Psychiatric Technicians
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Overview
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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.
Titles for this career often contain these words
TechnicianHealthMentalBehavioralAssociatePsychiatricCareSpecialistPsychologyBehaviorLicensedLPTAssistantMHAMHTWorkerMilieuTherapistPatientPsychTechPTResidentialAideRASupportTeamMemberSTM
Education
Only 31% of psychiatric technicians have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by psychiatric technicians
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
This is near the middle of all careeers' percentages of bachelor's holders.
Employment
Workforce size
Psychiatric technicians, with 76,600 workers, are near the middle of all careers in the number employed.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for psychiatric technicians are expected to grow by 12%, and should have about 7,500 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Psychiatric technicians are less likely to be automated than 81% of other careers.
Salaries
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for psychiatric technicians compare to other jobs' salaries?
Distribution: What salary can you expect?
See what most psychiatric technicians earn.
$34K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Gender
Women account for 64% of psychiatric technicians -- that's a larger percentage than 76% of other jobs.
Gender of psychiatric technicians
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For psychiatric technicians, the median men's salary was 14% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 34% of psychiatric technicians are minority, and 14% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of psychiatric technicians
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (14%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Psychiatric Technicians per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. Blue indicates low density, with lighter shades moving to yellow indicating higher numbers working in this profession.
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Benefits
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs?
Context: Employer offers health insurance
Context: Employer offers a pension plan
Context: workers are union members
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of psychiatric technicians who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections (97%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (91%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (82%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (80%)
  • Time Pressure (76%)
  • Deal With Physically Aggressive People (72%)
  • Consequence of Error (44%)
SOURCES:
Salary and diversity
What do psychiatric technicians earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides company-reported job titles and corresonding salaries. This data excludes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for psychiatric technicians (BLS Salary Data)
$34K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$34K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
The American Community Survey (ACS) asks individuals to report their occupation and salary, and as such includes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for psychiatric technicians (ACS Salary Data)
$33K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$33K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Health Technologists and Technicians: Inflation-adjusted salary trend
This job's median $37KAll jobs' median $45K$37K$44K070809101112131415161718$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire psychiatric technicians.
Employers of Psychiatric Technicians (ACS)
Private for-profit (68.2%)
Private not-for-profit (14.5%)
Local government (3.3%)
State government (9.3%)
Federal government (3.6%)
Self-employed incorporated (0.8%)
Self-employed not incorporated (0.4%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of psychiatric technicians by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$33K$46K$40K$31K$36K$41K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of psychiatric technicians by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$34K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000All

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Salary growth for psychiatric technicians

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? The higher a job's experience quotient, the more experience is rewarded with pay increases. Jobs in the green range have the best rewards with experience.

Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

Salary distribution
$38K$36K$31K$32K$41K$44K$39K$37K$24K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Number employed
02K4K6K8K10K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Psychiatric technicians and gender

With 64% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 76% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
64%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Psychiatric technicians
Men (36%)
Women (64%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

The median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 19%. The situation is a little better for psychiatric technicians, with the median salary for men 14% higher than the median salary for women.

$32K$36K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary for all but about 20 jobs in which women typically earn more than men.

14%0%20%40%60%80%100%

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Race and origin of psychiatric technicians

Here we check out the diversity of origin in this career. There is a higher percentage of minority psychiatric technicians than for 92% of other careers. The percentage of foreign-born workers in this career is near the middle of all careers.

Race/origin of psychiatric technicians
White (62% )
Black (20% )
Asian (8% )
Other (4% )
Multiracial (4% )
American Indian (1% )
Hispanic (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
34%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
14%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for psychiatric technicians by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$29K$31K$33K$34K$36K$37K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KAmerican IndianOtherWhiteBlackMultiracialAsian
Distribution: Salaries for psychiatric technicians by nativity
$33K$36K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KAll native citizensAll foreign-born

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Psychiatric technicians and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 23% part-time workers, this occupation has a higher percentage of part-time workers than 74% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
23%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

The salary distributions for full-time and part-time psychiatric technicians is shown following.

$13K$33K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KPart-time workersFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education attained by psychiatric technicians

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), psychiatric technicians typically hold a postsecondary nondegree award.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as psychiatric technicians as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.

Details: Education and training recommended for psychiatric technicians

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.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for psychiatric technicians

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.

Education attained by psychiatric technicians
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for psychiatric technicians? Below we see the distribution of psychiatric technicians salaries based on the education attained.

$30K$33K$37K$33K$43K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KHigh School (15%)Some College (36%)Associate's/Cert. (18%)Bachelor's Degree (22%)Master's Degree (8%)

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click the program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Associate's degree or certificate
Bachelor's
Graduate
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
Switching Careers
The most common next careers for psychiatric technicians

What jobs will most psychiatric technicians hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of psychiatric technicians reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Health Technologists and TechniciansMedical assistants and other healthcare support occupationsRegistered nursesNursing, psychiatric, and home health aidesPharmacistsMedical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and TechniciansSchool bus monitors and protective service workersRetail Salespersons
Lateral job transitions for psychiatric technicians

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 5 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as psychiatric technicians as well as 1% of respondents after working as psychiatric technicians. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Employed
How many people have this job?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
No degree
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Men
Women
Prior and next careers for psychiatric technicians: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as psychiatric technicians? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of psychiatric technicians surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Employed
How many people have this job?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
No degree
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Variation by state
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most psychiatric technicians? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as psychiatric technicians. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Psychiatric Technicians per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.00.51.01.52.0
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where psychiatric technicians earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for psychiatric technicians compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for psychiatric technicians.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Location-adjusted median salary for Psychiatric Technicians (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which psychiatric technicians earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
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$0$20K$40K$60K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the tabs and education selector to find other careers that might be a good fit for you.

How should the career similarity be computed?

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
Choose the similarity measure to compare careers
Interests
Environment
Knowledge
Physical Abilities
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