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The practice of psychiatry has changed substantially over the last twenty years. With the decline of psychotherapy and increase in psychopharmacological management in psychiatric practices (ref. 1), psychiatry salaries are now often pegged to the shear number of cases reviewed in a given hour. As a result of the shifting trends in clinical practice, the compensation packages for psychiatrists vary substantially and can depend heavily on the type of practice and clinical environment.
Educational Requirements for Psychiatry
Before considering the salary that one can expect in psychiatrist jobs, it is important to think about the job itself and the requirements needed to pursue the career. A career in psychiatry requires at least two steps of education. First, the person will need to complete general medical school to become a physician. Next, the person will need to complete four to five more years of psychiatry specialty and potentially sub-specialty training.Training in psychiatry determines earning potential
Areas of sub-specialty concentration include pediatric psychiatry, women’s psychiatry, the study of anxiety disorders, the study of sleep disorders, and neuropsychology.
Because there are so many ways to specialize one’s field in psychiatry, it is no surprise that psychiatrist salary levels can vary greatly.
Students Should Consider Psychiatrist Salary versus Training Costs
Because salary can be a major factor in one’s career, it is important for a student to do their research before they begin their specialized training. This way, the student can decide on their concentration with a full knowledge of what they can expect once they begin their career. Average debt after medical school is now over $100,000 and residency programs typically pay in the $40,000 range, so the front end training costs are high.
Standard Psychiatrist Salary Information
As a practicing psychiatrist, one will have to consider the factors, which will affect their salary. Whether a person chooses to go into their own practice or to work in a medical facility will be a deciding factor in pay scale. Further factors can include location of the medical facility, size of the location or the facility itself, and the actual experience of the professional.
The average psychiatry pay rate is within a fairly large range. A psychiatry professional can expect a salary in the range of $150,000 to $250,000. This number will vary by the factors above as well as depending upon the professional’s concentration of study.
Resources and References
1. Mojtabai R, Olfson M. "National trends in psychotherapy by office-based psychiatrists." Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2008 Aug;65(8):962-70.
2. Detailed Psychiatrist salary information at Payscale
3. The American Psychiatric Association (APA)
4. Physician Job Search by Specialty
5. Locum Tenens Psychiatry Jobs Recruiters
6. Information about Psychiatry as a Career