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If you enjoy assisting others and working in a highly creative and dynamic
Career opportunities are available in academic and community hospital settings, home care services, physician practices, international affiliate
Administer TMS treatments according to specific physician protocols. Set up the TMS medical device and monitor all aspects of the treatment sessions
If you enjoy assisting others and working in a highly creative and dynamic
Non-qualifying experience includes, but is not limited to the following: housekeeping, food service, pharmacy technician or aide, clerical
Psychiatric technicians and aides care for people who have mental illness and developmental disabilities. Technicians typically provide therapeutic care and monitor their patients' conditions. Aides help patients in their daily activities and ensure a safe and clean environment.
Psychiatric technicians, sometimes called mental health technicians, typically do the following:
Psychiatric aides typically do the following:
Many psychiatric technicians and aides work with patients who are severely developmentally disabled and need intensive care. Others work with patients undergoing rehabilitation for drug and alcohol addiction. The work of psychiatric technicians and aides varies with the types of patients they work with.
Psychiatric technicians and aides work as part of a medical team under the direction of physicians and with other team members, who may include psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, social workers, counselors, and therapists. For more information on the counselors and therapists they may work with, see the profiles on substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors, rehabilitation counselors, and marriage and family therapists.
Because they have such close contact with patients, psychiatric technicians and aides can have a great deal of influence on patients' outlook and treatment.
Psychiatric aides hold about 73,600 jobs. The largest employers of psychiatric aides are as follows:
|Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals; state, local, and private||40%|
|State government, excluding education and hospitals||25|
|Residential intellectual and developmental disability facilities||9|
|Residential mental health and substance abuse facilities||6|
|General medical and surgical hospitals; private||4|
Psychiatric technicians hold about 66,100 jobs. The largest employers of psychiatric technicians are as follows:
|Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals; state, local, and private||42%|
|General medical and surgical hospitals; private||16|
|State government, excluding education and hospitals||10|
|Residential mental health and substance abuse facilities||8|
|Outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers||5|
Psychiatric technicians and aides may spend much of their shift on their feet. Some of the work that psychiatric aides do may be unpleasant. They may care for patients whose illnesses make them disoriented, uncooperative, or violent.
Psychiatric technicians and aides have high injury and illness rates. Their work requires many physically demanding tasks, such as lifting patients. They also work with patients who may be physically uncooperative, which can cause injuries.
Psychiatric technicians and aides may work full time or part time. Because hospitals and residential facilities operate 24 hours a day, many psychiatric technicians and aides work nights, weekends, and holidays
Get the education you need: Find schools for Psychiatric Technicians and Aides near you!
Psychiatric technicians typically need a postsecondary certificate, and aides need at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Both technicians and aides get on-the-job training.
Psychiatric technicians typically have a postsecondary certificate. Often, they have experience as a nursing assistant or a licensed practical nurse and have completed postsecondary education in nursing.
Other psychiatric technicians may have a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree in psychiatric or mental health technology. These programs are offered by community colleges and technical schools and include courses in biology, psychology, and counseling. Psychiatric technician programs may include supervised work experience or cooperative programs, in which students gain academic credit for structured work experience.
Psychiatric aides typically need a high school diploma or equivalent.
Psychiatric technicians and aides usually have a short period of on-the-job training before they can work without direct supervision.
Training may include working with patients while under the close supervision of an experienced technician or aide. Technicians and aides may also attend workshops, lectures, or in-service training.
Compassion. Because psychiatric technicians and aides spend much of their time interacting with patients, they should be caring and want to help people.
Interpersonal skills. Psychiatric technicians and aides often provide ongoing care for patients, so they should develop a rapport with them. Gaining such rapport makes psychiatric technicians and aides better able to treat their patients and evaluate their condition.
Observational skills. Technicians must watch patients closely and be sensitive to any changes in behavior. For their safety and that of their patients, they must recognize signs of discomfort or trouble among patients.
Patience. Working with the mentally ill can be emotionally challenging. Psychiatric technicians and aides must stay calm in stressful situations.
Physical stamina. Psychiatric technicians and aides must lift, move, and sometimes restrain patients. They must also spend much of their time on their feet.
Most states do not require psychiatric technicians to have a license. California is one of the larger states that requires a license. In those states which license them, technicians usually are required to complete an accredited education program, pass an exam, and pay a fee to be licensed.
The American Association of Psychiatric Technicians offers four levels of certification for psychiatric technicians. The certifications allow technicians to show a high level of professional competency. Requirements vary by certification.
Psychiatric aides are not required to be licensed.
The median annual wage for psychiatric aides is $26,720. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $18,940, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $42,220.
The median annual wage for psychiatric technicians is $30,970. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $21,330, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $59,960.
The median annual wages for psychiatric aides in the top industries in which they work are as follows:
|General medical and surgical hospitals; private||$31,040|
|Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals; state, local, and private||29,320|
|State government, excluding education and hospitals||26,460|
|Residential mental health and substance abuse facilities||25,330|
|Residential intellectual and developmental disability facilities||22,710|
The median annual wages for psychiatric technicians in the top industries in which they work are as follows:
|State government, excluding education and hospitals||$37,260|
|General medical and surgical hospitals; private||31,860|
|Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals; state, local, and private||31,310|
|Residential mental health and substance abuse facilities||26,410|
|Outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers||25,110|
Psychiatric technicians and aides may work full time or part time. Because hospitals and residential facilities operate 24 hours a day, many psychiatric technicians and aides work nights, weekends, and holidays.
Overall employment of psychiatric technicians and aides is projected to grow 6 percent over the next ten years, about as fast as average for all occupations.
Cognitive mental disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia, are more likely to occur among older persons. As the nation's population ages and people live longer, demand for psychiatric technicians and aides is expected to increase because these workers will be needed to care for patients affected by such disorders.
Psychiatric technicians and aides also will be needed in correctional facilities, to care for the aging prisoner population and for those with mental health issues.
|Occupational Title||Employment, 2016||Projected Employment, 2026||Change, 2016-26|
|Psychiatric technicians and aides||139,700||147,400||6||7,700|