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What Does A Mental Health Technician Do?

A mental health technician's primary responsibility is to provide care and assistance to patients with mental health issues. Their tasks mainly revolve around administering scheduled and prescribed medication, monitoring vital signs, assisting during therapy sessions, and assessing patients' progress and behavior. They may also have administrative support tasks such as processing necessary documentation, preparing reports, managing schedules, and even reaching out to patients' guardians and families. A mental health technician may also build a healthy rapport with patients, giving them guidance and positive influence.

Here are examples of responsibilities from real mental health technician resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage other MHA's in their duties and help them problem solving in tense and stressful situations.
  • Prevent and manage aggressive behavior among patients and administer CPR in emergency intervention.
  • Monitor, assist, and transport clients to group counseling sessions, local AA meetings, and community outings.
  • Assist and organize workshops consisting of education, personal self-defense, CPR, and other techniques relating to mental health patients.
  • Assist RN when need with vital signs, documentation, help with personal hygiene and provide a safe and therapeutic environment.
  • Participate in LPS hearings in hospital.
  • Monitor, assess, intervene, document pt.
  • Provide CNA cares to patients on the geriatric unit.
  • Check vital signs, monitor heart rate, and temperature.
  • Assist in the design and development of new hires (MHT) manual.
Mental Health Technician Traits
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.
Emotional skills involve being able to express feelings in an appropriate way while being emphatic of others.
Organizational skills are essential to working as efficiently as possible through being able to focus on projects at hand while also keeping a clean workspace.

Mental Health Technician Overview

Between the years 2018 and 2028, mental health technician jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 12%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a mental health technician?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of mental health technician opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 16,300.

On average, the mental health technician annual salary is $28,652 per year, which translates to $13.78 an hour. Generally speaking, mental health technicians earn anywhere from $22,000 to $36,000 a year, which means that the top-earning mental health technicians make $14,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a mental health technician. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a therapist, residence counselor, counselor/art therapist, and residential counselor.

Mental Health Technician Jobs You Might Like

Mental Health Technician Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 18% of Mental Health Technicians are proficient in Crisis Intervention, Patient Care, and Vital Signs. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Emotional skills, and Organizational skills.

We break down the percentage of Mental Health Technicians that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Crisis Intervention, 18%

    Implemented behavioral and crisis intervention, behavior management and modification as directed by the individual treatment plan and unit program guidelines.

  • Patient Care, 11%

    Assisted in planning and implementing individual patient care and therapeutic milieu groups to facilitate the treatment of psychiatric inpatients

  • Vital Signs, 7%

    Recorded patient vital signs and other indicated specimens or measures and documented observations.

  • CPR, 6%

    Performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on four occasions during attempted suicides.

  • Mental Health, 6%

    Provide support and guidance to inpatient women seeking recovery from drugs/alcohol and mental health/personality disorders in a residential setting.

  • RN, 5%

    Assist RN when needed with vital signs, documentation, help with personal hygiene and provide a safe and therapeutic environment.

Some of the skills we found on mental health technician resumes included "crisis intervention," "patient care," and "vital signs." We have detailed the most important mental health technician responsibilities below.

  • Another common skill for a mental health technician to be able to utilize is "interpersonal skills." Psychiatric technicians and aides often provide ongoing care for patients, so they should develop a rapport with them a mental health technician demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "functioned as a role model of healthy interpersonal relationships and demonstrated appropriate behavior for parents, family, and staff. "
  • Lastly, this career requires you to be skillful in "compassion." According to mental health technician resumes, "because psychiatric technicians and aides spend much of their time interacting with patients, they should be caring and want to help people." This resume example highlights how mental health technician responsibilities rely on this skill: "demonstrated care, compassion, and ethical behavior with children as well as other staff members"
  • See the full list of mental health technician skills.

    We've found that 45.4% of mental health technicians have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 6.1% earned their master's degrees before becoming a mental health technician. While it's true that most mental health technicians have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every five mental health technicians did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    Those mental health technicians who do attend college, typically earn either a psychology degree or a nursing degree. Less commonly earned degrees for mental health technicians include a criminal justice degree or a business degree.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a mental health technician. We've found that most mental health technician resumes include experience from Universal Health Services, BayCare Health System, and Hca Hospital Services Of San Diego. Of recent, Universal Health Services had 116 positions open for mental health technicians. Meanwhile, there are 48 job openings at BayCare Health System and 28 at Hca Hospital Services Of San Diego.

    If you're interested in companies where mental health technicians make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Washington State Employees Credit Union, Public Health Management, and UC Health. We found that at Washington State Employees Credit Union, the average mental health technician salary is $35,864. Whereas at Public Health Management, mental health technicians earn roughly $34,731. And at UC Health, they make an average salary of $33,134.

    View more details on mental health technician salaries across the United States.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious mental health technicians are:

      What Therapists Do

      A therapist is responsible for improving the patients' health conditions by evaluating their needs and providing physical and mental support. Therapists are licensed, medical professionals who specialize in different areas to perform treatments and bring relief to patients. Some of their duties include diagnosing patient's problems, performing counseling services, monitoring medication progress, customizing therapy activities for pain management, and consulting other health professionals as needed. Therapists must have extensive knowledge with the medical industry to detect patients' conditions easily and provide effective medications.

      In this section, we compare the average mental health technician annual salary with that of a therapist. Typically, therapists earn a $24,542 higher salary than mental health technicians earn annually.

      Even though mental health technicians and therapists have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require crisis intervention, patient care, and mental health in the day-to-day roles.

      There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a mental health technician responsibilities require skills like "vital signs," "cpr," "rn," and "phone calls." Meanwhile a typical therapist has skills in areas such as "psychosocial assessments," "trauma," "community resources," and "staff meetings." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

      Therapists receive the highest salaries in the finance industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $51,157. But mental health technicians are paid more in the non profits industry with an average salary of $29,839.

      The education levels that therapists earn is a bit different than that of mental health technicians. In particular, therapists are 47.9% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a mental health technician. Additionally, they're 4.7% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Residence Counselor?

      Residence counselors are professionals who are responsible for providing services such as one-to-one therapy and crisis support to clients who are living in group homes or assisted-living facilities. These counselors must assist adults with moderate intellectual disabilities to find employment while monitoring their work performance. They must facilitate and supervise daily personal care and activities for developmentally disabled adults. Residence counselors must also encourage clients to participate in community activities that can contribute to the development of skills necessary for independent living.

      Next up, we have the residence counselor profession to look over. This career brings along a higher average salary when compared to a mental health technician annual salary. In fact, residence counselors salary difference is $5,431 higher than the salary of mental health technicians per year.

      A similarity between the two careers of mental health technicians and residence counselors are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "crisis intervention," "patient care," and "vital signs. "

      While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that mental health technician responsibilities requires skills like "rn," "phone calls," "cpi," and "blood pressure." But a residence counselor might use skills, such as, "community activities," "community resources," "residential setting," and "cerebral palsy."

      On average, residence counselors earn a higher salary than mental health technicians. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, residence counselors earn the most pay in the insurance industry with an average salary of $34,113. Whereas, mental health technicians have higher paychecks in the non profits industry where they earn an average of $29,839.

      When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, residence counselors tend to reach similar levels of education than mental health technicians. In fact, they're 3.5% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 4.7% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Counselor/Art Therapist Compares

      A counselor/art therapist is responsible for conducting art sessions as part of patients' therapy treatments, letting them express their human nature and emotions through artistic discovery. Counselors/art therapists guide the patients throughout their recovery process, identifying their needs and conditions by analyzing their crafts. A counselor/art therapist coordinates with other medical professionals to deliver quality care services for the patients, monitor their progress, record observations, and instructing patients in art activities to discover their maximum potential.

      The counselor/art therapist profession generally makes a higher amount of money when compared to the average salary of mental health technicians. The difference in salaries is counselor/art therapists making $21,088 higher than mental health technicians.

      Using mental health technicians and counselor/art therapists resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "crisis intervention," "patient care," and "mental health," but the other skills required are very different.

      There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a mental health technician is likely to be skilled in "vital signs," "cpr," "rn," and "phone calls," while a typical counselor/art therapist is skilled in "diagnosis," "trauma," "psychosocial assessments," and "community resources."

      Counselor/art therapists are known to earn higher educational levels when compared to mental health technicians. Additionally, they're 46.1% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 5.7% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Residential Counselor

      A residential counselor is responsible for guiding and providing the residents with their basic needs and other resources to support them in their daily living. Residential counselors' duties include maintaining the safety of the community by enforcing safety guidelines and procedures for the residents' compliance, organizing productive and engaging community activities, updating the residents of any changes and policies in the community, and resolving conflicts by counseling and understanding each resident's differences. A residential counselor must have excellent communication and decision-making skills to ensure the development of residents in a living facility.

      Now, we'll look at residential counselors, who generally average a higher pay when compared to mental health technicians annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $2,246 per year.

      While their salaries may vary, mental health technicians and residential counselors both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "crisis intervention," "vital signs," and "cpr. "

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "patient care," "rn," "phone calls," and "blood pressure" are skills that have shown up on mental health technicians resumes. Additionally, residential counselor uses skills like direct care, counselors, staff meetings, and group homes on their resumes.

      Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The hospitality industry tends to pay more for residential counselors with an average of $30,482. While the highest mental health technician annual salary comes from the non profits industry.

      The average resume of residential counselors showed that they earn similar levels of education to mental health technicians. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 3.0% more. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.1%.