A median psychiatrist salary in the United States is reported to be around $198,000 per year. The salary of a psychiatrist is very much dependent on many factors, as is the case for many professions. Factors such as location of practice, number of years of experience, sub-specialization, and type of and size of establishment can all affect their salaries.
The lowest 10th percentile in the profession earns a mean salary of $158,000 or less per year. The highest 10th percentile earns a salary of about $241,000 or more per year. The middle 50% of the workforce earns between $178,000 and $221,000.
When you add on benefits such as bonuses, health care, pension, social security, 401K and paid vacations, the total pay package for a psychiatrist can average about $265,000 per annum.
A psychiatrist’s salary is not the highest in the medical field but still is a competitive salary compared to other professions.
Job description of a psychiatrist
A psychiatrist is a physician that that is trained to diagnose and treat mental disorders in patients. They sometimes over consultation services to other physicians. Psychiatrists are not the same as psychologists. They are full trained doctors diagnose and treat brain disorders that affect behavior mood, thought and cognition. A psychiatrist is trained to use biological, social and psychological factors for diagnosis. They can use pharmacologic as well as psychotherapeutic treatments to heal both the brain and mind.
Most psychiatrists do not spend large parts of their time providing counselling like psychologists.
How to become a psychiatrist
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Psychiatrists are physicians and like any other physician needs a medical degree. The path to becoming a psychiatrist is a long one.
Step one: Acquire a bachelor’s degree. This will enable you to get into medical school. Although medical school admission will accept degree holders from all fields of studies, there are some key science courses you should take. Courses such as biology, anatomy, chemistry, organic chemistry and physics are good courses to take.
Step two: Apply to medical school. Medical school admission is a very competitive process. It involves putting together an extensive application which includes a bachelor’s degree, essays, letters of recommendation, writing and passing the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and attending several interviews. Medical school lasts 4 years and you should concentrate on psychiatry electives.
Step three: Residency. Upon finishing medical school you will undertake a further 4 years training in residency. This is the period where you are trained to become a psychiatrist. At the end of your residency, you will be required to sit and pass an exam to get a license to practice as a psychiatrist.
The entire process of starting college to becoming a psychiatrist will take a minimum of 12 years so you have to be very dedicated to pursue this profession.
Psychiatrist salary in other countries (Uk, Canada and Australia)
In the United Kingdom, a psychiatrist earns an average salary of about £54,000 per year. They earn an average median salary of about £46,000 per year. Their average pay per hour amounts to about £29 per hour.
In Canada, the average psychiatrist salary is reported to be about CA$120,000 per annum. The range for psychiatrists in Canada is between CA$55,000 and CA$165,000 per year.
The average psychiatrist salary in Australia is reported to be about AU$120,000 per annum. A rookie psychiatrist can expect a salary of about AU$83,000 per year whiles a senior psychiatrist can expect an annual salary of about AU$183,000 per year. Income varies with years of experience and skill level.
Verdict on psychiatrist salary
First of all, you shouldn’t really be in the profession for the money. A psychiatrist’s job is a very challenging one and requires someone who is in it for the love of it rather than the remuneration. However, no one likes to work for free especially when you have bills to pay and a family to take care of. Medical school can be very expensive and most students graduate with heavy debts to pay. A psychiatrist salary is not one of the highest among physicians but it is still a highly paid job compared to other professions.