Psychiatrists diagnose and treat patients with mental illness, including prescribing medication when needed. In the US, the median annual salary for a psychiatrist is $200,220 compared to in Canada where the median annual psychiatrist salary is C$181,000, or US$144,982. Yearly earnings for psychiatrists in New Zealand are NZ$152,000 (US$111,209), while psychiatrists in Australia earn AU$134,000 (US$106,716) and those in the UK – about ₤57,000 (US$79,534) per year. In addition to geography, professional experience and work setting also affect salaries, as described in this guide.
How Much Does a Psychiatrist Make?
Salaries with conversion to the US dollar for select countries are provided in the chart below.
|Psychiatrist Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||New Zealand|
While salaries for psychiatrists vary worldwide, earnings are among the highest of healthcare providers. In addition to the geographic region, professional experience and work setting also affect incomes for psychiatrists. Additional information on a career in psychiatry is provided in the following paragraphs.
Psychiatrist Salary Determinant Factors
1. How Much Does a Psychiatrist Make by Country?
Psychiatrist Salary in the US
Psychiatrists in the US earn an average annual salary of $200,220, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Entry level psychiatrists earn a starting salary that exceeds $99,000 per year. With experience, annual salary increases to more than $304,000 per year. There is potential for additional bonus income of up to $40,000. Psychiatrists in California and Hawaii earn the highest salaries at 243,000 per year, followed by the South Central region at $235,000 per year. The lowest salaries are in the Northeast regions.
Psychiatrist Salary in Canada
In Canada, psychiatrists can expect to begin their career earning about C$69,676, while the median psychiatrist salary is C$181,000. With experience, annual salary increases to more than $330,000 per year. Some employers offer bonus incentives that can reach $25,000 in additional income. The Canadian Medical Association reports that about 48% of psychiatrists work in a hospital setting, followed by 32% who work in a private office or clinic. Incomes increase rapidly during the first 10 to 20 years of career work, and only slightly more for those with 20 years’ or more experience.
Psychiatrist Salary in the UK
Psychiatrists who are employed by the National Health Service of UK earn between £26,350 and £30,500 while completing their residency or internship training. Upon completion of training, salaries increase to a range of £36,000 to £46,000 per year. Staff grade psychiatrists in the UK earn up to £70,018 per year, while consultants take home between £76,000 to £104,525 per year. There are opportunities to boost overall earnings through Performance Excellence Awards. Those who work in the private sector may earn more. However, the National Health Service pay scale is often used as a guideline for private sector salary ranges.
Psychiatrist Salary in Australia
In Australia, psychiatrists earn between about AU$77,500 and AU$250,000 annually. The median salary for psychiatrists in Australia is AU$121,405. There are opportunities for bonus and profit sharing incentives that can boost income by more than AU$45,000. Earnings increase during the first 10 to 20 years’ of experience, and then decline for some with 20 years’ or more experience, possibly due to some transitioning to part-time hours during their late-career years.
Psychiatrist Salary in New Zealand
Psychiatrists in New Zealand who are in training begin their careers earning about NZ$72,000 per year, with annual earnings during their early career years reaching NZ$178,000. With additional experience and a patient clientele established, income for psychiatrists in New Zealand ranges from NZ$152,000 to NZ$217,000 per year, according to the New Zealand government. However, those working in private practice can earn up to NZ$600,000. Incomes should remain strong as there is a shortage of psychiatrists in New Zealand. About one-third of existing professionals in this career over age 55 and they will likely retire over the next 10 years.
2. How Much Does a Psychiatrist Make According to Experience?
Salaries are strongly influenced by experience in all countries reviewed in this guide. In New Zealand, the difference in income for psychiatrists in training compared to those with the most experience is more than NZ$500,000 per year, representing a 757% increase. While starting salary in the US is near a six-figure amount, experience further increases earnings by nearly $162,000 or 168%. With experience, incomes in Canada increase by nearly C$30,000 or 340%, compared to more than £79,000 or 307% in the UK, and more than AU$170,000 or 219% in Australia.
While requirements vary worldwide to practice as a psychiatrist, all countries reviewed in this guide require the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree followed by a medical degree that may take four to five years to complete. An additional three to five years of specialist training is also necessary. Continuing medical education throughout one’s career is also necessary to maintain licensure. Registration or licensure is required by the country or state governing body.
3. How Much Does a Psychiatrist Make According to Work Environment?
Psychiatrists work in private practice, hospitals, clinics, the military, and in educational settings. In the US, the highest earning psychiatrists work in office-based multi-specialty groups. They earn, on average, $246,000 per year. Office-based groups are followed by healthcare organizations where incomes average $243,000 per year. In Canada, about 50% of psychiatrists work in hospital settings, which pay competitively compared to earning potential in private practice.
While many psychiatrists work full-time hours, there are opportunities for part-time positions. Psychiatrists working in hospitals and 24-hour care facilities may be required to work evenings, weekends, and holidays with schedules subject to any time or day of the week. Those who work in private practice may have more opportunities for a flexible schedule as they often work during typical business hours during Monday through Friday, with some need for on-call, weekend, or evening hours.
Psychiatrists in Canada and the US work about 46 to 50 hours per week on average, compared to a 40-hour work week that is typical in the UK and New Zealand. Those who have chosen psychiatry as a career profession indicate they would choose the same career field and express a high level of job satisfaction.
Bonuses and Benefits
While many psychiatrists earn healthcare benefits, including medical, dental, and vision coverage, those who are self-employed may need to cover these expenses themselves. Some employers offer profit sharing and bonus opportunities to further increase income. Some employers may also cover fees and travel expenses associated with continuing medical education training.
Global demand for trained psychiatrists is expected to further increase in the coming years. As the population of world ages, it will require additional trained professionals in the mental health field. And part of the aging population includes currently practicing psychiatrists. New Zealand has identified that a notable percentage of currently practicing psychiatrists are age 55 or older. Thus, they will retire over the next few years to 10 years. This prompted the country to identify this field as one that has a shortage of practicing professionals.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics places psychiatrists among the physician group with expected growth of 14% between 2014 and 2024. Psychiatry is a specialty field that skews only slightly toward men. There is 45/55 female to male ratio of career professionals.
Many years of education and training are required for a career in psychiatry. But it offers high earning potential worldwide and good opportunities for employment. Future demand is expected to support the number of psychiatrists in training and keep salaries at a high level. Many psychiatrists work full-time, but there are part-time positions available. Job satisfaction is high among those who work in psychiatry, and most state they would choose the same career field again.
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