Psychiatrists are physicians who specialize in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. These professionals use a combination of psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, drugs and other treatments to help patients with mental disorders. Psychiatrists work for hospitals, health care facilities and as private practitioners. Psychiatrist incomes vary broadly depending on various factors.
There were approximately 22,210 psychiatrists in the United States in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average wage for these workers was $78.68 per hour, or $163,660 per year. The lowest 10 percent of earners made $31.53 an hour, or $65,590 per year, while the median 50 percent earned $77.04 an hour, or $160,230 per year. The top 10 percent of earners made more than $80 an hour, or $166,400 per year as of December 2010.
Differences by Industry
Psychiatrists earned different salaries based on the industry sector in which they were employed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that psychiatrists working in the nursing care facilities sector earned the highest national average of $96.11 per hour, or $199,910 per year. Psychiatrists in the next highest paying sector, outpatient care facilities, had average incomes of $91.51 per hour, or $190,340 per year.
Highest Paying States
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that psychiatrists in Oregon, Wyoming, Minnesota, Alaska and South Dakota had the highest average salaries. Oregon psychiatrists earned an average salary of $105.51 per hour, or $219,450 per year, while those in Wyoming earned $101.22 per hour, or $210,550 per year. Those in South Dakota earned an average of $97.22 per hour, or $202,210 per year.
Highest Paying Metro Areas
Psychiatrist salaries also differ between cities. Psychiatrists in San Diego, California, earned one of the highest national salaries in in 2009, making $115.10 per hour, or $239,410 per year in 2009. Bakersfield, California, the lowest of the top five highest earning cities, had average salaries of $106.16 per hour, or $220,810 per year.