On completion of their residency, they obtain a license to practice psychiatry. Key differences between psychologists and psychiatrists come down to educational background and prescribing powers, but both share the important goal of helping patients feel better. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median salary for psychologists as of May 2016 was $75,230 per year. Clinical Psychologist. If, after conducting research, psychotherapy, i.e., administering tests, interests you, then you can think of a career as a psychologist. If you do not want to invest five to eight years in graduate training, consider pursuing a career as a licensed social worker or counselor. These professionals are also qualified to provide mental health services depending on training and experience. It is very important to understand the difference between the two. During their education, those pursuing either a Ph.D. or PsyD doctoral degree take courses in personality development, psychological research methods, treatment approaches, psychological theories, cognitive therapies, and behavioral therapies, among other topics.