Psychiatric Technicians
SOC: 29-2053.00


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.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
67,900 employed

Projected (2024):
71,400 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Behavioral Health Technician
  • Direct Care Worker (DCW)
  • Health Care Technician
  • Licensed Psychiatric Technician (LPT)
  • Mental Health Assistant (MHA)
  • Mental Health Associate
  • Mental Health Specialist
  • Mental Health Technician (MHT)
  • Mental Health Worker
  • Milieu Therapist
  • Patient Care Specialist
  • Psychiatric Technician (Psych Tech)
  • Psychiatric Technician (PT)
  • Psychology Associate
  • Residential Aide (RA)
  • Support Team Member (STM)

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed


    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Food Production
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • 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.
  • Take and record measures of patients' physical condition, using devices such as thermometers or blood pressure gauges.
  • Encourage patients to develop work skills and to participate in social, recreational, or other therapeutic activities that enhance interpersonal skills or develop social relationships.
  • 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.
  • Develop or teach strategies to promote client wellness and independence.
  • Restrain violent, potentially violent, or suicidal patients by verbal or physical means as required.
  • Aid patients in performing tasks, such as bathing or keeping beds, clothing, or living areas clean.
  • 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.
  • Interview new patients to complete admission forms, to assess their mental health status, or to obtain their mental health and treatment history.
  • Lead prescribed individual or group therapy sessions as part of specific therapeutic procedures.
  • Contact patients' relatives to arrange family conferences.
  • Train or instruct new employees on procedures to follow with psychiatric patients.
  • Escort patients to medical appointments.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Bag valve mask BVM resuscitators
  • Blood drawing syringes
  • Blood pressure cuffs
  • Cold therapy equipment
  • Crutches
  • Desktop computers
  • Electronic patient thermometers
  • Emergency carts
  • Enema equipment
  • Evacuated blood collection tubes
  • Glucometers
  • Gurneys
  • Hazardous material spill kits
  • Heat therapy equipment
  • Hospital beds
  • Hypodermic syringes
  • Intermittent positive pressure breathing IPPB devices
  • Lancets
  • Mechanical stethoscopes
  • Nasogastric tubes
  • Nebulizers
  • Notebook computers
  • Oximeters
  • Oxygen administration equipment
  • Oxygen carts
  • Patient restraints
  • Personal computers
  • Safety gloves
  • Suction machines
  • Surgical masks
  • Tablet computers
  • Traction equipment
  • Tuberculin TB skin test equipment
  • Urinary catheters
  • Wheelchairs
  • ADL Data Systems OptimumClinicals Electronic Health Record
  • Cerner ProFile
  • Eclipsys Sunrise Clinical Manager
  • Epic EpicCare Inpatient Clinical System
  • GE Healthcare Centricity EMR
  • ICANotes
  • InfoLogix HealthTrax Engine
  • MEDITECH Behavioral Health Clinicals
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Netsmart Technologies Avatar Clinical Workstation CWS

  • healthcare practitioners and technical

    industry stats

    SOC: 29-0000

    Total Employed: 8,021,800

    Average Annual Salary: $77,800