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Become A Rehab Technician

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Working As A Rehab 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 Rehab 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 Rehab 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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Rehab Technician Jobs

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Rehab Technician Career Paths

Rehab Technician
Registered Nurse Unit Manager Office Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Unit Secretary Office Manager
Business Office Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Specialist Recruiter Career Counselor
Career Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Occupational Therapist Program Director General Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Patient Care Assistant Staff Nurse Registered Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Care Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapist Assistant Physical Therapist
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Massage Therapist Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Case Manager Admissions Coordinator
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Staff Nurse Nurse Manager
Emergency Services Director
10 Yearsyrs
Patient Care Assistant Correction Officer Direct Support Professional
Home Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Occupational Therapist PRN Case Manager
Medical Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Physical Therapist Assistant Massage Therapist Registered Nurse
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Licensed Practical Nurse Staff Nurse
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Physician Medical Assistant
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Sales Consultant Leasing Consultant
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Home Health Aid Direct Support Professional
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Massage Therapist Therapist Program Director
Service Director
10 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Technician Production Supervisor
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Unit Secretary Licensed Practical Nurse
Wellness Director
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Rehab Technician?

Rehab Technician Demographics

Gender

Female

67.3%

Male

31.2%

Unknown

1.6%
Ethnicity

White

61.9%

Hispanic or Latino

16.1%

Black or African American

12.4%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

3.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

56.5%

Tagalog

6.5%

Portuguese

4.8%

Polish

4.8%

Chinese

3.2%

Filipino

3.2%

Ilocano

3.2%

Korean

3.2%

Swedish

1.6%

Afrikaans

1.6%

Cantonese

1.6%

French

1.6%

Urdu

1.6%

Hindi

1.6%

Dutch

1.6%

Russian

1.6%

Mandarin

1.6%
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Rehab Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.8%

Liberty University

6.5%

Texas Tech University

5.7%

College of DuPage

5.7%

Delgado Community College

5.7%

Ashford University

4.9%

University of Illinois at Chicago

4.9%

Texas State University

4.9%

Texas A&M University

4.9%

Tarleton State University

4.9%

Kaplan University

4.9%

Greenville Technical College

4.9%

University of North Texas

4.1%

East Tennessee State University

4.1%

University of Southern Mississippi

4.1%

Old Dominion University

4.1%

Governors State University

4.1%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

4.1%

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

4.1%

Northern Illinois University

4.1%
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Majors

Kinesiology

17.0%

Physical Therapy

9.4%

Nursing

9.3%

Business

8.2%

Occupational Therapy

7.9%

Medical Assisting Services

7.7%

Health Care Administration

6.0%

Nursing Assistants

5.2%

Psychology

4.9%

Biology

3.9%

General Studies

3.6%

Social Work

2.7%

Medical Technician

2.4%

Health Sciences And Services

2.2%

Management

2.1%

Education

1.8%

Criminal Justice

1.7%

Health Education

1.4%

Liberal Arts

1.3%

Somatic Bodywork

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

32.1%

Other

28.5%

Associate

16.7%

Masters

10.1%

Certificate

7.0%

Diploma

2.4%

Doctorate

2.3%

License

1.0%
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Top Skills for A Rehab Technician

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  1. Occupational Therapy
  2. Physical Therapy
  3. Patient Care
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assist Occupational Therapist/Occupational Therapy Assistant with treatments, including activities of daily living and feeding groups and/or other occupational therapy programs.
  • Assisted in specialized physical therapy/strength and conditioning programs for both athletes and general populations.
  • Supervised technicians and equipped them with information necessary to provide quality patient care.
  • Retrieved electronic evaluations and prepared for doctor's signature and/or the Medical Records Department.
  • Job Duties: maintaining cleanliness/general maintenance of facility, assisted therapist with exercise prescription, scheduling, inventory/supplies

How Would You Rate Working As a Rehab Technician?

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Top Rehab Technician Employers

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Jobs From Top Rehab Technician Employers

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