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What Are the Different Types of Psychiatry Jobs?

Jessica Ellis
Updated May 17, 2024
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Psychiatry jobs cover a broad range of topics and may require different levels of training and experience. Licensed psychiatrists may work in many different areas, including in private practices, mental health wards, research institutions, and universities. Psychiatric nurses are highly skilled mental health professionals who often work for psychiatric hospitals. Psychiatry jobs may also cover several different specialty areas, such as child psychiatry, chemical dependency, and adult mental illnesses.

Licensed psychiatrists may complete more than a decade of education and residency before establishing themselves in a professional field. Many psychiatrists choose to go into private practice where they have greater choice over patients, rates, working hours, and other important factors. In private practice, a psychiatrist may work alone, or start a team of mental health professionals that work together to offer patients a broad range of options.

Those who prefer not to go into private practice may still have a practical career working in a hospital or clinic for the mentally ill. In some cases, psychiatrists in these jobs will be working with patients who live in the facility on a permanent basis, while others may handle patients that have an acute condition that requires temporary inpatient treatment. Some of the tasks involved in hospital psychiatry jobs may include diagnosing patients, setting and adjusting medications, helping patients transition out of the facility, and working with the families and friends of patients.

Doctors who do not wish to practice psychotherapy full-time may instead take advantage of psychiatry jobs in research or education. Many research-based organizations, including government health organizations and pharmaceutical companies, need licensed psychiatrists to conduct studies and analyze findings on therapy techniques, new drugs, and the physiology of mental illnesses. At universities, psychiatrists can help train and inspire the next generation of professionals as teachers and laboratory supervisors.

Psychiatry jobs for nurses are often available for licensed professionals with a background in psychiatric care. These jobs are often found at hospitals, treatment centers, and clinics, though some may involve outpatient care as well. Psychiatric nurses may help take care of patients on a day to day basis, recording any changes or problems they are experiencing. Nurses may also carry out some treatments on their own, or assist doctors with complex procedures.

Though many psychiatry jobs require knowledge of general psychiatry and adult mental disorders, some jobs may be geared toward psychiatric specialties. For instance, some jobs require doctors and nurses specifically experienced in handling the psychiatric conditions of children under 18, in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Drug and alcohol centers may want psychiatrists with a background in chemical addiction and substance abuse therapy. Neuropsychiatry jobs often desire doctors an educational background focused on mental illnesses associated with disease and brain injuries.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for WiseGeek. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.
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Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
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