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Become A Health Technician

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Working As A Health 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

  • $32,770

    Average Salary

What Does A Health 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 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 Technician jobs

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Health Technician Career Paths

Health Technician
Case Manager Program Manager General Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Direct Support Professional Program Coordinator Human Resources Coordinator
Business Office Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Nurse Case Manager
Career Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Behavioral Health Technician Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Behavioral Health Technician Case Manager Social Worker
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Service Manager General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Nurse Instructor Service Manager
Finance Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Service Technician Service Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Medical Support Assistant Program Support Assistant Human Resources Assistant
Human Resources Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Staff Nurse
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Program Coordinator Program Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Medical Support Assistant Service Representative Account Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Radiologic Technician Clinical Coordinator Clinical Manager
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Nurse Case Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Technician Operations Manager
Property Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Registered Nurse Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Registered Nurse Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Driver Night Auditor Leasing Consultant
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Account Manager Account Executive
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Direct Support Professional Technician Production Supervisor
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Monitor Technician 3.3 years
Surgery Technician 3.1 years
Health Technician 3.0 years
Technician 2.6 years
Rehab Technician 2.4 years
Health Assistant 2.4 years
Therapy Technician 2.1 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 5.0%
Internship 4.7%
Technician 2.5%
Secretary 2.3%
Volunteer 2.3%
Top Employers After
Internship 3.9%
Technician 3.7%
Supervisor 3.0%
Volunteer 3.0%

Health Technician Demographics

Gender

Female

68.2%

Male

29.9%

Unknown

1.9%
Ethnicity

White

79.8%

Hispanic or Latino

11.9%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

1.4%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

69.0%

French

7.0%

Portuguese

2.0%

Chinese

2.0%

German

2.0%

Russian

2.0%

Polish

2.0%

Navajo

2.0%

Cheyenne

1.0%

Serbian

1.0%

Swedish

1.0%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Dakota

1.0%

Mandarin

1.0%

Burmese

1.0%

Hindi

1.0%

Tagalog

1.0%

Hebrew

1.0%

Arabic

1.0%

Hausa

1.0%
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Health Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.8%

Grand Canyon University

9.4%

University of North Dakota

4.9%

Kaplan University

4.9%

Keiser University

4.9%

Arizona State University

4.5%

Indian River State College

4.5%

South University

4.5%

Troy University

4.0%

Columbia Southern University

4.0%

Walden University

4.0%

Liberty University

4.0%

Ashford University

3.6%

University of Maryland - University College

3.6%

Northern Arizona University

3.6%

Community College of the Air Force

3.6%

Florida International University

3.6%

Colorado Technical University

3.6%

Hinds Community College

3.1%

Glendale Community College

3.1%
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Majors

Nursing

16.6%

Medical Assisting Services

12.0%

Business

11.3%

Health Care Administration

9.0%

Psychology

6.8%

Medical Technician

5.2%

Criminal Justice

4.7%

Kinesiology

4.5%

Nursing Assistants

4.0%

General Studies

3.4%

Social Work

3.4%

Biology

2.9%

Public Health

2.7%

Management

2.6%

Health Sciences And Services

2.4%

Human Services

1.9%

Education

1.9%

Health Education

1.6%

School Counseling

1.5%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

29.4%

Other

27.4%

Associate

16.1%

Masters

14.0%

Certificate

7.9%

Diploma

3.5%

Doctorate

0.9%

License

0.8%
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Health Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other* Mount Sinai Medical Center New York, NY Nov 06, 2012 $90,000
Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other* Surgical Monitoring Services, Inc. Boston, MA Mar 26, 2013 $65,000 -
$85,000
Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other* Surgical Monitoring Services, Inc. Boston, MA Aug 19, 2014 $65,000 -
$85,000
Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Cincinnati, OH Jun 04, 2008 $52,000
Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other* Surgical Monitoring Services, Inc. Lake Worth, FL Nov 07, 2013 $50,000 -
$70,000
Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other Glendale Kidney Center Glendale, CA Oct 14, 2008 $46,958
Health Technologists and Technicians, All Others Impulse Monitoring, Inc. Charlottesville, VA Mar 01, 2010 $45,000 -
$50,000
Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other* Matossian Eye Associates Pennington, NJ Aug 07, 2014 $40,269
Health Technologist, All Other Children's Hospital Boston, MA Feb 21, 2008 $40,206
Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other* Advanced Sleep Laboratories LLC Sandy Springs, GA Feb 20, 2013 $40,008 -
$21
Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other* Advanced Sleep Laboratories LLC Sandy Springs, GA Dec 06, 2012 $40,008 -
$21
Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other* Advanced Sleep Laboratories LLC Sandy Springs, GA Dec 19, 2012 $40,008 -
$21
Health Technologist and Technician, All Other Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment Philadelphia, PA Aug 18, 2010 $37,690
Health Technologists & Technician, All Others Kidney Care Services Jersey City, NJ May 22, 2009 $37,378
Health Technologists & Technicians Ultimate Renal Care Hyattsville, MD Mar 05, 2008 $36,689 -
$51,132
Health Technologist The Offices of Ramel A. Carlos, M.D., Inc. Nov 15, 2009 $33,987
Health Technologist The Offices of Ramel A. Carlos, M.D., Inc. Mar 01, 2010 $33,987

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Top Skills for A Health Technician

VitalSignsBloodPressureSafeEnvironmentElectronicMedicalRecordDirectPatientCareEKGEmergencySituationsPhlebotomyCPRCustomerServiceVeteransDataEntryMentalHealthTriageDailyLivingTechSchedulingAppointmentsPatientInformationPhysicalExamsHealthRecords

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Top Health Technician Skills

  1. Vital Signs
  2. Blood Pressure
  3. Safe Environment
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide basic client care services including vital signs, nutrition intake, hydration, food tolerance, and basic health status.
  • Worked with a team to perform health screenings including cholesterol, blood pressure, height/weight and body composition, and health coaching
  • Maintained a clean, healthy and safe environment.
  • Utilize various computer systems and MS Office applications to maintain clinical logs, clinical databases, and electronic medical records.
  • Performed direct patient care activities that assist in meeting basic needs such as feeding, drinking, ambulating, and dressing.

Top Health Technician Employers

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Health Technician Videos

Occupational Health Technician Training

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