Psychiatrist Salary in the US

Filed in Salary by on 4th April 2022

So you want to become a psychiatrist in the US, and you’re here to find some information on the career, including psychiatrist salary in the US, psychiatrist duties and responsibilities, as well as everything else about the profession.

Psychiatry is an excellent branch of medicine that holds fulfilling and beautiful lifelong experiences for individuals who are already or desiring to get into the career.

This article is a detailed guide on how to become a psychiatrist in the US, as well as everything else you need to know about psychiatry and psychiatrist salary in the US. Continue to read to find out all you need to know.

Psychiatrist Salary in the US

What Is Psychiatry?

Psychiatry is a medical sector primarily concentrated on the diagnosis, treatment as well prevention of mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders.

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), psychiatry is the “branch of medicine focusing on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders.”

Who is a Psychiatrist?

Basically, a psychiatrist is an expert physician who specializes in psychiatry.

A psychiatrist is often referred to as a medical doctor who specializes in the psychiatry branch of medicine and works as a professional in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders.

Basically, a professional psychologist is trained to examine the mental as well as the physical aspects of psychological problems in humans.

What Does a Psychiatrist Do?

There are lots of reasons people go to a psychiatrist. Some of the reasons could either be sudden/short term or long term.

They include panic attacks, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, or some other related conditions.

Psychiatrists work to diagnose these conditions, treat them as well as provide strategic ways to prevent them in the future.

While medical doctors deal with physical diseases, the work of the psychiatrist involves more human thinking, emotions, and behavior. 

In essence, the work of the psychologist involves examining individuals with mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders and putting in place a management or treatment plan for the disorder.

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What are the Responsibilities & Duties of a Psychologist?

The duty of a psychologist could vary based on  their practice, but generally, psychiatrists do the following:

  • Give urgent and immediate care for sudden mental and emotional health issues and admit them to a hospital if the case calls for it.
  • Support individuals when requested. 
  • Recommend changes in lifestyle in order to help patients to manage their long-term conditions
  • Refer patients to other healthcare professionals

What are the Potential Career Paths in Psychiatry?

Psychiatry encompasses various career paths which involve specializing in dealing with certain types of patients.

Below is a list running through the various potential career oaths in psychiatry:

  • Addiction Psychiatry 
  • Child Psychiatry
  • Emergency Psychiatry
  • Psychometrics
  • Geriatric Psychiatry
  • Learning Disability Psychiatry
  • Neuropsychiatrist
  • Organizational Psychiatrists
  • Pain Psychiatry
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Rehabilitation Psychiatry

Where Will a Psychiatrist Work?

Basically, there are various places psychologists can work in the US as well as in the whole world. They include:

  • Private or group practices
  • General hospitals
  • Psychiatric hospitals
  • Mental health clinics
  • Hospice programs
  • Nursing homes
  • Courts
  • Prisons
  • Rehabilitation programs
  • Military
  • School districts
  • Government agencies. 

Generally, a psychiatrist is required to have acquired a number of patients through referrals or a group practice before they can open and establish their private practice.

What are the Requirements to Become a Psychiatrist in the US?

Basically, to become a psychiatrist in the US, there are various requirements you will need to meet. They include education, certification as well as skills requirements.

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Education Levels for Psychiatrists in the US

  • Associate’s degree
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Master’s degree
  • Doctoral degree
  • Bachelor’s degree

Qualifications/Certifications for Psychiatrists in the US

  • ACLS Certification
  • AHA Certification
  • BC/BE
  • BLS Certification
  • CPR Certification
  • DEA Certification
  • Driver’s License
  • Medical License
  • PMHNP
  • Physician Assistant License
  • RN

Skills Requirements to Become a Psychiatrist in the US

Generally, these skills do not vary according to practice or location. It is a general skill requirement globally.

Having known that, below are the required skills, you must acquire to become a psychiatrist:

  • Good listening skills
  • Observational skills
  • Effective communication skills
  • Empathy
  • Compassionate
  • Sensitivity
  • Critical thinking
  • Logical reasoning
  • Working under pressure
  • Emotional resilience
  • Teamwork ability
  • Problem-solving
  • Diagnostic skills 
  • Organizational skills
  • Decision making

What Skills Can Help a Psychiatrist Find a Job?

In addition to the skills mentioned above, an individual who is looking to become a psychiatrist must acquire, here are the skills that can help you find jobs easily in the US as a psychiatrist.

  • Addiction counseling
  • English fluency 
  • Bilingual
  • CPT coding
  • Care plans
  • Childcare
  • Computer literacy
  • Computer skills
  • Discharge planning
  • Documentation review
  • EHR systems

How Long Does It Take to Become a Psychiatrist in the US?

Basically, it takes an incredible amount of time to obtain all the necessary certifications to completely become a certified psychiatrist in the US.

Before you enroll in a medical school for your psychiatry studies, you must have already obtained a bachelor’s degree, which usually lasts for four years.

After that, you enroll in medical school, which usually lasts for four years. This is followed by a four-year residency program. 

In addition, although not compulsory, some psychiatrists, for the purpose of gaining additional training, complete fellowship programs.

You can read our article titled “How Long is Medical School?” to learn more about medical school duration.

How Do I Become a Psychiatrist in the US?

There are procedures to become a psychiatrist in the US as well as in the whole world. Basically, it requires a considerable investment of time and resources.

Below is a guide on how to become a psychiatrist:

1. Complete & earn a Bachelor’s Degree certificate 

This is the first step to becoming a psychiatrist in the US as well as the whole world. You are required to complete a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university. 

A good major for your degree may be pre-med, physical sciences as well as psychology. Even better, a combination of the three. 

Some important undergraduate majors for psychiatry include:

  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Chemistry

Also, it’s essential to go for a major which will allow you adequate and extensive laboratory sessions, related internship opportunities, as well as thorough classroom instruction in subjects such as:

  • Human anatomy
  • Neurological system
  • Pharmacology

2. Complete the Medical Colleges Admissions Test

After you have completed your bachelor’s degree program, you will be required to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

Typically, a great MCAT score is an essential requirement for consideration. 

3. Apply to and successfully complete a Medical School

Applying to a medical school comes next, and after you have been accepted, you will earn either a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree for four years.

This is the stage where you extensively learn about antimony, pathology, histology, physiology, and any other related studies of the human body.

Also, at this stage, you learn about medical ethics, pharmacology as well as any other related issues to the psychiatric career.

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4. Earn and Maintain Licensed and Board Certified

Your completion of medical school is followed by obtaining a license and certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) before you can practice without supervision.

Basically, the requirements for license maintenance and renewal may vary across states in the US. However, you may be required to obtain a minimum number of proceeding education credits in order to maintain your licensure.

Generally, this renewal is required every ten years. However, its renewal conditions and processes may vary based on your area of specialty in psychiatry.

5. Complete residency

After you have completed the above steps, you will be required to complete four years of residency. This could be either in a hospital’s psychiatric ward or a psychiatric hospital.

During your residency, you will be trained in major subjects such as:

  • Chemistry dependency
  • Neurology
  • Psychometrics

However, prior to those, you would first spend your residency in general medical rotations, where you will be required to focus on family practice primarily.

Afterward, you will be required to focus on neurology and then spend the remaining part of your residency in psychiatry.

It will include two years of both inpatient and outpatient psychiatry.

What to Expect During Residency

During your residency, you may expect to encounter patients with various mental disorders such as:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Dementia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Clinical depression and lots others.

6. Earn License to Practice Psychiatry

Although laws and regulations of practice may vary across states, you will be required to obtain a license to practice psychiatry after completing your residency.

7. Certification

Finally, to complete your psychiatric studies, you will need to receive certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN).

This certification is valid for ten years, and after, they will be required to earn continuing education credits via self-assessment to maintain their certificate or license.

How Much is a Psychiatrist Salary in the US?

How much does a psychiatrist make in the US? This section discusses the psychiatrist salary in the US.

We have verified information from various credible sources on how much a psychiatrist can earn in the US. 

According to Indeed, a recent report shows that the average psychiatrist salary in the US in 2022 is $283,910 per year.

According to Salary.com, a psychiatrist salary in the US in 2022 is $238,013 per year.

Also, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a psychiatrist salary in the US as of 2019 was $220,430.

However, it is believed that there are various factors that can cause psychiatrist salary ranges to vary. They include education, certifications, additional skills, and previous work experiences.

What are the Alternative Paths to Become a Psychiatrist in the US?

Basically, there are no alternative or more accessible paths to becoming a psychiatrist in the US or anywhere else in the world aside from the steps given above.

However, becoming a psychologist is the closest option for anyone who desires to get into mental health but does not have the patience to go through medical school.

FAQs Psychiatrist Salary in the US

What licensure does a psychiatrist need?

Basically, a psychiatrist must have a medical license from their state(s) of practice.
They can obtain licensure in either of these degrees:

1. Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree, completing the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX).
2. Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree, leading to the US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).

What Is the Difference Between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist?

A psychiatrist is an expert who has completed medical school and residency in psychiatry. A psychiatrist can administer psychotherapy as well as recommend medications and other medical treatments to patients. 

On the other hand, a psychologist is an expert with an advanced degree in clinical psychology and has undergone extensive training in clinical practice or research.

Also, psychologists deal with individuals with mental health disorders with psychotherapy. However, some psychologists focus on psychological testing and evaluation.

What are the skills requirements to become a psychiatrist?

Below are the required skills you must acquire to become a psychiatrist:

1. Good listening skills
2. Observational skills
3. Effective communication skills
4. Empathy
5. Compassionate
6. Sensitivity
7. Critical thinking
8. Logical reasoning
9. Working under pressure
10. Emotional resilience
11. Teamwork ability
12. Problem-solving
13. Diagnostic skills
14. Organizational skills
15. Decision making

What do psychiatrists do?

A psychiatrist is an expert who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, or management as well as the prevention of mental health and emotional and behavioral disorders in humans.

These disorders may include panic attacks, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, or other related conditions.

Psychiatrists work to diagnose these conditions, treat them as well provide strategic ways to prevent them in the future.

How much does a psychiatrist earn in the US in 2022?

The average psychiatrist’s salary in the US in 2022 is $283,910 per year.

What skills can help psychiatrists find jobs?

1. Addiction counseling
2. English fluency 
3. Bilingual
4. CPT coding
5. Care plans
6. Childcare
7. Computer literacy
8. Computer skills
9. Discharge planning
10. Documentation review
11. EHR systems

What are the careers in psychiatry?

1. Addiction Psychiatry 
2. Child Psychiatry
3. Emergency Psychiatry
4. Psychometrics
5. Geriatric Psychiatry
6. Learning Disability Psychiatry
7. Neuropsychiatrist
8. Organizational Psychiatrists
9. Pain Psychiatry
10. Psychoanalysis
11. Rehabilitation Psychiatry

Is there an easier way to become a psychiatrist?

There are no alternative or more accessible paths to becoming a psychiatrist in the US or anywhere else besides the steps given above.

However, becoming a psychologist is the closest option for anyone who desires to get into mental health but does not have the patience to go through medical school.

Conclusion

Becoming a psychiatrist is one of the most enjoyable career paths anyone looking to get into the medical field can venture into.

It comes with lots of benefits as well as the opportunity to help people from different walks of life and make money while at it. Even better, it is quite a lucrative career anyone looking to have fun and make money can get into.

We hope this detailed guide on how to become a psychiatrist in the US answers all the questions you had prior to reading this article.

We wish you all the best.

References

  1. https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/doctors/roles-doctors/psychiatry/general-psychiatry
  2. https://universityhq.org/how-to-become/psychiatrist-careers/
  3. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/what-is-psychiatry-menu
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