What Is the Average Salary for Psychiatrists in Different Work Environments?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated April 1, 2021 | Published January 5, 2021

Updated April 1, 2021

Published January 5, 2021

Medical doctors must receive many years of education and training to perform their jobs. Because of their expertise, they're often well-compensated for their work. Psychiatrists are one type of doctor who make a lucrative living in their field. In this article, we explain what a psychiatrist is, offer the average salary for psychiatrists and list different psychiatric workplace specialties and their average salaries.

Related: What Is a Psychiatrist?

What is a psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist is a type of medical doctor who specializes in the study and treatment of mental disorders. Most commonly, psychiatrists diagnose and treat patients suffering from mental health problems through a variety of methods. Common job duties for a psychiatrist include:

  • Providing care: Psychiatrists often see patients in therapy sessions to offer care. Many also offer emergency sessions or treatment for urgent situations.

  • Overseeing management: Most psychiatrists oversee a full, long-term treatment plan for their patients, which may include therapy, medication or a combination of treatment options.

  • Offering guidance: A number of psychiatrists provide guidance to patients struggling with difficult life situations or circumstances.

  • Giving treatment: Psychiatrists often provide treatment options to individuals, couples or families, depending on the specifics of the situation.

  • Assisting other doctors: Many psychiatrists work with other doctors to provide holistic care to patients with mental and physical health concerns.

Related: Psychiatrist Educational Requirements

Average salary for psychiatrists

According to Indeed, the average salary for a psychiatrist is $221,066 per year. Psychiatrists are well-compensated for their extensive education, training, licensure and experience. Several factors can impact the specific salary you can expect to make working in the field of psychiatry. For the most up-to-date salary information, please follow the link above.

  • Experience: In most cases, the more experience you have practicing psychiatry, the more money you can expect to make as a psychiatrist.

  • Education: Some organizations are willing to pay psychiatrists with additional certificates and training more in salary. Other organizations pay psychiatrists with degrees from top-tier schools more money.

  • Specialization: Just like other areas of medicine, psychiatrists can specialize in different niche fields. Some specializations pay more than others.

  • Location: Your geographical location can also impact your salary as a psychiatrist. Generally, if you live and work in a big city where the cost of living is high, you can expect higher compensation than if you live and work in a less expensive area.

  • Employer: The type of employer you work for also affects your salary. For example, psychiatrists who work for public institutions like the military often make less than their private sector counterparts.

Related: How To Become a Psychiatrist

Types of psychiatrists with average pay

Psychiatrists can specialize in a couple of ways. Some treat specific populations, like children or the elderly, while others work in a certain type of medical environment. Often, the biggest differences in average salary for psychiatrists come from where they work rather than the type of psychiatry they practice. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the average salaries for psychiatrists in several work environments. For the most up-to-date salary information, please follow the link above.

1. State government

National average salary: $205,960 per year

Primary duties: A psychiatrist working for the state government is responsible for caring for the psychiatric needs of state government workers, performing research and establishing best practices for government-provided mental health services. Depending on the specifics of the role, these psychiatrists might exclusively treat patients, exclusively work with lawmakers or do a combination of both.

2. General hospital

National average salary: $205,880 per year

Primary duties: A psychiatrist working in a general hospital is responsible for caring for patients in emergency or urgent care settings by performing examinations, diagnosing illnesses and providing treatment. Some hospital psychiatrists work exclusively in an emergency capacity and treat patients as needed, while others see patients for appointments in the hospital setting as a part of the patient's care team.

3. Private practice

National average salary: $214,500 per year

Primary duties: A psychiatrist working in private practice is responsible for meeting with patients in their office for therapy sessions, diagnosing illnesses and providing treatment. Some patients seek psychiatric help on their own, while others are referred to a psychiatrist by their primary care doctor. Usually, after the referral, private practice psychiatrists work with their patients independently.

4. Psychiatric hospital

National average salary: $227,460 per year

Primary duties: A psychiatrist working in a psychiatric hospital is responsible for caring for mentally ill patients. In psychiatric or other mental health-specific hospitals, the patients admitted are suffering from acute mental illness rather than a combination of physical and mental illness. Psychiatrists respond to emergency situations, diagnose patients and provide treatment.

5. Shared practice

National average salary: $230,030 per year

Primary duties: A psychiatrist working in a multi-specialty shared practice is responsible for providing mental health care to their patients as part of a larger, holistic care team. Depending on the other types of doctors in the practice, the office may be entirely mentally health-focused, or may combine several specialties. For example, a psychiatrist might work in a shared practice with an oncologist and offer counseling and treatment for patients or family members managing a cancer diagnosis.

6. Residential care and rehabilitation center

National average salary: $231,600 per year

Primary duties: A psychiatrist working in a residential care and rehabilitation center is responsible for providing long-term, residential care to mentally ill patients or people suffering from substance abuse. These psychiatrists diagnose patients, provide therapy and prescribe medications as needed. Since patients live at these facilities, often psychiatrists will work regular daytime hours in addition to on-call evening, overnight and weekend hours in case of emergency.

7. Outpatient center

National average salary: $250,230 per year

Primary duties: A psychiatrist working in an outpatient center is responsible for caring for hospital patients in non-emergency settings. Most psychiatrists who work in outpatient care centers see patients during normal business hours and diagnose mental health problems, prescribe treatment and oversee care. They may work in conjunction with hospital psychiatrists to treat patients transferring from hospital care to outpatient care.

8. Home health care

National average salary: $253,090 per year

Primary duties: A psychiatrist working in home health care is responsible for providing psychiatric care to patients in their homes. In most cases, psychiatrists who work in a home health care setting see patients who are unable to leave their homes for physical or mental reasons. They offer diagnosis, prescribe treatment and oversee the patient's care.

9. Local government

National average salary: $255,070

Primary duties: A psychiatrist working for the local government is responsible for providing treatment to patients and potentially evaluating or establishing governmental mental health practices. Some local government psychiatrists work in settings like prisons, schools or government offices, providing psychiatric care to the members of the community. Others serve a more administrative role and perform research and contribute ideas to governmental practices for local public mental healthcare.

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