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.
Psychiatric technicians and aides work in psychiatric hospitals, residential mental health facilities, and related healthcare settings. They may spend much of their shift on their feet, and they have high injury and illness rates.
How to Become a Psychiatric Technician or Aide
Psychiatric technicians typically need postsecondary education, and aides need at least a high school diploma. Both technicians and aides get on-the-job training.
Employment of psychiatric technicians and aides is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Demand for this occupation will stem from the growth of the older population. Older people typically experience higher rates of cognitive illnesses than younger people do.
This occupation supported 153,000 jobs in 2012 and 145,200 jobs in 2014, reflecting a decline of 5.1%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 5.0% in 2022 to 160,600 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 154,500, compared with an observed value of 145,200, 6.0% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 5.0% in 2024 to 152,800 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 162,100 jobs for 2024, 6.1% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.