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Become A Developmental Technician

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Working As A Developmental Technician

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $58,257

    Average Salary

What Does A Developmental Technician Do

Psychiatric technicians and aides care for people who have mental illness and developmental disabilities. Technicians typically provide therapeutic care and monitor their patients’ conditions. Aides help patients in their daily activities and ensure a safe, clean environment.

Duties

Psychiatric technicians, sometimes called mental health technicians, typically do the following:

  • Observe patients’ behavior, listen to their concerns, and record their condition
  • Lead patients in therapeutic and recreational activities
  • Give medications and other treatments to patients, following instructions from doctors and other medical professionals
  • Help with admitting and discharging patients
  • Monitor patients’ vital signs, such as their blood pressure
  • Help patients with activities of daily living, including eating and bathing
  • Restrain patients who may become physically violent

Psychiatric aides typically do the following:

  • Monitor patients’ behavior and location in a mental healthcare facility
  • Help patients with their daily living activities, such as bathing and dressing
  • Serve meals and help patients eat
  • Keep facilities clean by doing tasks such as changing bedlinens
  • Participate in group activities, such as playing sports and going on field trips
  • Help transport patients within a hospital or residential care facility
  • Restrain patients who may become physically violent

Many psychiatric technicians and aides work with patients who are severely developmentally disabled and need intensive care. Others work with patients undergoing rehabilitation for drug and alcohol addiction. The work of psychiatric technicians and aides varies with the types of patients they work with.

Psychiatric technicians and aides work as part of a medical team under the direction of physicians and with other team members, who may include psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, social workers, counselors, and therapists. For more information on the counselors and therapists they may work with, see the profiles on substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, rehabilitation counselors, and mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists.

Because they have such close contact with patients, psychiatric technicians and aides can have a great deal of influence on patients’ outlook and treatment.

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How To Become A Developmental Technician

Psychiatric technicians typically need postsecondary education, and aides need at least a high school diploma. Both technicians and aides get on-the-job training.

Education

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.

Some psychiatric technicians also 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.

Training

Psychiatric technicians and aides usually have a short period of on-the-job training before they can work without direct supervision.

Training may include working with patients while under the close supervision of an experienced technician or aide. Technicians and aides also may attend workshops, lectures, or inservice training.

Work Experience

Psychiatric technicians typically need clinical experience, which can be gained by working in occupations such as nursing assistant or licensed practical nurse.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Because psychiatric technicians and aides spend much of their time interacting with patients, they should be caring and want to help people.

Interpersonal skills. Psychiatric technicians and aides often provide ongoing care for patients, so they should be able to develop a rapport with them. Gaining such rapport makes psychiatric technicians and aides better able to treat their patients and evaluate their condition.

Observational skills. Technicians must watch patients closely and be sensitive to any changes in behavior. For their safety and that of their patients, they must recognize signs of discomfort or trouble among patients.

Patience. Working with the mentally ill can be emotionally challenging. Psychiatric technicians and aides must be able to stay calm in stressful situations.

Physical stamina. Psychiatric technicians and aides must be able to lift, move, and sometimes restrain patients. They must also be able to spend much of their time on their feet.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most states do not license psychiatric technicians. California is one of the larger states that does. For 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.

Psychiatric aides are not required 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.

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Developmental Technician Jobs

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Developmental Technician Career Paths

Developmental Technician
Certified Nursing Assistant Nurse Registered Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Care Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Habilitation Technician Program Manager Program Director
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Technician Instructor Case Manager
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Direct Support Professional Case Manager Social Worker
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Staff Nurse Nurse Manager
Emergency Services Director
10 Yearsyrs
Health Care Technician Support Specialist Direct Support Professional
Home Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Direct Care Staffer Home Health Aid Staff Nurse
House Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Direct Care Staffer Mental Health Technician Therapist
Lead Therapist
5 Yearsyrs
Habilitation Technician Home Health Aid Licensed Practical Nurse
Licensed Practical Nurse/Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Technician Specialist Case Manager
Medical Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Nurse Case Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Licensed Practical Nurse Staff Nurse
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Direct Support Professional Program Coordinator
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Correction Officer Case Manager
Registered Nurse Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Licensed Practical Nurse Staff Nurse
Registered Nurse Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Teacher Assistant Director Director Of Food And Beverage
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Health Care Technician Correction Officer Direct Support Professional
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Teacher Program Coordinator Program Supervisor
Residential Program Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Correction Officer Technician Service Manager
Service Director
10 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Developmental Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Developmental Aide 4.0 years
Therapy Technician 2.2 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 15.0%
Volunteer 4.9%
Teacher 4.5%
Teller 4.1%
Supervisor 3.4%
Server 3.4%
Internship 3.0%
Technician 3.0%
Secretary 2.6%
Top Employers After
Cashier 6.4%
Teacher 4.6%
Internship 4.6%
Technician 3.6%
Server 3.2%
Supervisor 2.9%

Do you work as a Developmental Technician?

Developmental Technician Demographics

Gender

Female

70.2%

Male

26.8%

Unknown

3.0%
Ethnicity

White

68.7%

Black or African American

11.4%

Hispanic or Latino

9.8%

Asian

6.8%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

83.3%

Arabic

16.7%

Developmental Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.7%

Lenoir Community College

11.3%

Boise State University

6.3%

North Carolina Wesleyan College

6.3%

Walters State Community College

6.3%

East Carolina University

4.9%

Tennessee State University

4.9%

Wayne Community College

4.9%

Craven Community College

4.9%

College of Western Idaho

4.2%

College of Southern Idaho

4.2%

Capella University

4.2%

Arkansas State University

3.5%

Kaplan University

3.5%

Nashville State Community College

3.5%

ECPI University

2.8%

University of Idaho

2.8%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

2.8%

Southwest Tennessee Community College

2.8%

National College

2.8%
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Majors

Business

14.2%

Psychology

13.4%

Criminal Justice

7.5%

Health Care Administration

7.1%

Social Work

6.7%

Nursing

6.3%

Human Services

6.3%

Medical Assisting Services

6.3%

Nursing Assistants

5.5%

Education

4.0%

Sociology

3.2%

Human Development

2.8%

Management

2.4%

Biology

2.4%

Pharmacy

2.4%

Cosmetology

2.0%

Computer Science

2.0%

Human Resources Management

2.0%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.0%

General Studies

1.6%
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Degrees

Other

32.0%

Bachelors

29.6%

Associate

16.8%

Masters

10.8%

Certificate

5.9%

Diploma

3.6%

Doctorate

1.0%

License

0.3%
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Top Skills for A Developmental Technician

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  1. Independent Living
  2. Personal Care
  3. Assistance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conduct and oversee individual programs in all areas of independent living.
  • Assisted individuals with routine personal care tasks such as bathing, changing clothes, brushing teeth and other grooming activities.
  • Transported and provided personal assistance for community outings in support of leisure activities and personal safety.
  • Train clients with developmental disabilities: Severe/Profound Mentally Retarded.
  • Observed and documented residents behaviors, speech production, feeding patterns to facilitate assessment and development of treatment goals.

How Would You Rate Working As a Developmental Technician?

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Top Developmental Technician Employers

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Jobs From Top Developmental Technician Employers

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