What Does A Psychiatrist Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Stan T.Career, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Psychiatrists

Psychiatrists diagnose, treat, and help prevent disorders of the mind.

Salary
$217100
Becoming One
Very Hard
Education
Doctoral degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality
Interest Match





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Psychiatrists diagnose, treat, and help prevent disorders of the mind.

  • Prescribe, direct, or administer psychotherapeutic treatments or medications to treat mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders.
  • Gather and maintain patient information and records, including social or medical history obtained from patients, relatives, or other professionals.
  • Design individualized care plans, using a variety of treatments.
  • Collaborate with physicians, psychologists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, or other professionals to discuss treatment plans and progress.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Psychiatrists prescribe, direct, or administer psychotherapeutic treatments or medications to treat mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders. They counsel outpatients or other patients during office visits.

A typical day for a Psychiatrist will also include:

  • Analyze and evaluate patient data or test findings to diagnose the nature or extent of mental disorder.
  • Gather and maintain patient information and records, including social or medical history obtained from patients, relatives, or other professionals.
  • Collaborate with physicians, psychologists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, or other professionals to discuss treatment plans and progress.
  • Advise or inform guardians, relatives, or significant others of patients’ conditions or treatment.
  • Examine or conduct laboratory or diagnostic tests on patients to provide information on general physical conditions or mental disorders.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Psychiatrists also teach, take continuing education classes, attend conferences or seminars, or conduct research and publish findings to increase understanding of mental, emotional, or behavioral states or disorders. They may also serve on committees to promote or maintain community mental health services or delivery systems.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Psychiatrists examine or conduct laboratory or diagnostic tests on patients to provide information on a general physical conditions or mental disorders. They might also prepare and submit case reports or summaries to the government or mental health agencies.

In addition, they review and evaluate treatment procedures and outcomes of other psychiatrists or medical professionals.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them design individualized care plans, using a variety of treatments.

To some Psychiatrists, it is also their responsibility to advise or inform guardians, relatives, or significant others of patients’ conditions or treatment.

Featured Schools


What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Very High

Is this job meaningful

Very High

85% said they were satisfied with their job and 92% said they found their job meaningful.


I am a board-certified, attending Psychiatrist with the Autism Integrated Care Program and the Medical Director of Telehealth Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. As a psychiatrist, my main responsibility is seeing patients daily. Listening, learning their feelings and problems, and creating solutions through a plan of … Read More


Savant Care

My typical workday consists of seeing 10 to 15 follow up appointments with patients I see every one to three months. We discuss symptoms they are currently struggling with, risks and benefits of medication, and therapeutic strategies. Additionally, I see one to three intake consultations daily where I meet someone for the first time to … Read More


Pros

Suitable for people who like to solve problems mentally.

Suitable for people who value achievements and are results-oriented.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

Demand for this career is growing very fast.

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to start and carry out projects.

It is very hard to get into this career. Extensive skills, knowledge, and experience are required for this career.

Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week).

How much do they make

Average salary

$217100 per year

Average hourly wage

$104 per hour

Entry-level Psychiatrists with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $69,470 to $135,300 per year or $33 to $65 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $208,000+ $100+
Senior (Top 25%) $208,000+ $100+
Median $208,000+ $100+
Junior (Bottom 25%) $135,300 $65
No experience (Bottom 10%) $69,470 $33

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Psychiatrists based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Home Health Care Services $262120 $126.02
Local Government $259010 $124.52
Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Facilities $256040 $123.10
Outpatient Care Centers $249260 $119.84
Other Residential Care Facilities $235550 $113.24
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals $232550 $111.80
Community Food and Housing, and Emergency and Other Relief Services $227570 $109.41
Individual and Family Services $217250 $104.45
Offices of Other Health Practitioners $212750 $102.28
Offices of Physicians $210390 $101.15

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Psychiatrists work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Psychiatrists including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Offices of Physicians 8360 $210390 $101.15
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 4160 $193670 $93.11
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals 3550 $232550 $111.80
Outpatient Care Centers 3060 $249260 $119.84
State Government 1380 $209900 $100.91
Local Government 1250 $259010 $124.52
Offices of Other Health Practitioners 870 $212750 $102.28
Individual and Family Services 750 $217250 $104.45
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 630 $164940 $79.30
Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Facilities 570 $256040 $123.10

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
11%

40 hours
23%

More than 40 hours
66%

Working schedule

94%

6%

0%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
9%

Every day
89%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
1%

Every day
95%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
8%

Every day
92%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
26%

Once a year
45%

Once a month
27%

Once a week
1%

Every day
0%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
2%

Slightly competitive
20%

Moderately competitive
47%

Highly competitive
31%

Extremely competitive
1%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
0%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
1%

Every day
99%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
97%

Once a year or more
2%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
1%

Every day
0%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
97%

Once a year or more
3%

Once a month or more
1%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
99%

Once a year or more
1%

Once a month or more
1%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Very Hard
You will need an extensive amount of skill, knowledge, and experience. Careers in this difficulty category usually require graduate school and more than five years of experience. These careers usually involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Similar careers include Pharmacists, Lawyers, Astronomers, Neurologists, and Veterinarians.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
0%

High School Diploma or equivalent
0%

Post-Secondary Certificate
0%

Some College Courses
0%

Associate’s Degree or similar
0%

Bachelor’s Degree
0%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
5%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
2%

Doctoral Degree
34%

Post-Doctoral Training
59%

Relevant majors

Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Program

A fellowship training program that prepares physicians in the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of mental and emotional disorders in the elderly, and to improve the psychiatric care of the elderly both in health and in disease. Requires prior completion of a residency program in psychiatry.

Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Program

A fellowship training program that prepares physicians to evaluate individuals involved with the legal system and provide specialized treatment to those incarcerated in jails, prisons, and forensic psychiatry hospitals; and who focus on the interrelationships between psychiatry and civil, criminal, and administrative law. Requires prior completion of a residency program in psychiatry.


Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Fellowship Program

A fellowship training program that prepares physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders and symptoms in complex medically ill patients. This includes treatment of patients with acute or chronic medical, neurological, obstetrical, or surgical illness in which psychiatric illness is affecting their medical care and/or quality of life, and patients who have a psychiatric disorder that is the direct consequence of a primary medical condition, a somatoform disorder, or psychological factors affecting a general medical condition. Requires prior completion of a residency program in psychiatry.

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program

A fellowship training program that prepares physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of developmental, behavioral, emotional, and mental disorders of childhood and adolescence. Requires prior completion of a residency program in psychiatry.

Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship Program

A fellowship training program that prepares physicians in the evaluation and treatment of individuals with alcohol, drug, or other substance-related disorders, and of individuals with the dual diagnosis of substance-related and other psychiatric disorders. Requires prior completion of a residency program in psychiatry.


Psychiatry Residency Program

A residency training program that prepares physicians in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental, emotional, behavioral and neurological disorders. Includes instruction in psychotherapy, family counseling, referral, clinical diagnosis, and practice management.

Psychiatry/Neurology Combined Specialty Program

A combined educational program in psychiatry and neurology which has been approved by the specialty board of each of the specialties to ensure that resident physicians completing combined training are eligible for board certification in each of the component specialties. The duration of combined training is longer than any one of its component specialty programs standing alone, and shorter than all of its component specialty programs together.

Pediatrics/Psychology/Child-Adolescent Psychology Combined Specialty Program

A combined educational program in pediatrics, psychology, and child-adolescent psychology which has been approved by the specialty board of each of the specialties to ensure that resident physicians completing combined training are eligible for board certification in each of the component specialties. The duration of combined training is longer than any one of its component specialty programs standing alone, and shorter than all of its component specialty programs together.


Internal Medicine/Psychiatry Combined Specialty Program

A combined educational program in internal medicine and psychiatry which has been approved by the specialty board of each of the specialties to ensure that resident physicians completing combined training are eligible for board certification in each of the component specialties. The duration of combined training is longer than any one of its component specialty programs standing alone, and shorter than all of its component specialty programs together.

Family Medicine/Psychiatry Combined Specialty Program

A combined educational program in family medicine and psychiatry which has been approved by the specialty board of each of the specialties to ensure that resident physicians completing combined training are eligible for board certification in each of the component specialties. The duration of combined training is longer than any one of its component specialty programs standing alone, and shorter than all of its component specialty programs together.

Osteopathic Medicine/Osteopathy

A program that prepares individuals for the independent professional practice of osteopathic medicine, involving a combination of medical principles and procedures and osteopathic principles of holistic medicine and the relationship of the musculoskeletal system to general health. Includes instruction in the basic medical sciences, preventive medicine, family and community medicine, medical informatics, disease systems, organ and physiologic systems, osteopathic principles and practice, osteopathic manipulative treatment, musculoskeletal and skin systems, clinical specialty rotations, medical ethics, and professional standards and practice management.


Medicine

A program that prepares individuals for the independent professional practice of medicine, involving the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of illnesses, injuries, and other disorders of the human body. Includes instruction in the basic medical sciences, clinical medicine, examination and diagnosis, patient communications, medical ethics and law, professional standards, and rotations in specialties such as internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, neurology, ophthalmology, radiology, clinical pathology, anesthesiology, family medicine, and psychiatry.

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
0%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
3%

6 months to 1 year
0%

1 to 2 years
21%

2 to 4 years
13%

4 to 6 years
29%

6 to 8 years
22%

8 to 10 years
5%

Over 10 years
7%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
21%

1 month
36%

1 to 3 months
11%

3 to 6 months
5%

6 months to 1 year
2%

1 to 2 years
10%

2 to 4 years
8%

4 to 10 years
8%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Thinker

People with this personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.

The Builder
29%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
100%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
62%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
81%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
29%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
38%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like working with ideas and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

They also like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
90%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
88%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
90%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
90%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
62%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
90%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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