CBT therapist salary in the UK

If you’re considering becoming a cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT therapist, you may be looking to find out more about pay in CBT. In this blog, we will explore salaries for trainees and experienced CBT therapists and what you can expect to earn on average across the UK.  

Cognitive behavioural therapists support people of any age with various mental health conditions and those with severe mental health problems via talking therapy, using techniques to help patients change the way they think about their issues. Although CBT is used to treat a wide variety of mental health conditions, most patients use it to treat their anxiety and depression.  

Throughout your career, you could work towards senior CBT therapist roles, which include positions where you would supervise other CBT therapists or manage aspects of a service. You may be offered the chance to complete further funded specialist psychological training while working in your role.

CBT therapist salary in the UK

Average CBT therapist salary 

A CBT therapist’s salary will usually sit between bands 6 and 7, depending on experience. The National Careers Service gives an average salary of £35,000 to £50,000 for CBT therapists.  

CBT therapist salary bands for England

When a trainee CBT therapist begins their career with NHS England, they typically start in band 6 and earn a salary of £35,392. 

Years of experience Band 6 
<2 £35,392 
2-5 £37,350 
5+ £42,618 

Once they have gained the relevant experience, CBT therapists move into band 7, increasing their salary to up to £50,056 when working in NHS England.

Years of experience Band 7  
<2 £43,742 
2-5 £45,996 
5+  £50,056 

The NHS Agenda for Change pay scale is based on the average 37.5-hour work week. However, your CBT therapist’s salary may differ depending on the type of contract you hold and the location you work in. Areas in and around London tend to offer a higher salary due to the NHS’ Higher Cost Area Supplement.

CBT therapist salary bands for Scotland

Typically, all CBT therapists start on a band 6 salary in the UK, including Scotland: 

Pay point Band 6  

CBT therapists in Scotland with enough experience and pay points can then move into band 7 on the NHS Scotland pay scale: 

Pay point Band 7  

As of 1 April, NHS Scotland has reduced the working hours for those on the NHS Scotland Agenda for Change from 37.5 to 37 hours.

CBT therapist salary bands for Wales

NHS Wales has set out the band 6 pay scale as seen below: 

Years of experience Band 6  
<2 £35,922 

Once CBT therapists have reached the top of band 6, they can progress to band 7 and increase their salary from there: 

Years of experience Band 7  
<2 £44,398 

Similar to NHS England’s Agenda for Change, this Agenda for Change is based on a 37.5-hour work week.  

Register with us

Register your interest and we will be in touch to discuss your work preferences.

CBT therapist hourly pay

Temporary and locum contracts will typically offer hourly pay of £25 to £30 for CBT therapists. You may work for the NHS or a private provider and find that hourly rates can differ between these types of organisations.  

Many CBT therapists find locum posts attractive because they offer more flexibility and pay than permanent positions. The opportunity to work in different environments can help you gain valuable experience to advance your career and may allow you to better fit work around your schedule.  

Find out more about the benefits and rewards of working for a healthcare staffing agency like Pulse

What is the lowest salary for a CBT therapist?

According to the NHS Agenda for Change, the lowest starting salary for a trainee CBT therapist in England is £35,392 on the lower end of band 6. All salaries in the healthcare industry are subject to location since different nations have different Agenda for Change pay scales, and London has the Higher Cost Area Supplement.  

What is the highest salary for a CBT therapist?

An experienced CBT therapist working for NHS England will receive a salary of up to £50,056 based on the top end of band 7. However, your salary as a CBT therapist can exceed substantive NHS pay rates if you work for a private provider or in a locum post. 

What qualifications do you need to become a CBT therapist?

To become a CBT therapist, you must complete a recognised postgraduate diploma course in high- intensity NHS Talking Therapies.  

Alternatively, you can complete a different postgraduate course in children and young people’s CBT therapy or for people with severe mental health problems, such as psychosis, bipolar disorder, personality disorders or eating disorders. To join a postgraduate course, you will need to have an undergraduate degree in a related field, or you may be able to join if you have equivalent academic skills and qualifications. 

Most positions require CBT therapists have accreditation from the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP), although it’s not a legal requirement.  

Explore CBT therapist opportunities with Pulse

At Pulse, we can help you find your next role as a substantive or locum CBT therapist. With many years of experience, Pulse can offer competitive rates and an array of benefits you won’t find anywhere else.  

Register your interest or apply to CBT therapist job listings to take your career to new heights. 

Register with us

Register your interest and we will be in touch to discuss your work preferences.

Register today

Search jobs

We offer a huge variety of temporary and permanent jobs to choose from.

Search and apply

Leave a comment