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Become A Health Care Technician

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Working As A Health Care 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

  • $29,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Health Care 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 Health Care 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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Health Care Technician Career Paths

Health Care Technician
Certified Nursing Assistant Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse
Registered Nurse Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Office Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Staff Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Assistant Director Of Nursing
7 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Clinic Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Case Manager
Registered Nurse Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Technician Team Leader Office Manager
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Team Leader Case Manager
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Consultant Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Emergency Medical Technician Staff Nurse MDS Coordinator
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Emergency Medical Technician Staff Nurse
Senior Registered Nurse
7 Yearsyrs
Emergency Medical Technician Nurse Clinical Coordinator
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Technician Therapist Clinical Supervisor
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Technician Therapist Case Manager
Medical Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Technician Clinician Clinical Supervisor
Managed Care Director
9 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Executive Assistant Assistant Property Manager
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Administrator Registered Nurse Case Manager
Health Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Customer Service Supervisor Unit Manager
Registered Nurse Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Lead Teacher House Manager
Home Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Support Specialist Support Coordinator Residential Supervisor
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Health Care Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Health Technician 2.8 years
Home Health Care 2.7 years
Health Assistant 2.6 years
Care Associate 2.5 years
Nurse Technician 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Health Care Technician
Cashier 10.8%
Internship 4.4%
Technician 3.6%
Assistant 2.6%
Supervisor 2.5%
Server 2.5%
Volunteer 2.1%
Top Careers After Health Care Technician
Cashier 6.4%
Technician 3.3%
Internship 2.5%

Do you work as a Health Care Technician?

Health Care Technician Demographics

Gender

Female

55.3%

Male

32.4%

Unknown

12.3%
Ethnicity

White

63.4%

Black or African American

14.5%

Hispanic or Latino

12.6%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.4%

Nepali

5.6%

German

5.6%

Yoruba

5.6%

Serbian

5.6%

French

5.6%

Greek

5.6%

Hindi

5.6%

Russian

5.6%

Arabic

5.6%

Armenian

5.6%
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Health Care Technician Education

Schools

Vance-Granville Community College

20.1%

University of Phoenix

9.8%

Wayne Community College

9.4%

Wake Technical Community College

4.7%

Shaw University

4.7%

Wilson Technical Community College

4.3%

Western Piedmont Community College

4.3%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.9%

Ashford University

3.9%

Parkland College

3.9%

Liberty University

3.9%

North Carolina Central University

3.5%

Lenoir Community College

3.1%

Durham Technical Community College

3.1%

Concorde Career College

3.1%

Miller-Motte College-Wilmington

2.8%

Kaplan University

2.8%

Edgecombe Community College

2.8%

Grand Canyon University

2.8%

Fayetteville State University

2.8%
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Majors

Nursing

19.5%

Health Care Administration

10.0%

Business

9.7%

Medical Assisting Services

9.4%

Nursing Assistants

7.9%

Psychology

6.7%

Criminal Justice

5.3%

Social Work

4.5%

Medical Technician

3.5%

Human Services

3.2%

Education

3.0%

Environmental Science

2.6%

General Studies

2.4%

Biology

2.4%

Forestry

2.0%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

1.8%

Mental Health Counseling

1.7%

Accounting

1.7%

Liberal Arts

1.4%

Plant Sciences

1.4%
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Degrees

Other

31.3%

Bachelors

28.7%

Associate

17.3%

Masters

9.3%

Certificate

7.2%

Diploma

3.6%

License

1.3%

Doctorate

1.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$29,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$23,000
Min 10%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$35,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
State of North Carolina
Highest Paying City
Hayward, CA
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
3.1 years
How much does a Health Care Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Health Care Technician in the United States is $29,214 per year or $14 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $23,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $35,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Health Care Technician?

Have you worked as a Health Care Technician? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Health Care Technician.

Top Skills for A Health Care Technician

  1. Medical Records
  2. Health Care
  3. Daily Living
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided medical care to cadets and faculty, document and control medical records, medication administration.
  • Enter specimen information, labs, and test results into the Composite Health Care System (CHCS) using manual/keypad methods.
  • Assisted with activities of daily living including prompting education, support, and administering medications.
  • Documented patient care information into hospital computer system according to hospital policies.
  • Cared for clients by changing bed linens, washing and ironing laundry, cleaning, or assisting with their personal care.

How Would You Rate Working As a Health Care Technician?

Are you working as a Health Care Technician? Help us rate Health Care Technician as a Career.

Top Health Care Technician Employers

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Jobs From Top Health Care Technician Employers

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