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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 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Birmingham 370 $27,550
Hoover 370 $27,550
Mobile N/A $33,740
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 150 $29,780
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 1010 $26,460
Mesa 1010 $26,460
Phoenix 1010 $26,460
Tucson 160 $28,840
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 450 $28,530
North Little Rock 450 $28,530
Little Rock 450 $28,530
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Long Beach 1690 $56,690
Los Angeles 1690 $56,690
Anaheim 1690 $56,690
Riverside 1170 $61,110
Ontario 1170 $61,110
San Bernardino 1170 $61,110
San Luis Obispo 810 $59,470
Paso Robles 810 $59,470
Arroyo Grande 810 $59,470
Fresno 690 $58,160
Visalia 540 $57,720
Porterville 540 $57,720
Santa Rosa 520 $53,560
Hayward 350 $58,400
Oakland 350 $58,400
San Francisco 350 $58,400
Vallejo 310 $69,950
Fairfield 310 $69,950
Stockton 260 $58,200
Lodi 260 $58,200
Ventura 200 $63,170
Oxnard 200 $63,170
Thousand Oaks 200 $63,170
Arcade 190 $58,200
Sacramento 190 $58,200
Roseville 190 $58,200
Arden 190 $58,200
Salinas 100 $67,080
Sunnyvale 80 $61,480
Santa Clara 80 $61,480
San Jose 80 $61,480
Bakersfield 60 $62,580
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pueblo 250 $35,200
Lakewood N/A $36,230
Aurora N/A $36,230
Denver N/A $36,230
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hartford 640 $49,540
East Hartford 640 $49,540
West Hartford 640 $49,540
Norwalk 150 $55,810
Bridgeport 150 $55,810
Stamford 150 $55,810
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Palm Beach 2620 $28,060
Fort Lauderdale 2620 $28,060
Miami 2620 $28,060
Clearwater 850 $23,290
St. Petersburg 850 $23,290
Tampa 850 $23,290
Sanford 750 $24,060
Kissimmee 750 $24,060
Orlando 750 $24,060
Jacksonville 640 $25,920
Tallahassee 630 $26,250
Port St. Lucie 580 $27,260
Bradenton 180 $25,110
Sarasota 180 $25,110
North Port 180 $25,110
Titusville 150 $19,510
Melbourne 150 $19,510
Palm Bay 150 $19,510
Cape Coral 130 $23,190
Fort Myers 130 $23,190
Lakeland N/A $23,010
Winter Haven N/A $23,010
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 410 $29,250
Sandy Springs 410 $29,250
Atlanta 410 $29,250
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 90 $33,520
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 80 $43,360
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Indianapolis 320 $26,240
Anderson 320 $26,240
Carmel 320 $26,240
Columbus 90 $22,090
Terre Haute 90 $28,070
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines N/A $28,210
Des Moines N/A $28,210
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 110 $27,060
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 40 $36,820
Lexington 40 $36,820
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Baton Rouge 160 $23,760
Monroe 150 $23,400
Metairie 150 $34,170
New Orleans 150 $34,170
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 200 $36,770
Columbia 200 $36,770
Baltimore 200 $36,770
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 280 $37,670
Detroit 280 $37,670
Warren 280 $37,670
East Lansing 60 $34,900
Lansing 60 $34,900
Wyoming N/A $36,620
Grand Rapids N/A $36,620
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pascagoula 110 N/A
Biloxi 110 N/A
Gulfport 110 N/A
Jackson 50 $27,630
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Billings 150 $23,970
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 310 $27,370
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester N/A $29,560
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Asheville 130 $28,180
Morganton 40 $36,600
Lenoir 40 $36,600
Hickory 40 $36,600
Wilmington 40 $37,180
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 210 $29,820
Dayton 160 $31,030
Toledo 60 $36,720
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tulsa 120 $24,920
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 350 $29,610
Carlisle N/A $28,990
Harrisburg N/A $28,990
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 50 $18,350
Carolina 50 $18,350
San Juan 50 $18,350
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbia 410 $23,500
Mauldin 180 $22,470
Anderson 180 $22,470
Greenville 180 $22,470
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 310 $23,760
Murfreesboro 310 $23,760
Davidson 310 $23,760
Nashville 310 $23,760
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sugar Land 1030 $31,540
The Woodlands 1030 $31,540
Houston 1030 $31,540
Arlington 820 $29,780
Fort Worth 820 $29,780
Dallas 820 $29,780
Austin 510 $27,470
Round Rock 510 $27,470
San Antonio 280 $27,730
New Braunfels 280 $27,730
El Paso 200 $24,740
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 280 $28,910
Clearfield 80 $22,670
Ogden 80 $22,670
Provo N/A $24,350
Orem N/A $24,350
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 790 $27,760
Lynchburg 650 $22,470
Roanoke 40 $22,870
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue N/A $41,230
Tacoma N/A $41,230
Seattle N/A $41,230
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Morgantown 150 $21,280
Charleston 120 $18,810
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 130 $36,320
Waukesha 130 $36,320
Milwaukee 130 $36,320

Most Popular Industries for :
Psychiatric Technicians

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

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

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
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

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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