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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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5 Program(s) Found
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.*
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help maximize the credit you previously earned.
  • *Excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
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  • Part of the Delta Career Education Corporation.
  • Each campus features a public spa and/or salon where students can gain real-world experience.
  • 17 campuses across the United States, with online options as well.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent colleges and Schools (ACICS), with programmatic accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
  • Originally founded in 1916 in Wilmington, North Carolina by Judge Leon Motte.
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    5 Program(s) Found
    • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
    • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
    • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
    • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
    • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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    Good for Working Adults
    • Online Courses
    • Flexible Scheduling
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    • Transferable Credits
    5 Program(s) Found

    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.

    • Online Courses
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    5 Program(s) Found

    Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career 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. 

      5 Program(s) Found
      John F. Kennedy University , Online (campus option available)
      • Focused on continuing education for adults. 7 locations, 15+ programs. WASC accredited.
      • 20+ unique certificate, workshop, and special topics programs.
      • Several types of financial assistance are available for qualifying students.
      • A nonprofit, private institution based in the Bay Area.
      • An approved participant in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Yellow Ribbon Program.
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      Brenau University , Gainesville

      Brenau Adult and Graduate Studies: Designed with You in Mind

      If you are a busy, working adult, Brenau offers professionally focused undergraduate and graduate degrees and professional certification programs in flexible, convenient formats that meet your goals and fit your schedule. Brenau has a rich history of 135 years, with more than 35 years of experience in delivering programs for adults. As a Brenau student, you can schedule your classes in a format that is convenient to you. Many of our programs can be completed 100% online.

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      • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
      • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
      • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
      • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
      • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
      • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
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      • Provides lifetime career search assistance for all graduates.
      • Engages in partnerships with numerous organizations, such as the Portland Hotel Society, Provincial Outreach Program for Autism and Related Disorders (POPARD), and Lookout Emergency Aid Society.
      • Offers scholarships and bursaries to qualifying students.
      • Gives a free College English Preparatory program to enrolling students.
      • Accredited by the Private Career Training Institutions Agency (PCTIA).
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        • Several student organizations are present on campus, including Alpha Chi and Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Societies, intramural sports, and a student government association.
        • Main campus is located in Hobbs, New Mexico, with online options as well.
        • Originally founded in 1962 as College of the Southwest.
        • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).
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        • Online Courses
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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.