Psychiatric Technicians

Psychiatric technicians work with people with mental illness, emotional disturbances, or developmental disabilities. Their duties vary considerably depending on place of work, but may include helping patients with hygiene and housekeeping and recording patients' pulse, temperature, and respiration rates. Psychiatric technicians participate in treatment programs by having one-on-one sessions with patients, under a nurse's or counselor's direction.

Another prime aspect of the psychiatric technician's work is reporting observations of patients' behavior to medical and psychiatric staff. Psychiatric technicians may also fill out admitting forms for new patients, contact patients' families to arrange conferences, issue medications from the dispensary, and maintain records. There are approximately 66,760 psychiatric technicians employed in the United States.


Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) DD Techs, Human Services Technicians, Mental Health Technicians
Duties Provide care to people with mental illness, emotional disturbances, or developmental disabilities
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $75,000
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Nationwide
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
  • Some Postsecondary Training
School Subjects
  • Biology
  • Health
  • Psychology
Experience Internship; volunteer or part-time experience
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Helpful
  • Social
Skills
  • Interpersonal
  • Organizational
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Little Change or More Slowly than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Health Care Manager or Instructor
  • Senior Psychiatric Technician
  • Psychiatric Technician
  • Nurse's Aide

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