How to become a Mental health technician

  • What does Mental Health Technician Do

    A mental health technician, also called as psychiatric technician, or behavioral health technician generally works under the direct supervision of psychiatrists or nurses to provide care for patients suffering from mental or behavioral illnesses. Mental health technician’s job is to assist various types of psychiatric patients in need and to provide auxiliary support to the primary care providers of patients. Their job includes observing the psychiatric patients response to therapy, processing or reporting the clinical findings to the consultant psychiatrist. In fact, mental health technicians also assist patients to perform routine activities like maintaining oral hygiene, bathing, eating, dressing and walking.

  • Mental health technician certification

    Based on experience and education, the AAPT offers four levels of voluntary national certification. On successful completion of 4 to 5 years of a relevant bachelor’s degree and three years of practical experience, one is eligible for the level 4 certification.  Candidates who qualify for the state certification boards can also qualify for the certification exams.  One can also obtain voluntary certification to validate their field of expertise. In addition, the AAPT-certified professionals can earn the Nationally Certified Psychiatric Technician (NCPT) designation and validate their certifications through continuing education.

    Mental health technician training

    To become a mental health technician , one should complete an entry-level education (high school diploma or its equivalent) and enroll in any behavioral health technician program. One can also gain sufficient knowledge and skills from a post-secondary program or bachelor’s degrees or associate’s degree program in Applied Science in Mental Health Technology or psychiatric technician training program that usually lasts for about 2 years. Alternately, one can pursue Psychiatric technician program at technical institutes, community colleges, and universities. During this program, the candidate should attend classroom lectures and clinical training sessions for the duration ranging from few weeks to several months to gain clinical experience. In addition, one should complete on-the-job training by finishing the allotted number of hours.

    How much does a Mental health technician earn ? 

    According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average hourly wage for a mental health technician has been around $13.08 per hour and an average annual salary is around $30,745. Read more about mental health technician salary.

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