How To Become A Psychiatric Technician? A 4-Step Career Guide For New Graduates

What does it take to work as a mental health technician?
What does it take to work as a mental health technician? 

A mental health technician is an emerging career full of advancement opportunities, purposes, varied tasks, unique challenges, and appealing offers.

If caring for patients with psychiatric issues and life stresses and getting to know their unique situations are to your liking, this career path applies to you perfectly.

How to become a psychiatric technician? Down below is useful information about the requirements and steps to succeeding as a mental health technician and more.

What Is A Psychiatric Technician?

Psychiatric technicians or mental health technicians are healthcare professionals who provide therapeutic care to clients. Sometimes, these workers help psychiatric aides with monitoring and assisting patients in daily activities, like bathing and eating.

Mental health aides and technicians often collaborate with each other as a medical team under a physician’s supervision.

This team can also include therapists, counselors, social workers, psychiatric nurses, psychologists, and psychiatrists.

What Do Psychiatric Technicians Do?

You’ll be in close interaction with patients every day
You’ll be in close interaction with patients every day

A mental health technician cares for emotionally disturbed or mentally impaired patients, observing and treating them.

Also, they monitor and record patients’ emotional and physical recovery while following hospital procedures and physicians’ orders. For instance, they may aid with hypodermic injections and oral medications.

As a PT, your everyday task is to report clients’ progress to medical staff and contribute to their rehabilitation. That may involve caring for a patient’s hygiene, like bathing and helping change his clothes.

This job requires both superior interactive skills and technical knowledge. Apart from the above primary duties, you’ll be in charge of these tasks:

  • Observing clients’ behavior and talk with them
  • Coordinating with psychologists and doctors during the patients’ rehabilitation process
  • Coordinating with other healthcare specialists to provide or plan treatment
  • Accelerating patient well-being and gradually fostering his independence
  • Managing everyday tasks, like providing non-intravenous and intravenous medications to clients

How To Become A Psychiatric Technician?

Psychiatric technicians have a straightforward educational pathway but a long road to run if they expect to make advancements in their career.

Earn A Certificate

A relevant certificate is the first requirement
A relevant certificate is the first requirement

The good news is that the psychiatric technician career is one of the jobs in mental health without a degree. Yet, prospective PTs will need a postsecondary certificate in psychiatric technology or mental health to land a job in this field.

Community colleges and technical schools offering these programs usually require pupils to complete pharmacology, psychology, biology, and counseling courses.

These courses teach students about fundamental principles of mental treatment and the interventions & symptoms necessary for different psychiatric disorders.

Several programs offer students opportunities to join internships or practical clinical experiences with support from psychiatrists. You’ll stand the chance of working alongside experts in the industry and cultivating essential skills to forward your career.

Because most employers prefer candidates with hands-on experience, it’s highly advisable to seize any chance of fieldwork experiences or internships offered by your certificated program.

We suggest seeking a low-paid or volunteer position in a mental health setting that allows you to get used to the roles and responsibilities of a PT. This job will also bring valuable work experience and relationships.

Complete On-The-Job Training

Some big companies don’t even accept applicants with zero previous experience when recruiting for entry-level positions.

That means you’ll need to accomplish an on-the-job training course before working independently as a PT. Your training time may range from a couple of weeks to months, involving various training exercises.

Typical activities are attending lectures, receiving in-person training from long-term experts, and joining in-service or/and workshop training.

Gain State Licensure, If Required

Some states require a license to work as a PT
Some states require a license to work as a PT

Currently, only a few states require PTs to have a registered license. While requirements may differ by state, you’ll typically need to go through these procedures to be titled as ‘licensed’:

  • Complete a specialized training program
  • Pass a licensing exam
  • Submit an application
  • Pay the application fee

Licensure is not mandatory in most states. So, research your state’s policy to ensure you meet all the requirements for becoming a prestigious mental health technician.

Make Advancements

Experienced workers with years of devotion and experience may desire to advance their positions to a higher class, like supervisory or manager positions.

If you don’t expect to settle down with a middle-rank role, make yourself cultured enough for advancements.

We know many passionate technicians choose to pursue a medical degree in a relevant field like psychiatry to rise beyond their current role of monitoring therapeutic care.

This process takes years of studying and schooling levels, beginning with a bachelor’s degree. It may seem like another frustrating journey, but the bonus afterward promises to be worthwhile.

Why Should You Become a Psychiatric Technician?

There’s a reason this field is making up a huge proportion of the healthcare labor force. As a mental health technician, opportunities to help fragile people recover from pain and heal their hearts are open to you.

Besides being such a meaningful career, the job also earns you a fruitful income, averaging at $29,000 annually. Top professionals working in general hospitals can earn over $50,000 a year.

The job growth for this position is predicted to rise by 15% in the next decade. PTs are in great demand due to the trend of substance, mental, and developmental abuse outside hospital settings.


Mental health is a riveting domain that shows a huge potential of growth, particularly with stresses and depressions becoming more commonplace among modern-day people.

Should you be keen on a dynamic, challenging, high-impact, and rewarding career path, why not give this option a go?Loads of psychiatric technician jobs are welcoming you. Put what you’ve learned through this article into practice and chase your dream!