Psychology as a social science deals with the complexities of mental functioning. Shunned in the past for being possessed by satanic forces, people with mental illnesses today are treated and incorporated in the normal environment, depending upon the degree of the illness that is. With the recognition of these illnesses, came the emergence of a new line of psychosomatic science, which in turn gave birth to new professions. One such profession is a psychiatric technician. These technicians take care of people who struggle with mental illnesses and disabilities. The average psychiatric technicians’ salary varies depending on a number of factors, namely, geographical location, experience and level of certification.
In the United States, a rough estimate concludes that a psychiatric technician’s salary is between $ 9 per hour and $ 24 per hour. On a yearly basis however, the median psychiatric technician salary is $ 30,370. The lowest paid technicians generally work in rural areas and earn less than $ 18,500 annually, while the highest pay levels are found in major metropolitan cities, where a technician earns over $ 50,000 annually. Obviously, the high demand and low supply of labor in the urban metropolis fuels higher remuneration. The top states to make a sizeable income as a psychiatric technician are New Jersey, California and Rhode Island.
Apart from the pay, you must also be wondering what a psychiatric technician is required to do on the job. Well, as a psychiatric technician, you would work in an institutional setting under the supervision of a healthcare professional, treating people with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities. You would assist patients with personal care and hygiene and help them participate in group activities. You would also be required to administer medications and monitor their progress.
Now that you know what a psychiatric technician salary is, you should also know that this profession requires a lot of training and education. Most states accept only licensed psychiatric technicians. However, there are four levels of certification, with each level requiring higher qualifications. Level 1 requires a high school diploma and completion of an exam. Level 2 requires completion of 30 semester hours of college course and one year of experience in the mental health field while level 3 calls for 60 semester hours and two years of experience. Level 4 requires a bachelor degree in a related field and 3 years of experience. Therefore, a long path of studying is required to be qualified for the higher pay scale. However, you may also start as a psychiatric aide which only calls for a high school diploma. But to be eligible for increased pay opportunities and advancement, a college degree or a certification is a must.
Lastly, as far as the job market is concerned, you do not need to worry as the number of psychiatric technician job openings are expected to increase by a significant 28 per cent by the end of 2016. Thus, the career prospects in this particular field are very bright!
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