The demand for psychiatric professionals rises during times of economic recession. Specialty fields continue to rise as people, and psychiatrists, educate themselves on different mental issues. Each of these specialties offers a high salary.
According the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for a psychiatrist in 2010 was $167,610, with almost no unemployment. The highest paying jobs in the field were with outpatient care centers and local governments. Those practicing psychiatry in Oregon, Minnesota and Wyoming tend to earn higher salaries.
Psychiatry includes the specialty fields of addiction, forensic, child and adolescent, and geriatric psychiatry. There are also specialties in clinical neuropsychology, pain management, sleep medicine, psychosomatic medicine and hospice and palliative medicine. Each specialty area requires up to two years of specialized training.
The Association of American Medical Colleges reports that the salary range for psychiatrists, including specialists, is $173,800 to $243,900. With the demand for psychiatrist and specialists growing, compensation is unlikely to decline in the immediate future, particularly because fewer individuals are pursuing a career in psychiatry. Some fields, such as geriatric psychiatry or hospice and palliative medicine, will likely continue to grow as the baby boomer population reaches retirement age.
Pursuing a Specialty Career
If you would like to pursue a career as a psychiatrist in a specialty area, you must attend a four-year college and then medical school. A psychiatrist must go through the schooling and training to become a physician prior to pursuing psychiatry. You must then go through a four-year residency program, plus an additional two years for any specialty area that you would like to practice in.