Psychiatric Technician Career - Salary, Duties & Job Information

Psychiatric Technicians Career Description

Psychiatric Technicians play a primary support role for patients with mental health issues. They work under the direction of social workers, physicians, nurses and psychiatrists. They are responsible for a large part of staff interaction with the institutionalized patient

Psychiatric Technician Career Specializations

Psychiatric Technicians advance their careers through continuing education such as certification from the American Association of Psychiatric Technicians, achieving a bachelor’s degree, or an associate’s degree.

Psychiatric Technician Job Duties and Responsibilities

The Psychiatric Technician will have varying roles in any given day no matter what their work environment is. They could be responsible for administering medication, overseeing patient hygiene, patient admission, physical assessment, taking a patient’s vital signs and sometimes counseling patients during support therapy groups.

Psychiatric Technician Work Environment

The Psychiatric Technician will spend most of his time indoors in patient contact. Besides daily hygiene, assistance in eating needed by patients, the psychiatric technician may also be required to restrain violent patients at times.

Psychiatric Technician Employment Outlook and Opportunities

Job Growth for the Psychiatric Technician

Though the psychiatric technician is a vital part of many long-term mental health care facilities that job growth predicted for this career field is slower than average. This trend is no doubt due in part to the movement toward the non-institutional environment for emotionally disturbed for developmentally disabled individuals, taking place across the nation.

Employment Settings for the Psychiatric Technician

The Psychiatric Technician professional will often be employed in a substance abuse or mental health hospital. Other employment opportunities for the psychiatric might be in mental health clinics, regular hospitals, or outpatient mental health facilities.

Salary Ranges for the Psychiatric Technician Professional

Earnings for Psychiatric Technicians with 1 to 4 years’ experience are reported to be from $10 an hour to $15 an hour on average. Earnings for Psychiatric Technicians with 5 to 9 years’ experience are reported to be from $12 an hour to $15 an hour on average. Earnings for Psychiatric Technicians with 10 to 19 years’ experience are reported to be from $12 an hour to $19 an hour on average. The majority of psychiatric technicians are employed for 35 hours a week or more.

How to Become a Psychiatric Technician

Major courses of study for a Psychiatric Technician program

Courses of study and numbers of hours required have some variants between states and between accredited psychiatric technician programs. However, what follows are some broad outlines of courses and areas of study the psychiatric technician might be required to take.

  • Pharmacology
  • Nursing Science
  • Mental Disorders Studies
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Substance Abuse

As mentioned before, the hours required for a psychiatric technician degree or certification can vary from 1300 to 1600 or more hours. These educational requirements vary from state to state. These programs can take from between 1 year to 18 months to complete.

Licensure and certification for the Psychiatric Technician

After completion of a state accredited psychiatric technician degree program students are also required to pass a BVNPT examination in order to be licensed.

Career Advancement for the Psychiatric Technician

A psychiatric technician with ambitions to advance their career will often return to school and study for their associates or bachelors degree with a psychology major. This provides a greater earning potential and more employment opportunity.

Psychiatric Technician Career Considerations

A person investigating a career as a psychiatric technician should keep in mind this could be a high stress job as well as a rewarding one. There can be in some settings, patients displaying assaultive behavior and this must be dealt with most often by the psychiatric technician.

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