Therapists in the US: Licensed Psychologists and Psychiatrists
The number of psychiatrists in the US in 2018 and 2019 is 28,600 and 29,023 respectively. The number of licensed psychologists in the US in 2018 and 2019 is estimated at 110,253 and 111,709 respectively.
- According to the American Psychological Association, there were 106,000 licensed psychologists in the US in 2015, the latest data available.
- According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the total number of psychologists in the US in 2018 is 181,700. Although most are licensed psychologists, not all are licensed and data for just those licensed is not provided by the BLS.
- However, BLS notes that the growth rate of psychologists in the US between 2018 and 2028 is 14% (0.14). This represents an annual growth rate of 1.32% (0.0132) [(1+0.14)^1/10)-1)*100].
- Assuming that the growth rate of psychologists in the US is the same as that of licensed psychologists, it will mean that the total number of licensed psychologists in the US in 2018 would have grown to 110,253 [(106,000 * (1+0.0132)^3)] from 106,000 three years prior in 2015.
- It will also mean that in 2019, the total number of licensed clinical psychologists in the US will be an estimated 111,709 [(106,000 * (1+0.0132)^4)].
- The total number of psychiatrists in the US in 2018 is 28,600. Psychiatrists in the US are all licensed physicians, and so are generally referred to as just psychiatrist.
- The number of psychiatrists in the US is expected to grow by 15.8% (0.158) between 2018 and 2028. This represents an annual growth rate of 1.48% [(1+0.158)^1/10)-1)*100].
- Hence, the total number of psychiatrists in the US in 2019 is 29,023 (28,600 + 1.48%).
Case Load of Psychologists and Psychiatrists
- The average caseload of licensed psychologists in the US is about 25-45 patients a week. A caseload of 25 is considered standard for a psychologist.
- According to the American Psychiatrist Association, psychiatrists in the US generally deal with serious mental illness (SMI), especially because drugs may need to be prescribed to treat the illness. About 7.5 million people in the US were treated for serious mental health illness in the US in 2017.
- Assuming that all those with serious mental illness were treated by a psychiatrist, it can be estimated that the average caseload of a psychiatrist in the US is about 262 patients a year (7.5 million patients/28,600 psychiatrists).
Institutions Where they Work
- Psychiatrists work in general medical and surgical hospitals, psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals, outpatient care centers, offices of physicians, residential intellectual and developmental disability, mental health, and substance abuse facilities, psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals, and psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals, and offices of other health practitioners.
- Licensed psychologists work in private practice, hospitals, organized human service settings, and educational settings.