How Much Do Psychiatrists Earn in the US?

On average, a psychiatrist should expect an annual salary between $241,000 to $309,000 per year.

Multiple factors, like geographic location, subspecialties, bonuses, and incentives, control the salary range.

Overall, psychiatrists are among the happiest medical professionals regarding their compensation, with 68% of psychiatrists reporting satisfaction with their salary.

This guide will explain these numbers and show you how to maximize your psychiatrist salary.

Key Takeaways

  • The average income of psychiatrists in the United States is around $309,000 per year.
  • There is a considerable gap among psychiatrists (around 11%)
  • Psychiatrists also often earn different average wages, depending on their sub-specialties.
  • Bonuses and incentives that psychiatrists can receive include: signing and retention bonuses and loan repayment assistance.

How Much Do Psychiatrists Make?

According to Medscape’s 2023 Compensation Report, psychiatrists make an average of $309,000 per year.

This average is relatively bigger than in the other sources we’re about to mention, but that’s because it also includes incentives. Psychiatrists get around $37,000 worth of incentive bonuses. Remember that such bonuses aren’t included if you treat your patients in your own clinic.

Since 2015, the average compensation for psychiatrists has increased by around 43%. Even during the COVID-19 period from 2019 to 2021, psychiatry compensation didn’t drop.

Despite being in the lower half of the annual compensation list, psychiatrists are among the ones most satisfied with their compensation.

They top the chart at 68% despite not being paid nearly as much as, say, orthopedists. Surprisingly, orthopedists don’t feel fairly paid, with only 49% feeling that their compensation is adequate.

In addition to Medscape’s Compensation Report, here are other sources that show the average base salary of psychiatrists:

Psychiatrist Salary by State

We mentioned that the average income for psychiatrists is $309,000 per year. The geographic location is one of the most significant contributing factors to any fluctuations in this salary. For example, metropolitan areas with higher living costs often have a higher demand for psychiatric services.

To give you an idea of how this salary varies by state, here are the top 10 states with the highest compensation for psychiatrists:

State Average Salary Per Year
Maine $386,591
Delaware $376,932
Rhode Island $369,921
New Hampshire $360,754
West Virginia $336,555
Wyoming $335,436
Indiana $330,862
New Jersey $329,939
Kentucky $328,477
Michigan $325,003


On the other end of the spectrum, here are the 10 lowest-paying states:

State Average Salary Per Year
North Dakota $223,747
Nebraska  $216,557
Arkansas $215,827
Nevada $214,223
Idaho $202,378
Utah $205,230
Alabama $189,141
Vermont $161,358
Montana $160,892
Georgia $169,121

Source: (All data is updated as of 2024)

Is There a Gender Pay Gap between Psychiatrists?

There is a considerable pay gap between genders in psychiatry. The 2023 Compensation report mentions that men earn an average of $324,000 per year, compared to women, who earn only $291,000.

While this is a considerable gap (around 11%), it’s fairly lower compared to the 2022 Compensation Report gap, which was around 23%.

Psychiatrists Subspecialties Average Salaries

Salaries for medical professionals dealing with mental illnesses can vary slightly according to their subspecialty. Here are the average salaries based on specialties:

Subspecialty Annual Salary Monthly Pay Weekly Pay Hourly Rate
Child Psychiatrist $282,196 $23,516 $5,426 $135.67
Staff Psychiatrist $271,899 $22,658 $5,228 $130.72
Child And Adolescent Psychiatrist $271,421 $22,618 $5,219 $130.49
Forensic Psychiatrist $266,404 $22,200 $5,123 $128.08
Adult Psychiatrist $262,164 $21,847 $5,041 $126.04

Source: ZipRecruiter (All data is updated as of 2024)

According to this data, the maximum salary margin is around $20,000 (between adult psychiatrists and child psychiatrists).

Related: Learn more about physicians’ compensation in our 2024 Physician’s Salary guide.

What Bonuses Do Psychiatrists Get?

In addition to the base salary, psychiatrists can get multiple bonuses or plans that help them increase or protect their income. Here are a few examples:

Signing Bonuses

These bonuses are one-time payments offered to psychiatrists to incentivize signing a contract with a particular employer.

The average signing bonus for psychiatrists is around $33,000, according to PracticeMatch. However, it can be as low as $2,500 or as high as $150,000.

Such bonuses are often offered by hospitals and medical groups looking to attract top talent.

Retention Bonuses

A retention bonus, typically paid annually or biannually, can be paid to a psychiatrist for staying with an employer for a certain amount of time.

These bonuses can be paid as a fixed amount or as an added percentage per monthly salary.

Loan Repayment Assistance

Some employers may offer loan repayment assistance programs to help psychiatrists repay their student loans.

These programs sometimes provide direct payments toward the psychiatrist’s loans, or they may match contributions made by the psychiatrist toward their loan.

Retirement Plans

Many employers offer benefits to psychiatrists, which often include retirement savings plans. The most common are 401(k) or 403(b) plans.

These employer-sponsored retirement savings plans allow psychiatrists to contribute a portion of their salary before paying taxes.

Many employers also offer matching contributions, which means that they contribute a certain percentage of the psychiatrist’s contributions to the plan. This is essentially free money and a great way to boost retirement savings.

Some employers also offer profit-sharing options, in which a portion of the organization’s profits are contributed to employee retirement plans.

How Can Psychiatrists Achieve Financial Wellbeing?

As a psychiatrist, here’s how you can retain the maximum amount of your income:

Debt Management

Student loans can be a significant obstacle to your money retention, so you should clear such debts as quickly and safely as possible.

If you work in a non-profit setting, consider options like income-based repayment plans or Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

Contract Review and Negotiation

With the right approach, many critical aspects of the contract can be negotiated, such as the starting salary and benefits packages. Contact our experts at Physicians Thrive to get the best possible contract.

Tax Planning

Ideal tax planning is a must to keep your money safe from legal issues. Physicians Thrive can help you achieve the best tax planning for you and your family.

A Few Extra Words

Unless you have a family member in the medical field or a trusted colleague who can help you manage your finances and maximize your overall income, you’ll need a professional’s help.

At Physicians Thrive, we excel at providing such help. We can help you negotiate your contract, teach you how to get the best sign-up bonus, and help you get a better benefits package.

Additionally, we can help you form a retirement plan tailored to your needs.

We can offer this and much more to help you thrive in your medical career and get the most out of your challenging journey. Whenever you’re ready to thrive, contact us.

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