A Psychiatrist salary continues to fall to the bottom of the compensation ladder even as mental health needs grow. One in five U.S. adults have a mental health or substance abuse issue according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration. It’s a bigger disease burden than even heart disease or cancer, yet the physicians that provide mental health care are being paid less than half of that of a cardiologist.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its annual Occupational Employment and Wages study. The map below illustrates the 2021 mean wages of Psychiatrists throughout the United States.
Blank areas indicate data not available
PSYCHIATRIST SALARY IMPLICATIONS TO CONSIDER
There are several factors, aside from location, such as amount of experience, where the Psychiatrist received their education and the areas where work can impact the average Psychiatrist salary. Salaries are also impacted whether you are employed as a W-2 employee or 1099 independent contractors. 1099 independent contractors, or self-employed Psychiatrist, including Psychiatrist contract jobs and locum tenens psychiatry jobs, made slightly more than the average Psychiatrist employed by a medical group or hospital as per the latest Physician Compensation Report 2021 from Medscape. Locum physician rates vary based on most of the same criteria as W-2 employed Psychiatrists.
FUTURE OF PSYCHIATRY SALARIES
The mental health crisis is being exacerbated by the psychiatry shortage, particularly in rural areas and small towns with no signs of improvement. The number of medical students entering the psychiatry specialty has continued to decline, with research showing that compensation played a large part in that decrease, particularly for young doctors. As medical students look to pay off student loan debt, they are opting for higher-paying specialties. However, as shown in the chart above, salaries are steadily increasing in many states. One way to ensure the top salary is to work as a Locum Psychiatrist, check out our mental health locum jobs throughout the United States.
YEAR OVER YEAR COMPARISONS
California, up from second place last year, employs the most Psychiatrists with a total of 4,410, New York takes second with; 4,050, Florida 2,490, Texas 1,360, and New Jersey and Massachusetts both employing 860 Psychiatrists round out the top states with highest employment levels. Alaska, New Mexico and South Dakota all tie for the lowest employment levels of Psychiatrists.
The top paying states for Psychiatrists are not the typical larger population states. They include Missouri, Maine, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Indiana. Hawaii has the lowest annual mean wage, but has increased more than 28% over last year. Overall, the average Psychiatrist salary increased throughout the United States from 2020 with some states seeing significant increases such as Delaware up 95% and Montana up 52%. However, on average they are still among the lowest paid physician specialty in the United States.
|State||2021 Annual mean wage(2)||2020 Annual Mean Wage|