What is a Psychiatric Technician?
A psychiatric technician is a trained health professional who deals with people having mental issues, or illnesses, not to mention the patients who are very unstable when it comes to emotional states. Their work is held under the observation of other healthcare professionals such as psychiatrists or psychiatric nurses. Psychiatric technicians deal with mental illnesses that include dementia, depression or others. These are mental disorders that affect a lot of people’s thinking and the way they react to every outside influence and not only.
Job description of a Psychiatric Technician
Working in facilities that involve the public or private domain, their education involves the levels of general psychology and abnormal psychology, as well as the area of pharmacology that will help them to administer the correct dose of medication.
Depending on other mental healthcare professionals their work and duty job involves assisting at tasks, or applying and introducing treatment plans usually developed by other professionals, but also to report any changes in the patient mental and physical behavior and health, as well as to report the issues that might be manifested, problems and other reactions that the patients might manifest taking certain medications.
All these procedures will require from the psychiatric technicians to keep a history record of every patient, this involving the medicine administering, and the type of medicine, time of administering. He should also track new medicines implemented in the treatment plan, and monitor the patient when he receives the medicine, to make sure that no dose is missed.
Their day by day routine will involve the necessary communicational skills since they will have to meet with their clients to counsel them or to consult with them on matters that involve treatment and what options are the best. This is done according to each case, and also regarding the therapies that are required.
How to become a Psychiatric Technician?
In order to become a psychiatric technician you first have to answer to the question if this is truly what you will want to do. If it is, then you’ll have to pass a few levels of educational training in order to have the necessary practice and knowledge to work as one.
We all know that in order to start a more advanced level of education, you’ll need a high school diploma or its equivalent and to be at least eighteen years old. The lives of other people will depend on you, since they are in need for someone to look after them and to help them improve their life and existence.
The jobs in this field vary a lot but if you want to become a psychiatric technician then you should consider having a license before practice. There are states in the US such as Colorado, California and others that will require from your side to have a license before you’ll start to apply for a working place. But most of them require a license.
It would be for the best if you have the thought of becoming certified in mind since this is one of the available options that will make a huge difference, especially if you want to become a psychiatric technician.
One of the best organizations which will help any working mental health professional worker to become an NCPT or with other words a Nationally Certified Psychiatric Technician is the American Association of Psychiatric Technicians or AAPT.
There are states in which you can be hired as a psychiatric technician only by possessing a high school diploma or if you have an Associate of Applied Science in the field of Mental Health Technology. To have more career opportunities and a chance for advancement, an individual in this profession will have to complete required college classes and finally obtain a diploma in a related field. We are referring to fields such as mental health related or developmental disabilities, as well as others.
There are also different available levels for psychiatric technician certification, also requiring you to complete all required examinations. There is still a four level voluntary certification which is granted by the AAPT organization where at level one you’ll be required to have a high school diploma or the GED and complete an exam.
At level two of the certification you’ll be required to complete 30 hours of college classes and one year of practice in mental health or developmental disabilities areas to gain proper experience and also to complete essay examinations as well as being applied for the levels that will follow.
The level three of certification will require 60 semester hours and more than one year of practice. While the last level of certification that is level four, will require a bachelor degree in one related field and more than two years of experience.
As a psychiatric technician, you can gain certain levels of certification that will allow you to take a step for a future job with less education than in other fields. Their career looks very promising with a license and some advanced degree these increasing the income of one that is already been hired. It is also very important that advancement can be obtained with years of experience and with practice in this field of psychiatry.
A psychiatric technician needs to enroll first in one of the training programs that will grant him a clean start in this branch. So if you need information on what schools fit you the most, you can easily search the schools in your area by using means of communication such as the internet or other media sources.
But you can also search in the nearby institutions or the setting where you can find a licensed and qualified psychiatric technician who can answer to all your questions related to this job and what this job involves.
Your signing up to a psychiatric technician school does not end here make sure that after you’ve found the right school for you, take another step further and fill out the FAFSA and submit to it, this way you’ll benefit of any available aid that is financial.
A psychiatric technician also needs to possess certain skills that will help him or her perform all the required duties with great performance. Their skills are mainly based on being able to work with people in various situations, and set a true motivation towards the patients and to be good observers and so on.
Work environment and schedule
Psychiatric technicians usually work in various institutions and settings, the most common being psychiatric health facilities, home healthcare, hospitals, outpatient mental health and also various state prisons and county jail settings, special school programs, residential treatment programs and many others.
Their schedule is mainly comprised of a forty hour week this involving many nights, weekends and holidays due to the patients that need twenty four hours attention. A psychiatric technician work involves spending most of your time in your feet while helping others in need. This work involves that sometimes as a professional working in this area you’ll have to deal with patients that might become violent and in need of being restrained.
So this job as it is of demanding is also very rewarding, this involving not only the emotional and supportive aid, but also when it comes to being satisfied for contributing to those that lack any favor from life.
Pros and cons of being a Psychiatric Technician
Before you enter on this line of job, you should surely get some straight information on how is to work as a psychiatric technician and what are the expectations. Every job is different, but every job has its advantages and disadvantages, its pros and cons. The more you know, the better. It will help you a lot to from an opinion on what you’ll be dealing with for many years to come.
This job from the start its physically and mentally exhausting since you’ll be dealing with patients that have to fight against psychiatric illnesses, or even developmental disabilities. This job even at an entry level is very hard and very demanding so you’ll have to be truly sure that this is what you want to do. You’ll be dealing with a variety of patients, and you’ll have to make sure that you’ve accomplished the daily tasks.
The pros that can be found in this career are structured on the work with patients and being there for them will help them improve and to have a certain safety. You’ll have time to learn and do some research in the field about a certain disease.
Working with people is not always easy, sometimes it can be very demanding and stressful, but the rewarding that comes out of your hard work it’s entirely worth it. You’ll have to be certainly fit to work with these people since there can appear feelings of depression and other negative states working in this setting.
At the same time, you’ll have to possess the skills that will make the communication a stronger point between you and the patient that you’re dealing with. Still there is a high risk with some patients that could turn surprisingly violent.
Psychiatric Technician job growth
For the subsequent five to ten years, the employment growth of psychiatric technicians is very slow, the projection rate is estimated between 4% and 5%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic. However, the demand for this career will be promoted by the increase in the older population. It is well known that the elderly population is experiencing a high rate of cognitive mental illnesses such as the Alzheimer’s disease than compared with the younger one.
The employment opportunities can be found in various settings such as psychiatric hospitals or substance abuse hospitals, or in any other residential facilities, and not only. There is starting to be more an established trend and a clear influence in treating psychiatric patients in based community settings rather than hospitals. Even though the employment growth is slower than the average for all occupations, this career path remains one that is constant and is satisfactory especially when you can be the right help for an individual that is in constant need of your aid.
Psychiatric Technician Salary
Like in many other settings, a psychiatric technician salary is influenced by a large number of factors that will increase or decrease according to the economic flux and the market demanding on people that work in this field.
The factors with great impact in this job are revealed in the geographical positions of where a job can be found, the metropolitan areas or those that are not, the best paying states, the level of experience that was achieved and the level of training and certification. A psychiatric technician median salary in the US will be estimated to be comprised of $25,010 and $32,750 while those that are in the category of well paid professionals in this branch will earn a salary that reaches $39,100.
There are certifications that will grant you are working in this field the opportunity to obtain a higher psychiatric technician salary and with great benefits. A total compensating package involving salary and benefits which are granted for someone working as a psychiatric technician will be estimated at $45,050. Usually the benefits will include healthcare, pension, social security and many others.
Other factors by which a psychiatric technician salaries run by are the top industries that will grant a higher level in the salary according to the highest levels of employment that can be found in this field. For example, industries like psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals will grant someone working in this area a salary estimated at $35,125 per year while for someone working for the state government will receive a salary estimated to reach $33,450 per year.
According to the best industries for this filed the salary in one institution, can reach to be higher. For example for someone working in colleges or universities not to mention schools the salary that is granted reaches at $42,165 per year while those that work in an assisted living facilities for elders will receive an annual salary that will reach $44,325.
The best paying states for someone working as a psychiatric technician are New Jersey, California, New York, and so on. For example if we take a look at New Jersey a salary for a psychiatric technician is estimated at about $56,415 per year while, in California, the salary will reach $53,245 per year.
Each metropolitan and non-metropolitan area is influenced by various factors as well when the salary subject is brought in sight. The influential factors are established according to the highest level of employment which can be found in this job, the concentration of jobs in one location, and the top paying locations that can be encountered for this field of work.
If we take a look at the metropolitan areas with the highest level of employment which can be found in this job, we will realize that the psychiatric technician salary is estimated to be between $38,920 per year and will go up at $57,355 per year. For example in the metropolitan area of Boston the salary in this profession is estimated to reach $38,920 while in the areas of Los Angeles, Glendale the annual income will reach $50,110 and so on.
In a non-metropolitan area with the same influential factor, the annual psychiatric technician salary will vary being comprised between $18,735 and $37,385 per year. The areas that have these salaries can be found in South Central Wisconsin with a salary reaching $37,385 per year and Southwestern Montana with a salary reaching $26,745 per year.
A psychiatric technician salary will vary a lot according to these influences and before you are hired make sure that you have all the required preparation if you want to obtain a higher salary, because like in many other jobs the level of salary can have a lower point as well as a higher point to go by.
Salary of a Psychiatric Technician in 2015
Psychiatric technician salary for the year 2015 is influenced according to some influential factors such as the type of employment, the location and the area of work. The salary in US is estimated between $25,430 per year and $33,120 per year. The lowest and the highest points in this field are influencing the salary of these professionals.
The upper salaries in this profession are estimated to reach $50,142 and even more while the lowest salaries are estimated at about $18,143 per year. Those who are already experienced as psychiatric technician will receive a higher hourly wage that can reach about $20.29 per hour and even higher in some cases.
People who are dealing with psychiatric issues or other disabilities will always need these professionals and due to the number of demanding this job has a great perspective and stability. The health care system is in need for these professionals due to the cases that need all the attention and all the knowledge of how to treat psychiatric illnesses.
The salary of a psychiatric technician is based on each state and of the job prospects and possibilities that can be observed in the nearest areas in which you want to apply for work.
Psychiatric Technician Salary in 2016
The income for psychiatric technicians in 2016 varies from $22,064 per year and $56,237 per year with granted included bonuses that can reach up to $516, according to the salary survey data from PayScale. The median income of these professionals has an estimated average that reaches at $34,737 per year. The top skills that affect the psychiatric technician incomes in the United States are counseling and psychiatric.
The payment of these professionals is affected based on the geographical location, years of experience in the field, type of employment as well as company size. Taking into consideration the fact that the economic flux affects these salaries, the amounts are also provided based on various factors that affect each region. For instance, the incomes differ mainly from state to state based on the living expenses that are met in that particular area and the costs of living. Let’s not also forget about the differences that are seen in the rural and the urban areas, or in the metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas where the incomes take higher or lower points in the salary fluctuation.
When it comes to the years of experience factor, the fluctuations in the salaries of these professionals are extremely clear. For an entry-level psychiatric technician with less than 5 years at the working site, the earnings that can be expected have an average median payment in the field that gets around $29,010 per year while a mid-career professional with 5 to 10 years of work experience will earn around $33,010 per year.
One professional with 10 and up to 20 years can expect to receive an average median payment that goes up to $36,010 per year while a late-career psychiatric technician with more than 20 years in this field and with plenty of experience will gain around $47,010 per year.
According to Salary.com, the median earnings of a psychiatric technician working in Florida more exactly in Jacksonville is estimated at $30,471 per year with a range that is comprised between $26,910 per year and $35,002 per year. There are plenty of variations in the salaries in Florida, from town to town mainly based upon the competitiveness that is established on the market and the population. In Orlando, Florida the incomes of these professionals have a median yearly average that gets around $29,063 with a range that goes between $25,667 and $33,385.
Psychiatric salary in Canada, Australia and UK
There are other countries as well that maintain a clear percentage when it comes to salaries where the economic flux varies according to the earlier mentioned factors.
In Canada, a psychiatric technician salary reaches CAD$34,010 per year while, in Australia, the annual salary for someone working in this field will reach AU$29,010.
In the UK an estimated income for someone in this profession will reach to be at £17,510 per year, this being much close to the salaries gained in Australia. Converted to U.S dollars the salary that is achieved will go around $29,500.
Conclusion on Psychiatric Technician salary
Even if this job is as stressful as it can be, the rewarding of helping an ill patient is an unforgettable feeling.
With the right certification programs and license, you can gain a quite good salary working as a psychiatric technician, not to mention that the future career opportunities will crumble up once you’ve developed what it takes for this job and it will not be long since advancement will occur.
- First Published Date: 29 August, 2014
- Last Updated Date: 23 August, 2016