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Psychiatrist

Alternative titles for this job include

Psychiatrists are doctors who diagnose and treat patients with mental health problems.

Average salary (a year)

£44,000 Starter

to

£94,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

41 to 43 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on a rota

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a psychiatrist

You can get into this job through a university course or an apprenticeship.

University

To become a psychiatrist you'll need to complete:

  • a degree in medicine recognised by the General Medical Council
  • a 2-year foundation programme of general training
  • 3 years core training in psychiatry
  • specialist training which can take up to 3 years

A medical degree normally takes 5 years to complete. Some courses have the option to include an extra year if you want to study a subject further. This is called an intercalated year.

You might be able to study a foundation year before starting a medical degree. This will depend on your circumstances or if you have not studied enough sciences. Check with the admissions department where you want to study.

If you already have a degree, you could take a 4-year graduate entry route into medicine. There’s lots of competition and entry requirements vary, so check with the admissions department where you want to study.

Entry tests

When you apply for a course in medicine, you could be asked to take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT), BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) or Graduate Medical Schools Admissions Test (GAMSAT).

They test the skills you'll need on the course, like critical thinking, problem solving, data analysis, communication and scientific knowledge.

Work experience

Medical schools will also expect you to have some relevant paid or voluntary work experience. The British Medical Association provides information on how to find a placement.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 3 A levels, or equivalent, including biology and chemistry
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More Information

Apprenticeship

From September 2024, you might be able to do a doctor degree apprenticeship which will take around 5 years to complete.

The apprenticeship is recognised by the General Medical Council.

You could then progress to the foundation course of general training before completing the specialist training.

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

More Information

Volunteering

You can gain valuable caring skills from volunteering in education, health, charity or social care settings. You could:

More Information

Registration

Career tips

The General Medical Council has a guide on what it means to be a good doctor. You might find this useful  when preparing for medical school interviews.

You can use online resources to find out more about the types of interviews you can expect to get into for medical school.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the British Medical Association for professional development and training opportunities.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a psychiatrist from the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Health Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • knowledge of psychology
  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • active listening skills
  • knowledge of English language
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could:

  • assess your patient's condition by asking them about their thoughts
  • recommend treatments like counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy
  • get information from other sources like GPs, social workers or relatives
  • carry out blood tests or scans to rule out other health conditions
  • carry out psychiatric tests and prescribe medication

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital, in the community, in a prison or at a client's home.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience you could:

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a psychiatrist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Access to HE: Science

  • Provider: SUFFOLK NEW COLLEGE
  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Ipswich

Access to HE: Science

  • Provider: ACTIVATE LEARNING
  • Start date: 11 September 2024
  • Location: Guildford

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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Skills assessment

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