Sahil Sharma

What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?

What is the difference between the two in terms of : 1. educational requirements (note : I'm currently studying in class XII with my main subjects as Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Computer Science). How can I further pursue any of the two fields? 2. daily life / job 3. salary 4. scope in India

by Sahil Sharma
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RE: What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?

Meghna Mukherjee
Meghna Mukherjee
Verified Career Expert
Counselor at Adaptive Minds
  • Mumbai

Psychiatry and Psychologists are both mental health professionals.

The major difference being, Psychiatrists are mainly Dr, mainly through the MBBS background and can administer drugs to the patients, whereas a psychologists, mainly is from a ARTS background with a masters degree in Psychology ( MA), and are mainly into psychometric assessments and therapies.

Both the professionals are inter related, meaning works hand in hand especially in the hospital or clinical setting.

A Psychiatrists would be dealing with both Psychotic and neurotic disorders, mainly severe in condition, which needs to be brought under control only through medications and ECT. Whereas a Psychologists would assists a Psychiatrists, mainly helps in diagnosing the disorder, its level through the use of Psychometric assessment Test( Paper- pencil tests) and after medication deals with the clients through therapy ( Counseling) to remove the root cause of the issue.

To qualify as a Psychiatrists, one needs to clear 12th through science background preferably PCMB, then clear entrance exam for medical and then follow the 5 1/2 years MBBS course which also includes rural internship. Post that they would have to further study at the MD or MS level, whereby can choose Psychiatry as their specialization.

As a Psychiatrists you could find jobs mainly in Hospitals, Polyclinics or your own practice and after few years of experience work as a consultant with various hospitals and clinics. Knowledge of therapy would be beneficial, so that you could also take on the work of a Counselor or else you would need to hire one or work in collaboration with a Psychologists.


To qualify as a Psychologists / Counselor, career options after 12th, you could either opt for a BA or B.Sc in Psychology. Major difference being in B.Sc you would be exposed to science related subjects dealing with neuro and genetic. Post that you would have to further it up with a Masters degree, whereby you could choose specializations from

  • Clinical, Counseling, Industrial,
  • Forensic ( B.SC Psychology)
  • Neuropsychology ( B.Sc Psychology).

This course would enhance your skill in terms of career assessment test and therapies or counseling. You could find jobs in Psychological organizations, Hospitals, Clinics, Schools, Industries, forensic or crime department, NGO, welfare organizations.

It would be best if you could get additional certificates like Guidance and online Career counseling, NLP, Hypnosis, EMDR and many such programs.


After few years of experience you could get into training and development or into conducting workshops for schools, in your locality, in hospitals and other areas, depending on your interests.

As far as the salary is concerned, a Psychiatrists being in hospitals do earn a better income than a psychologists, though initially it is on the lower side. Initially you may expect around 20-- 25 K, depending on the place you apply to.

A psychologists in comparison begins very low, say around 10K as a start and then with further experience they may go up to 25K, but then after few years of experience it is better to venture on your own.

Make a confirmed choice.

Wish you all the very best..........

RE: What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?

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