. Geographic Location

The location of practice can have a substantial impact on a clinical psychologist’s salary. Major cities and urban areas tend to offer higher salaries due to the higher cost of living and greater demand for mental health services. In contrast, psychologists in rural or less populated areas may earn less.

3. Specialization

Clinical psychologists who specialize in certain areas, such as neuropsychology, forensic psychology, or health psychology, may earn more than those with a general practice. Specialized skills are often in higher demand and can command higher fees for services.

4. Education and Credentials

Psychologists with advanced degrees, such as a Ph.D. or Psy.D., may earn higher salaries than those with only a master’s degree. Additionally, psychologists who have obtained specialized certifications or licenses may have higher earning potential.

5. Type of Employment

The type of employment setting can influence salaries. Psychologists working in private practice may have the potential to earn more than those working in government agencies, hospitals, or educational institutions. However, private practitioners also have overhead costs to consider.

6. Client Base

The size and diversity of a psychologist’s client base can impact income. Psychologists who can attract a large number of clients, especially those who can work with high-income clients or secure contracts with organizations, may earn higher salaries.

7. Market Demand

The demand for mental health services in a specific area or within a particular specialization can affect earning potential. Areas with a shortage of mental health professionals may offer higher salaries to attract and retain qualified psychologists.

8. Economic Factors

General economic conditions can influence salaries. Factors like inflation, economic downturns, and changes in healthcare funding can impact the overall earning potential of clinical psychologists.

9. Negotiation Skills

Psychologists who are skilled negotiators may be able to secure higher salaries or negotiate better compensation packages when seeking employment.

How to Become a Clinical Psychologist in South Africa

Becoming a clinical psychologist in South Africa typically involves a series of educational and training steps. Here’s an overview of the process to become a clinical psychologist in South Africa:

1. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

Begin by earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field. This typically takes three years. Ensure that the program is accredited by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) or the Psychology Society of South Africa (PsySSA) for future licensure.

2. Complete an Honors Degree

After completing your bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to pursue an honours degree in psychology, which typically takes one year. This program should also be accredited by the HPCSA or PsySSA.

3. Gain Work Experience

Following your honours degree, you may choose to gain some relevant work experience in the field of psychology. While this is not always required, it can be beneficial for your career development.

4. Enroll in a Master’s or Professional Degree Program

To become a clinical psychologist, you’ll need to enrol in a master’s or professional degree program in clinical psychology. This program is typically two years in duration and must be accredited by the HPCSA. Be prepared to undergo a rigorous selection process, as admission to clinical psychology programs in South Africa is highly competitive.

5. Complete Supervised Internship and Practicum

During your master’s or professional degree program, you’ll be required to complete supervised internships and practicum experiences. This hands-on training is a crucial part of your education and provides practical experience in clinical settings.

6. Register as a Psychology Intern

After completing your degree program and supervised training, you’ll need to register as a psychology intern with the HPCSA. This registration allows you to practice under supervision as you work towards full licensure.

7. Complete the Internship

As a psychology intern, you’ll need to complete a specific number of supervised hours of practice, typically for 12 to 24 months, depending on the regulations in place at the time of your training.

8. Pass the Board Exam

After completing your internship, you’ll be required to pass the Clinical Board Examination administered by the Professional Board for Psychology, which is a part of the HPCSA.

9. Register as a Clinical Psychologist

Once you’ve successfully passed the board exam, you can apply for full registration as a clinical psychologist with the HPCSA. This allows you to practice independently as a clinical psychologist in South Africa.

10. Continued Professional Development

Clinical psychologists are required to engage in ongoing professional development and maintain their registration through regular renewal and continuing education activities.



The average Clinical Psychologist’s Salary in South Africa is R103,470 per month. Becoming a clinical psychologist in South Africa involves a structured path of education, training, and registration. This process typically includes earning a bachelor’s degree, completing an honours degree, and enrolling in an accredited master’s or professional program.

Additionally, it also includes undergoing supervised internships, passing a board exam, and obtaining full registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). Continuous professional development is essential for maintaining licensure. The specific requirements and regulations may evolve, so aspiring clinical psychologists should stay informed and adhere to the latest guidelines provided by relevant authorities.