The role of the psychiatrists is to diagnose, treat, and prevent mental illnesses. A psychiatrist must stay up to date with the latest advances in the understanding of the underlying causes of mental illnesses and treatments. The job is best suited to individuals with high levels of compassion, understanding, and patience.
But anyone wishing to pursue a career in psychiatry must first complete a bachelor’s degree followed by four years of medical school. However, that is not the end of the path to a career in psychiatry.
After medical school, you are also required to enter a two-year residency program to earn your psychiatry degree. So basically you’d take about eight years to become a licensed practitioner. But is it worth the many years of training?
What are your employment prospects after gaining your qualifications? Well, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) there are currently around 24,060 psychiatrists that are a part of the labor force. Now that may sound like a small number, but that’s because it is compared to the 123.96 million people currently employed as full-time laborers.
The good thing is psychiatrists rank amongst the best-paid workers in the U.S. The average psychiatrist rakes in about $193,680 each year with government employees being paid the most, $210,810 annually. Salaries do, however, differ from state to state with Oregon, Minnesota, and New Jersey paying the highest wages to psychiatrists.
The BLS also states that employment within the field of psychiatry is expected to increase by 24% between 2010 and 2020, which is a much higher growth rate than the growth rate expected for other fields. This is mostly because more people are turning to psychiatrists to help resolve their issues. It also stems from a greater appreciation of the importance of mental health in a learning environment. But employment opportunities in schools are limited by their budgets.