How to Become a Mental Health Technician

Learn how to become a Mental Health Technician and provide quality care to those suffering from mental illness. This important role requires a caring and compassionate personality, as well as the ability to work with a team of mental health professionals.

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Introduction

A mental health technician is a professional who provides direct care and support to patients with mental illness in a variety of settings. Mental health technicians typically work in hospitals, residential treatment facilities, or community mental health centers.

Mental health technicians typically have at least an associate’s degree in a mental health-related field, although some jobs may require a bachelor’s degree. Mental health technicians must be able to effectively communicate with patients, understand various mental disorders, and follow all safety protocols.

What is a Mental Health Technician?

A mental health technician is someone who provides support to people suffering from mental illness. They may work in hospitals, clinics, or other health care settings. Mental health technicians typically have an associate’s degree or equivalent in order to qualify for this position.

The Role of a Mental Health Technician

Mental health technicians typically work under the supervision of licensed mental health professionals in inpatient and outpatient settings. They provide direct patient care, including implementing treatment plans and helping patients with activities of daily living. They also collaborate with other members of the treatment team to ensure that patients receive coordinated and comprehensive care.

Mental health technicians typically have an associate’s degree in mental health technology or a related field. Some states require certification for mental health technicians.

Education and Training Requirements

Most mental health technicians have at least a high school diploma, although some jobs may require postsecondary education, and most employers provide on-the-job training. Some states have certification programs for mental health technicians, which may require completing an accredited educational program and passing an exam.

Skills and Qualifications

In order to become a mental health technician, you will need to have certain skills and qualifications. Many mental health technicians have a high school diploma or equivalent, although some jobs may require postsecondary education, such as an associate’s degree in psychiatric nursing or a bachelor’s degree in social work. You will also need to be able to pass a background check and have a clean criminal record. Some states also require mental health technicians to be licensed or certified.

Salary and Job Outlook

Mental health technicians typically need at least a high school diploma, although some jobs may require postsecondary education, and must complete on-the-job training. They usually work under the supervision of licensed mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, or psychiatric nurses.

Mental health technicians typically have a high school diploma. Some jobs may require postsecondary education, and all mental health technicians must complete on-the-job training. On-the-job training generally lasts about 1 year but may last up to 2 years for some positions.

Mental health technicians typically work in hospitals, residential treatment facilities, or outpatient mental health clinics. They usually work under the supervision of licensed mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, or psychiatric nurses.

In May 2019, the median annual wage for mental health technicians was $33,120. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,140, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $50,410.

Career Paths

Mental health technicians work under the supervision of licensed mental health professionals to provide care and support to patients with mental illness. There are several ways to become a mental health technician, but most people enter the field through one of two paths: either by completing an accredited training program or by obtaining on-the-job training.

Accredited training programs for mental health technicians typically last between six and twelve months and result in a certificate or diploma. These programs are offered at community colleges, technical schools, and some four-year universities. Many programs include clinical experience as part of the curriculum, which can give students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with patients before they enter the workforce.

Mental health technicians can also enter the field through on-the-job training. Many employers are willing to provide new employees with the necessary training to perform their job duties, and this can be a good option for those who want to start working right away. On-the-job training typically lasts between three and six months, during which time workers shadow more experienced technicians and learn about the day-to-day tasks involved in their job.

Whichever path you choose, make sure that you do your research before getting started. Be sure to look into accredited programs if you plan to complete a training program, and talk to current or former mental health technicians about their experiences in the field before making your final decision.

Pros and Cons of Being a Mental Health Technician

Mental health technicians work under the supervision of licensed mental health professionals to provide direct care and support to patients. They may work in hospitals, residential treatment facilities, or community-based mental health clinics.

The job outlook for mental health technicians is positive, with an expected growth rate of 22 percent from 2016 to 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual salary for mental health technicians was $32,760 in 2017.

There are both pros and cons to being a mental health technician. Some of the pros include helping people in a rewarding career, having a flexible schedule, and earning a good salary. Some of the cons include working with difficult patients, dealing with challenging behavior, and exposure to potentially dangerous situations.

10 Steps to Becoming a Mental Health Technician

1. Meet the minimum education requirements. In order to become a mental health technician, you must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent.
2. Enroll in an accredited mental health technician program.
3. Complete an internship.
4. Pass the National Certification Exam for Mental Health Technicians.
5. Obtain state certification or licensure.
6. Consider becoming certified in CPR and first aid.
7. Join a professional organization, such as the National Association of Mental Health Technicians
8. Stay up-to-date on industry news and developments by reading professional publications and attending conferences and workshops .
9. Advance your career by pursuing opportunities for continuing education and professional development .
10. Maintain Certification/Licensure

FAQs

If you’re interested in becoming a mental health technician, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about this career field.

What education do I need to become a mental health technician?

Most mental health technicians have at least a high school diploma or equivalent, although some jobs may require postsecondary education, such as an associate’s degree. Many mental health technicians also receive on-the-job training.

What skills do I need to become a mental health technician?

Mental health technicians need to have good communication and interpersonal skills. They should also be able to handle emotionally charged situations and be able to work with people who have diverse backgrounds.

What are the duties of a mental health technician?

Mental health technicians typically provide support to patients who are dealing with mental illness or emotional distress. They may also provide assistance with day-to-day tasks, such as grooming and eating. Mental health technicians typically work under the supervision of licensed mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists or psychologists.

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