Psychiatrists work with patients who have mental illnesses. They often see individuals suffering from depression or anxiety, or who are struggling with drug abuse. To become a psychiatrist, an individual must complete a bachelor's degree in pre-medical study and then four years of medical school. Afterwards, he must complete a three- to five-year residency training before becoming licensed to work independently.
National and Local Pay Statistics
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, psychiatrists working in the United States earned an average of $177,520 per year as of May 2012. Maine was the highest-paying state for this occupation, with average pay of $232,390. Oregon ranked second at $228,580, followed by Idaho at $219,340. Utah reported the lowest average salary for this occupation, $112,810 per year.
Pay by Employment Situation
As of 2012, psychiatrists employed by outpatient care centers and individual and family services reported high average incomes of around $199,000 per year. Those employed by psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals averaged $177,670, while those working for general hospitals averaged $164,830. Psychiatrists who worked in independent practices reported an average annual salary of $176,930.
Benefits for Psychiatrists
While self-employed psychiatrists may have the advantage of setting their own hours, they have to buy their own insurance independently. However, most psychiatrists who work for hospitals and outpatient care centers receive benefits through their employer. According to the Minnesota Department of Labor, typical benefits for psychiatrists include health and dental insurance, paid time off, and paid sick days. Some are also able to contribute to an employee-sponsored retirement fund.
The healthcare industry is rapidly expanding, and is in need of greater numbers of professionals. Psychiatrists are no exception. According to a Mayo Clinic report published in 2012, the nation is facing a growing shortage of psychiatrists. And at a time when the country needs more, the Mayo Clinic reports that over half of practicing psychiatrists are 55 years old or older and will soon be retiring. As a result, the job outlook is very good for individuals who wish to pursue a degree in psychiatry.