What is a Mental Health Technician

Mental health used to be a taboo; a topic that was rarely touched upon. However, more and more institutions are currently emphasizing the importance of speaking about mental health. According to the World Health Organization, around 264 million people suffer from some form of mental disorder, whether it be anxiety, bipolar disorder, or depression. Around 80 percent of people in low-income countries do not receive treatment, as medical resources and trained personnel are lacking. It is unequivocally true to say that the area of mental health requires more human resource coordination.

The primary role of a mental health technician is in providing operational assistance to doctors and patients. This includes tasks such as initiating treatment plans, administering medications, and conducting vital signs measurement. Besides that, they manage patient transportation and conduct nursing duties, such as bathing, feeding, and dressing.

Employers require mental health technicians to have a minimum high school diploma or G.E.D equivalent. Having a bachelor's degree relating to sociology, psychology, or human services would be preferred. This role earns, on average, $14 per hour and suits individuals who are passionate about mental health.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Mental Health Technician. For example, did you know that they make an average of $13.78 an hour? That's $28,652 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 12% and produce 16,300 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Mental Health Technician Do

There are certain skills that many Mental Health Technicians have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Communication skills, Emotional skills and Organizational skills.

Learn more about what a Mental Health Technician does

How To Become a Mental Health Technician

If you're interested in becoming a Mental Health Technician, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 52.5% of Mental Health Technicians have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 7.0% of Mental Health Technicians have master's degrees. Even though most Mental Health Technicians have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a Mental Health Technician. When we researched the most common majors for a Mental Health Technician, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or Associate Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Mental Health Technician resumes include High School Diploma degrees or Master's Degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Mental Health Technician. In fact, many Mental Health Technician jobs require experience in a role such as Certified Nursing Assistant. Meanwhile, many Mental Health Technicians also have previous career experience in roles such as Cashier or Customer Service Representative.

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Average Salary
$28,652
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
12%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
128,496
Job Openings
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Average Salary for a Mental Health Technician

Mental Health Technicians in America make an average salary of $28,652 per year or $14 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $36,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $22,000 per year.
Average Salary
$28,652
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Mental Health Technician Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Mental Health Technician. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Mental Health Technician Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Mental Health Technician resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Mental Health Technician Resume Examples And Templates

Mental Health Technician Demographics

Mental Health Technician Gender Statistics

female

62.0 %

male

33.8 %

unknown

4.1 %

Mental Health Technician Ethnicity Statistics

White

59.1 %

Black or African American

18.8 %

Hispanic or Latino

12.9 %

Mental Health Technician Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

71.0 %

French

8.8 %

German

3.3 %
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Mental Health Technician Education

Mental Health Technician Majors

7.7 %

Mental Health Technician Degrees

Bachelors

52.5 %

Associate

18.5 %

High School Diploma

12.3 %

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High School / GED
Associate
Bachelor's
Master's
Doctorate

Top Colleges for Mental Health Technicians

1. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

3. San Jose State University

San Jose, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,796
Enrollment
27,125

4. Coppin State University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,873
Enrollment
2,326

5. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

6. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

7. California State University - Dominguez Hills

Carson, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,942
Enrollment
13,871

8. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

9. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

10. Kansas Wesleyan University

Salina, KS • Private

In-State Tuition
$29,500
Enrollment
650
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Online Courses For Mental Health Technician That You May Like

Addiction & Mental Health (Dual Diagnosis) Integrative 12hrs
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Top Skills For a Mental Health Technician

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 17.9% of Mental Health Technicians listed Crisis Intervention on their resume, but soft skills such as Communication skills and Emotional skills are important as well.

12 Mental Health Technician RESUME EXAMPLES

Best States For a Mental Health Technician

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Mental Health Technician. The best states for people in this position are Connecticut, California, Vermont, and New Jersey. Mental Health Technicians make the most in Connecticut with an average salary of $45,453. Whereas in California and Vermont, they would average $43,974 and $43,666, respectively. While Mental Health Technicians would only make an average of $39,904 in New Jersey, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Vermont

Total Mental Health Technician Jobs:
182
Highest 10% Earn:
$58,000
Location Quotient:
1.27
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Massachusetts

Total Mental Health Technician Jobs:
2,115
Highest 10% Earn:
$53,000
Location Quotient:
1.23
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. California

Total Mental Health Technician Jobs:
4,884
Highest 10% Earn:
$67,000
Location Quotient:
0.9
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Mental Health Technicians

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Top Mental Health Technician Employers

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Mental Health Technician SalaryAverage Salary
1$34,294
2$29,556
3$29,367
4$28,940
5$28,652
6$28,652

Mental Health Technician Videos

Becoming a Mental Health Technician FAQs

How do I become a certified behavioral health technician?

Becoming a certified behavioral health technician involves educational training and a high school diploma. Levels of post-high school education range from a certificate program to a bachelor's degree.

Most employers require that their technicians be certified. Certification is offered through the American Association of Psychiatric Technicians. The AAPT offers four levels of certification.

This process requires enrollment in and completion of a 30-hour course. Candidates that obtain an associate's degree or bachelor's degree in behavioral health or psychology qualify for certification.

Several states also require licensure. Arkansas, California, and Colorado require that their behavioral health technicians be licensed. Technicians in Kansas are not required to become licensed, but the state classifies these employees differently than those who have obtained a license.

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How long does it take to become a behavioral health technician?

Certification for a behavioral health technician consists of a series of courses totaling 30 hours. After passing course exams, candidates may seek out work experiences to prepare them for work as health technicians.

All coursework required to become certified as a behavioral health technician can be accomplished through online programs. Candidates can work at their own pace to complete the coursework and take the end-of-course exams. Each exam can be taken multiple times if necessary without a designated waiting period.

Some certified candidates move immediately into the field as a BHT. Many candidates choose to obtain related work experience before entering the field. Some employers require as many as 1,000 hours of experience in the mental health field before considering candidates for the role of behavioral health technician.

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How much do mental health techs make an hour?

Mental health techs make approximately $17 an hour. A technician's wage can vary due to location of employment and education.

While larger cities typically pay more for mental health technicians, not all large markets are the same. A mental health tech in Chicago can expect to earn approximately $18 per hour, while techs working in San Francisco will earn close to $21per hour. This discrepancy in the hourly wage reflects the cost of living in both cities.

The criteria for mental health technicians differ from state to state, but candidates with education beyond the certification coursework are likely to earn a higher wage. Candidates with an associate's degree working as mental health techs will earn 11% to 15% more than the average wage of $17 per hour.

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Is being a mental health technician a good job?

Yes, being a mental health technician can be a very good job. While rewarding, this job is also considered stressful by those working in the field.

Mental health technicians work with individuals that have issues regarding their mental health. These issues include addiction and compulsive behaviors.

Caring for these individuals through daily interactions, including administering medications and transportation to counseling sessions, allows technicians to see patient progress and positively impact their daily lives.

This job can also be very stressful. Patient behavior often fluctuates, and it is a tech's responsibility to intervene when inappropriate behavior is exhibited. Physical and verbal outbursts are not uncommon, and mental health technicians are the first line of defense.

While the salary for this position fluctuates throughout the country, the average hourly wage for a mental health technician is approximately $17 per hour.

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What qualifications do you need to be a mental health worker?

The primary qualification needed to become a mental health worker is relevant education. Levels of acceptable education vary for mental health workers, but minimum standards are required to be considered for a position in this field.

Candidates interested in this field can become certified as behavioral health technicians. This training can be done online and requires an investment of 30 hours of coursework and testing. Most states do not require certification, but it is the shortest path to obtain a job in this field.

Most mental health workers have a relevant college degree. Nearly 12% of mental health workers have an associate's degree in psychology or social work, while 60% of workers in this field have a bachelor's degree.

Several states also require licensure. Arkansas, California, and Colorado require that their behavioral health technicians be licensed.

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