What does a Psych Tech do?

Psychiatric technicians are the support staff working in the mental health care field. They are employed in locations including hospitals, private institutions, or patient residences. They observe and report patient behavior, moods, and their general well-being. They are responsible for ensuring patients are comfortable during and between their treatments and provide needed hands-on care for people with mental disabilities or mental illnesses.

Psychiatric technicians provide transportation to and from treatment and some are tasked with bathing, dressing, and feeding patients based upon their individual abilities. They track patients’ behavioral changes if necessary to help health care providers get a better understanding of the patient's behavior patterns. They measure vital signs and take samples of bodily fluids including urine if needed or requested by the health care provider. They administer medication and conduct recreational and therapeutic activities. Psychiatric technicians need certification or an associate’s degree in psychiatric or mental health technology, certification in CPR, and a license when required by the state.

What responsibilities are common for Psych Tech jobs?
  • Assist with physical care under the direction of a RN.
  • Recognize changes in patient status and reports to charge nurse.
  • Contribute to the achievement of quality care and positive patient outcomes.
  • Supervise, observe, transport and assist clients during assigned shifts.
  • Perform observation and monitoring of assigned patients on a one-to-one basis.
  • Establish therapeutic rapport and maintain appropriate boundaries with patients.
  • Take patients' vital signs upon admission and per doctor's orders.
  • Perform unit support activities as needed and directed by manager or designee.
  • Attend report at change of shift as assigned.
  • Assist in daily self-care activities, including training on personal hygiene
  • Provide one-on-one instruction for children diagnosed with a pervasive developmental disorder.
  • Estimate the quantities of resource materials needed to conduct treatment mall classes based on number of groups and number of participants in each group.
  • Ensure clients are adhering and attending their daily schedule of activity.
  • Assist with follow-up and paperwork as required on incidents and events that may take place in the facility.
  • Participate in various therapeutic activities such as role playing, behavior modification, modeling, reality orientation, etc.
  • Monitor and maintain a safe living environment.
  • conduct safety checks and ensuring that supervision is conducted at 15 minute intervals, as noted in special precautions, or in accordance with individualized supervision guidelines as needed.
  • Be alert and ensure safety of staff and participants
  • Report all medical concerns to the proper colleagues.
  • Responsible for the maintenance and stocking the medication cart and other areas associated with the self-administration of medications to the inmates.
What are the typical qualifications for Psych Tech jobs?
  • Bachelor's or Graduate's Degree in applied sciences, behavior sciences, exercise science, psychology or information technology, or equivalent experience.
  • Strong command of English language and good communication skills.
  • Demonstrates excellent leadership and collaboration abilities, along with solid time management and problem solving skills.
  • Advanced understanding of HIPAA regulations.
  • BCBA certification is preferred.
  • CPR training required.
Work/Life Balance
3.0 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.0 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

How much does a Psych Tech make near United States?

$51,891 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
See More Insights

Psych Tech Career Path

Learn how to become a Psych Tech, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Psych Tech

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Psych Tech Insights

Read what Psych Tech professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Palm Point Behavioral HealthPalm Point Behavioral Health
Mental Health Technician
Aug 17, 2023

“A is the best medical professional I’ve had the pleasure of working under The CEO is amazing.”

East Alabama Mental HealthEast Alabama Mental Health
Mental Health Technician
Nov 24, 2021

“Overtime is unlimited (time and a half) and you get holiday pay double your pay per hour.”

Behavioral Technician
Nov 13, 2022

“You get to help people and the job is never the same day to day.”

Action Behavior Centers - ABA Therapy for AutismAction Behavior Centers - ABA Therapy for Autism
Registered Behavioral Technician
Dec 20, 2021

“Despite all this many of the therapists at the Cedar Park location are top notch and really try their best.”

Monte Nido & AffiliatesMonte Nido & Affiliates
Behavioral Health Technician
Oct 10, 2022

“The staff is what makes coming into work enjoyable and I have made some of my best friends there.”

Western Mental Health InstituteWestern Mental Health Institute
Psychiatric Technician
Apr 19, 2023

“You get certified in CPR. 3. Really good insurance options to choose from for pretty low rates.”

San Antonio Behavioral Healthcare HospitalSan Antonio Behavioral Healthcare Hospital
Mental Health Technician
Nov 5, 2023

“My grandma got really sick and I had to leave and when I let my supervisor know through text there was no response.”

Northern Light HealthNorthern Light Health
Psychiatric Technician
Jan 13, 2023

“If you have a good team then you really can have great days and it's nice to see patients get better.”

See More

Psych Tech Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Psych Tech

The most similar professions to Psych Tech are:
  • Therapist
  • Mental Health Therapist
  • Outpatient Therapist
  • Behavior Therapist

Get anonymous career insights from your peers


A place for nurses to come together to support one another and discuss topics/issues that are unique to us 👐

Registered Nurse

Question: Do you feel like it is professional to share how much you make with your coworkers?

View Full Conversation

Related Careers

No skills overlap
Mental Health Therapist
No skills overlap
Outpatient Therapist
No skills overlap
Behavior Therapist
No skills overlap

Psych Tech Jobs