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Career Profile: Psychiatric Technicians

Care for individuals with mental or emotional conditions or disabilities, following the instructions of physicians or other health practitioners. Monitor patients' physical and emotional well-being and report to medical staff. May participate in rehabilitation and treatment programs, help with personal hygiene, and administer oral or injectable medications.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 91,600 people employed as psychiatric technicians in the United States. The median annual salary is $35,000. Entry level employees earn approximately $24,960 per year and senior employees earn approximately $59,020 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Collaborate with or assist doctors, psychologists, or rehabilitation therapists in working with mentally ill, emotionally disturbed, or developmentally disabled patients to treat, rehabilitate, and return patients to the community.
  • Encourage patients to develop work skills and to participate in social, recreational, or other therapeutic activities that enhance interpersonal skills or develop social relationships.
  • Restrain violent, potentially violent, or suicidal patients by verbal or physical means as required.
  • Take and record measures of patients' physical condition, using devices such as thermometers or blood pressure gauges.
  • Monitor patients' physical and emotional well-being and report unusual behavior or physical ailments to medical staff.
  • Provide nursing, psychiatric, or personal care to mentally ill, emotionally disturbed, or mentally retarded patients.
  • Observe and influence patients' behavior, communicating and interacting with them and teaching, counseling, or befriending them.
  • Train or instruct new employees on procedures to follow with psychiatric patients.
  • Develop or teach strategies to promote client wellness and independence.
  • Administer oral medications or hypodermic injections, following physician's prescriptions and hospital procedures.
  • Issue medications from dispensary and maintain records in accordance with specified procedures.
  • Aid patients in performing tasks, such as bathing or keeping beds, clothing, or living areas clean.
  • Lead prescribed individual or group therapy sessions as part of specific therapeutic procedures.
  • Interview new patients to complete admission forms, to assess their mental health status, or to obtain their mental health and treatment history.
  • Escort patients to medical appointments.
  • Contact patients' relatives to arrange family conferences.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
91,600
Annual Openings:
8,000
Increase in Openings by 2030:
13%
Annual Salary Range:
$24,960 - $59,020
Education Requirements:
Some college