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Psychiatric Technicians

Psychiatric technicians help people that are developmentally or emotionally disabled. They help people that are suffering from mental distress or mental illness including psychosis, depression and dementia. They are part of a professional services team. They work under the direction of psychiatrists, mental health nurses, registered nurses and other mental health workers. A psychiatric technician position is an entry-level role in a psychiatric facility.

A psychiatric technician monitors the progress of patients. They help patients participate in group activities. A psychiatric technician may administer oral medications and hypodermic injections and help with personal care and hygiene.

Depending on their employer and their level of certification some psychiatric technicians perform tasks such as admitting patients, record keeping and participating in treatment planning.

Some sample job titles are mental health assistant, health care technician, mental health worker and mental health technician.

Responsibilities

  • Develop and teach strategies in order to promote client wellness and independence
  • Assist and support patients treatment plans
  • Monitor patients using medications
  • Encourage patients to participate in recreational social and other therapeutic activities that improve interpersonal skills and develop social relationships
  • Consult and counsel clients about treatment options and medication therapies
  • Assist patients with personal care and hygiene
  • Take and record measures of a patient's physical condition
  • Research and stay current with new medications
  • Report any problems, issues or concerns regarding medication or changes in a patient's physical or mental health
  • Encourage patients to develop work skills

Job Characteristics

Psychiatric technicians usually work in an institutional setting. A psychiatric technician should be compassionate and have the desire to help people.

Employment Outlook

Good employment growth is expected for psychiatric technicians. Healthcare organizations are creating more jobs related to the role of psychiatric technician. In addition, the median annual earnings of psychiatric technicians in 2008 was $29,250.

Various psych tech certification levels let individuals enter the field with relatively little education. They may advance in their careers as they gain education and experience.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Most healthcare organizations prefer candidates that have earned an associate degree in human service or a mental health field. Coursework for psychiatric technicians provide and introduction to the general psychology field and emphasizes application and theory in different clinical environments. The classes emphasize the principals that help psychiatric technicians understand the behavior of mentally ill patients. They also take pharmacology courses to learn about medications and how to safely administer them to patients.

In some states, psychiatric technicians have to be licensed, whereas other states allow individuals to enter the field as a psychiatric aide with just a high school diploma or an associate degree in mental health technology. Psychiatric aide training is primarily provided on the job.

In order to advance in their careers, psychiatric technicians typically need to complete college courses or earn a degree in a mental health or developmental disabilities related field. They also need to take examinations for different levels of certification.

Voluntary certification is provided by the American Association of Psychiatric Technicians and is available at four different levels. Level one requires a high school diploma and passing an exam. Level two requires 30 semester hours of college courses and one year of work experience in a developmental disabilities or mental health field. Level three requires a combination of 60 semester hours of college coursework and two years experience. Level four requires a combination of a bachelor's degree and three years of experience.

Resources

Major Employers

The top employers are psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals; residential mental retardation, mental health and substance abuse facilities; doctors' offices, outpatient care centers, individual and family services, and hospitals.

Schools for Psychiatric Technicians are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Psychiatric Technicians

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Psychiatric Technicians jobs , as of 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hoover 360 $28,350
Birmingham 360 $28,350
Auburn 100 $20,060
Opelika 100 $20,060
Tuscaloosa N/A $30,360
Mobile N/A $35,020
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 210 $28,180
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 1290 $29,630
Mesa 1290 $29,630
Phoenix 1290 $29,630
Tucson 190 $28,690
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 360 $27,640
North Little Rock 360 $27,640
Little Rock 360 $27,640
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Long Beach 1440 $56,750
Los Angeles 1440 $56,750
Anaheim 1440 $56,750
Riverside 1140 $60,450
San Bernardino 1140 $60,450
Ontario 1140 $60,450
San Luis Obispo 890 $58,910
Paso Robles 890 $58,910
Arroyo Grande 890 $58,910
Fresno 800 $58,130
Porterville 590 $57,050
Visalia 590 $57,050
Lodi 510 $67,300
Stockton 510 $67,300
San Francisco 270 $61,310
Hayward 270 $61,310
Oakland 270 $61,310
Ventura 210 $62,860
Oxnard 210 $62,860
Thousand Oaks 210 $62,860
Sacramento 170 $62,450
Roseville 170 $62,450
Arcade 170 $62,450
Arden 170 $62,450
Bakersfield 100 $63,950
San Diego 100 $63,970
Carlsbad 100 $63,970
Santa Clara 90 $64,980
San Jose 90 $64,980
Sunnyvale 90 $64,980
Modesto 50 N/A
Santa Maria 40 $57,630
Santa Barbara 40 $57,630
Santa Rosa N/A $53,670
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 290 N/A
Aurora 290 N/A
Denver 290 N/A
Pueblo 250 $37,200
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Hartford 600 $54,260
East Hartford 600 $54,260
Hartford 600 $54,260
Norwalk 250 $51,050
Stamford 250 $51,050
Bridgeport 250 $51,050
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Miami 3490 $28,660
Fort Lauderdale 3490 $28,660
West Palm Beach 3490 $28,660
Tampa 990 $24,040
Clearwater 990 $24,040
St. Petersburg 990 $24,040
Kissimmee 910 $25,360
Sanford 910 $25,360
Orlando 910 $25,360
Port St. Lucie 820 $27,460
Jacksonville 600 $27,690
Brent 370 $22,180
Pensacola 370 $22,180
Ferry Pass 370 $22,180
Gainesville 250 $28,010
Tallahassee 240 $27,650
North Port 190 $26,670
Sarasota 190 $26,670
Bradenton 190 $26,670
Immokalee 130 $28,890
Marco Island 130 $28,890
Naples 130 $28,890
Cape Coral 90 $25,120
Fort Myers 90 $25,120
Vero Beach 90 $27,300
Sebastian 90 $27,300
Winter Haven N/A $23,570
Lakeland N/A $23,570
Melbourne N/A $25,900
Palm Bay N/A $25,900
Titusville N/A $25,900
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 350 $30,180
Sandy Springs 350 $30,180
Atlanta 350 $30,180
Savannah 160 $26,690
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu N/A $29,090
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Kankakee 820 $51,780
Springfield N/A $38,810
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Indianapolis 360 $26,610
Anderson 360 $26,610
Carmel 360 $26,610
Columbus 70 $23,050
Terre Haute N/A $27,760
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines N/A $28,860
Des Moines N/A $28,860
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 90 $26,520
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Elizabethtown 50 $19,070
Fort Knox 50 $19,070
Fayette 40 $36,380
Lexington 40 $36,380
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Orleans 290 $29,990
Metairie 290 $29,990
Baton Rouge 260 $24,220
Monroe 150 $25,230
Lafayette 40 $24,930
Alexandria N/A $25,210
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland N/A $24,450
Portland N/A $24,450
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 180 $37,210
Columbia 180 $37,210
Baltimore 180 $37,210
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Detroit 440 $33,850
Dearborn 440 $33,850
Warren 440 $33,850
Wyoming 100 $41,060
Grand Rapids 100 $41,060
East Lansing 60 $35,970
Lansing 60 $35,970
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pascagoula 130 $30,390
Biloxi 130 $30,390
Gulfport 130 $30,390
Jackson 60 $27,440
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 540 $26,670
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 170 $30,380
Niagara Falls N/A $31,070
Cheektowaga N/A $31,070
Buffalo N/A $31,070
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salem 150 $28,450
Winston 150 $28,450
Asheville 130 $28,610
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 240 $31,490
Dayton 150 $29,650
Cleveland 120 $29,910
Elyria 120 $29,910
Toledo 120 $35,710
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tulsa 190 $24,160
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 420 $30,500
Carlisle N/A $28,080
Harrisburg N/A $28,080
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 50 $18,810
Carolina 50 $18,810
San Juan 50 $18,810
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Mauldin 170 $25,540
Anderson 170 $25,540
Greenville 170 $25,540
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sugar Land 1370 $31,910
The Woodlands 1370 $31,910
Houston 1370 $31,910
Dallas 820 $29,360
Arlington 820 $29,360
Fort Worth 820 $29,360
San Antonio 360 $29,050
New Braunfels 360 $29,050
Round Rock 340 $29,630
Austin 340 $29,630
Abilene 90 $24,710
Mission N/A $26,170
McAllen N/A $26,170
Edinburg N/A $26,170
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Provo 400 N/A
Orem 400 N/A
Salt Lake City 210 $29,580
Clearfield 80 $23,330
Ogden 80 $23,330
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 680 $28,100
Lynchburg 480 $25,090
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 490 $42,210
Tacoma 490 $42,210
Seattle 490 $42,210
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 220 $19,290
Morgantown N/A $27,080
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 240 $34,430
Waukesha 240 $34,430
Milwaukee 240 $34,430

Most Popular Industries for :
Psychiatric Technicians

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Hospital 36,980 67% $30,620
Government 9,560 17% $27,970
Nursing And Residential Care 4,270 7% $23,590
Medical Office 2,330 4% $25,800
Social Service 830 1% $23,260
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Psychiatric Technicians.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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