The average annual psychiatric technician salary is expected to be between $24,000 and $34,000. This is also a range between $12 and $16 per hour. These are the numbers for the middle 50% of those employed. The median annual income then would be $30,000, which is $14 per hour. Psychiatric technicians on the low end, in the bottom 10th percentile, should expect a salary of around $23,000, sometimes less. This is $11 per hour. Professionals working in the top 10th percentile can expect a slightly better income of about $18 or higher per hour, or $39,000.
Factors determining these differences in income may include experience and credentials. It is important to take all the necessary educational steps in becoming a psychiatric technician (discussed further below). Any and all certifications possible should be obtained to receive a higher salary. Furthermore, psychiatric technicians working in a metropolitan area may see a higher income. The employer is also important to income; they ultimately decide how much their employees will be making.
The average total compensation package for a psychiatric technician is $45,000. This is the combination of salary and benefits. Benefits from an employer may include social security, pension, paid time off, and health care benefits, among others.
Job Description of a Psychiatric Technician
Psychiatric technicians provide therapeutic care to their clients. They will need to observe the behavior of their clients, as well as talk to them about their feelings and conditions. Furthermore, a psychiatric technician will encourage his or her patients to get involved in recreational activities that will help their conditions overall.
While it is the psychiatrist who can administer treatment and medicine, the psychiatric technician will handle these instructions. If working in an in-patient facility, technicians will need to administer the medicine as per the psychiatrist’s instructions. These professionals also handle in-patients during their day-to-day activities. If a patient becomes violent, it is the job of the psychiatric technician to help restrain him or her. When working with the mentally ill, professionals need to have a lot of patience and kindness embedded within their psyche.
How to Become a Psychiatric Technician
Typically, only a one to two year program is necessary to become a psychiatric technician. Certificates or degrees can be achieved after completing the program. It is common to find these programs in technical or vocational schools.
Supervised training is an important part of the program. Before being allowed to work on their own, aspiring psychiatric technicians must complete a few weeks to a month’s worth of on-the-job training. Four states require the licensing of a psychiatric technician. These states specifically include Arkansas, California, Colorado, and Kansas. Licensing requirements vary between the states.
Psychiatric Technician Salaries in Other Countries (U.K. Canada and Australia)
Psychiatric technicians should see roughly the same salaries in other countries. Canadians will offer their technicians an annual salary of about C$34,000. Australia offers her technicians slightly less per year: about A$29,000.
The United Kingdom (U.K.) falls into the same category as Australia. Psychiatric technicians working in the U.K. should expect an annual salary of about £17,500 on average. This equates to about $28,000 in the U.S.
Verdict on Psychiatric Technician Salary
Since there is not much schooling required to become a psychiatric technician, this career could be a fast-track into the working world. It is possible to move up in the ranks, perhaps becoming a psychiatrist with more education. However, a psychiatric technician salary is slightly low, and they stay that way for a while. This can be a little disheartening.
Furthermore, psychiatric technicians require a lot of patience in their daily duties. They can be put in some very stressful situations, depending on their place of employment. Perhaps the salary’s not worth that.