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Quick Facts: Psychiatry Industry

Median Pay:   $79,743 per year | $38 per hour
Entry-Level Education:   Doctoral or professional degree

Psychiatry Occupations:

  • Psychiatrists$181,880
  • Psychiatric technicians$31,130
  • Psychiatric aides$26,220

Online Psychiatry Degrees

Often confused with psychology, a very similar study, psychiatry is a field that works to understand, diagnose and treat mental illnesses of all types. Working as a psychiatrist can be intense as well as fulfilling, and the rewards range from knowing that your work truly helps people live better lives to lucrative salaries. If you have an interest in one day working as a practicing psychiatrist, follow these steps to achieve your career aspirations.

The first step on the path to becoming a psychiatrist is earning a bachelor's degree. Psychiatrists need to attend medical school, and a prerequisite of being accepted into a medical school of any kind is having a bachelor's degree with an impressive grade point average.

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  • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
  • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
  • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
  • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
  • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
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Building on Purdue's mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Globaldelivers a fully personalized online experience that's tailored to working adults. By opening the doors to adults who need flexibility to fit learning into their busy lives, we make it possible to achieve a high-quality education from a prestigious university system—completely online.

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  • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.
  • As a regionally accredited, private, online and graduate-focused university, NCU offers doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business, technology management, education, and psychology, as well as doctoral and master’s degrees in marriage and family therapy.
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Our university mission is to deliver an exceptional education that inspires professional success and lifelong personal and intellectual growth – the JWU College of Online Education gives us another way to deliver on that promise.

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Ohio Christian University , Online (campus option available)
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Designated as a Military Friendly School every year since 2012 by Victory Media.
  • Offers credit for prior learning and experience through assessment tests.
  • Provides a short term Leadership Certification program in partnership with EQUIP®.
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
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  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year.
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities ( beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities. 
  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
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Divine Mercy University (DMU) is a Catholic graduate school of psychology and counseling, founded in 1999 as the Institute for the Psychological Sciences.  The University is dedicated to the scientific study of psychology with a Catholic understanding of the person, marriage and the family.  The University offers Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctoral (Psy.D.) degrees in Clinical Psychology, a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Psychology and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

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  • Liberty University provides a worldclass education from a christ-centered worldview
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels
  • No standardized testing if student meets admission requirements
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • 95% of Liberty University students receive some form of financial aid
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  • An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession.
  • Our competency-based curriculum delivers foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so what you’re learning is immediately applicable to your career.
  • Right now, more than 36,000 students are expanding their opportunities with Capella programs.
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Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career-focused education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals.  Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience. 

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Although it is not necessary that you study psychiatry at the undergraduate level, choosing a similar major like psychology or anatomy might be a helpful way to start preparing for the challenges of medical school. Typically, your bachelor's degree will take four years to complete, and it can be earned online as well as on a traditional college campus setting.

Earn Your Doctorate in Psychiatry

After graduating with your bachelor's degree, the next step will be applying to a medical school, getting accepted and beginning your Doctor of Medicine. This typically takes an additional four years to complete, and it provides aspiring psychiatrists with the foundation they need to secure careers in the medical field after graduation.

During your time in medical school, you should expect to study subjects like anatomy, physiology, histology, biochemistry and advanced psychology. You will also work through common mental disorders, popular methods for treatment and communication methods for patients. 

Get Experience Through Residency Training

After completing medical school, you won't yet be able to work as a practicing psychiatrist until you have gained practical experience in the field, which typically comes in the form of residency training. Your residency will take place in a hospital, and it requires an additional four years of hard work.

You will have the opportunity to meet directly with patients, diagnose them and watch experts in the field. This is a challenging time for many individuals, but the results are well worth the hard work.

Become Licensed and Board-Certified

At the completion of your hospital residency, you will have spent a minimum of 12 years preparing for your role as a psychiatrist. However, there are still a few more steps between you and your new career.

You will need to sit for the exam proctored by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in order to become licensed. Then, you'll need to register with the Drug Enforcement Administration in order to prescribe narcotics to patients. You can also become board-certified for even better credentials.

Becoming a psychiatrist is a long road, but the rewards include an impressive salary and a respected position within the medical community.