Difference Between Psychologist & Psychiatrist

Psychology and Psychiatry

Even though both psychology and psychiatry are courses that deal with the behaviour of human mind, as professions, these two are very different. We at NNE have tried to bring out the difference between the two but it is important to remember is that difference between the two lies in difference of applications of the same science.


Psychology is the study of mental processes and a person’s behaviour. A professional practitioner, who practices psychology, is known as a psychologist. Psychologists study things like reactions, emotions and behaviour of a person. Today, psychology is becoming one of the most sought after professions.

Psychology Profession

As a profession, it is the application of the understanding of a person’s behaviour to help solve human problems. Psychology deals with behaviour of a person and so psychologists can apply their findings and knowledge to a lot of services that include human behaviours and human involvement like, sports, management and law.

A Clinical Psychologist can be hired in hospitals or as counsellors. School psychologists take care of behavioural problems of children in schools. Industrial psychologists can use their knowledge in an organisation to motivate employees and a social psychologist examines individuals and trends of a society.

How do they work?

Psychologists note their findings through a lot of ways like laboratory experiments, interacting with people, and observing people’s behaviour in a certain situation, aptitude and intelligence tests and finding trends in surveys. Psychologists can even specialisein a field of their choice.

Areas of Specialization

  • Clinical psychology

  • Criminal psychology

  • Sports psychology

  • Business psychology

  • Forensic psychology

Offered Courses and eligibility

You can pursue undergraduate courses like B.A (H) in Psychology. You need to have a HSC (or equivalent) degree.

Average Salary of a psychologist in India:

In India, a good reputed psychologist with a particular specialisation, the location and experience earns around Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 1,20,000 per month.

How to become a Psychologist in India?

You can become a psychologist in the following steps:

  • Take Science/Arts with Psychology as a subject in your 11th and 12th.
  • Do your Bachelor's in Psychology
  • Then Master's in Psychology
  • For better career advancement you can go for M.Phil and/or PhD. in psychology


A unique sort of medical specialty, this field delves into the problems of the mind - the treatment of disorders such as:

  • Affective,
  • Behavioural
  • Cognitive
  • Perceptual

Psychiatry Profession

A psychiatrist is a doctor who specialises in psychiatry and is certified in treating mental disorders. Since a psychiatrist is a qualified doctor, he can prescribe medicine, use techniques like interpersonal relationship (psychotherapy) and a wide range of other techniques to cure the illness.

How do they work?

Psychiatrists are trained in psychotherapy, techniques to either directly or indirectly image the structure and function of the brain (neuroimaging) and other such techniques. Psychiatrists conduct tests to examine the mental state of the patient and compile a case history.


The field of psychiatry itself can be divided into various sub-specialties. These include:

  • Addiction psychiatry

  • Adult Psychiatry

  • Child and adolescent psychiatry

  • Consultation-liaison psychiatry

  • Cross-cultural psychiatry

  • Emergency psychiatry

  • Forensic psychiatry

  • Learning disability

  • Neurodevelopmental disabilities

  • Neuropsychiatry

  • Psychosomatic medicine

Offered Courses and Eligibility

To pursue psychiatry, you need to pursue MBBS, and then specialise in psychiatry. You can then super specialise in any of the above mentioned fields. There is no course offered at the undergraduate level.

Subjects needed at the HSC level are: Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.

Average Salary of a Psychiatrist in India:

In India, a good reputed psychiatrist with a particular specialisation, the location and experience earns around 8LPA.

How to become a Psychiatrist in India?

You can become a psychiatrist in the following steps:

  • Take Science with Biology as a subject in your 11th and 12th.
  • Do your Bachelor's in Medical (MBBS)
  • You can then apply for either Post Graduate Studies in Psychiatry or Diploma in Psychiatry.

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