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Become a psychiatrist in Australia or New Zealand

Join a profession that makes a real difference in the lives of everyday people. 

Psychiatrists are specialist medical doctors who are experts in mental health.

As a psychiatrist, you'll help people to manage and recover from mental health conditions.

You'll get to know your patients and listen to their stories. Using your medical, psychological and interpersonal skills you'll be able to diagnose and treat the most complex cases.

How do I become a psychiatrist?

To become a psychiatrist you will need to:

  • complete a medical degree 
  • do on-the-job training in a hospital for at least 12 months 
  • enrol and complete training in the medical specialty of psychiatry with RANZCP.

What does a psychiatrist do?

As a psychiatrist, you will be able to:

  • listen to and provide expert care for vulnerable people and their families and whānau
  • prevent, diagnose and treat mental health conditions
  • lead teams of other doctors and health professionals
  • research to lead breakthroughs in psychiatry and mental health
  • foster new generations of psychiatrists
  • provide expert opinion to the community, government and courts.

 More about psychiatrists, their work and day-to-day tasks

What are the chances of getting a job as a psychiatrist?

The likelihood of finding a job as a psychiatrist is very high. There are not enough psychiatrists to meet demand, especially in rural areas.

How much do psychiatrists earn?

A psychiatrist's salary is based on their skills and experience. As a guide:

  • in Australia, the average yearly income of a psychiatrist is A$220,000
  • in New Zealand, psychiatrists typically earn between NZ$152,000 and NZ$217,000 per year.

Interested? Choose a pathway to learn more about study and training requirements

Secondary school students > Medical students and doctors > International specialists >


Help us promote psychiatry

Speaker slides, posters and resources to inspire [Member log in required]

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists has received Australian Government funding under the Specialist Training Program to develop these resources.