Psychiatric technicians offer services such as administering medications, monitoring vital signs, assisting patients with bathing, clothing and other personal services, leading patients in therapy, and restraining violent or dangerous patients. The duties of psychiatric technicians share similarities with nursing support, personal care or orderly positions. In the United States, psychiatric technicians earn an average salary of $36,280. In Canada, the equivalent of a psychiatric technician earns C$40,893 ($31,205 USD) per year. A psychiatric technician salary in the United Kingdom is between £12,000 ($14,998 USD) and £35,000 ($43,744 USD). In Australia, professionals in this field have a salary of AU$45,478 ($34,989 USD) as full-time employees. The pay for most psychiatric technicians in New Zealand runs from NZD$34,326 ($24,598 USD) to NZD $46,807 ($33,540 USD).
How Much Does a Psychiatric Technician Make?
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Psychiatric Technician Salary Determinant Factors
For psychiatric technicians, experience and seniority help shape the scales of salaries. In New Zealand, an enterprise agreement covers most psychiatric technicians, while Australia mandates minimum salaries based on experience under its Fair Work Act. The United Kingdom’s National Health Service generally employs most psychiatric technicians.
Other influencers of pay include the geographic region and type of employer. Certain medical providers or provincial agencies may offer bonuses to fill shortages or perceived needs for psychiatric technicians.
1. How Much Does a Psychiatric Technician Make by State?
Psychiatric Technician Salary in US
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for psychiatric technicians in the United States, as of May 2015, stands at $36,280. The median pay is $31,140, with the top ten percent of earners making $60,690 per year.
Psychiatric Technician Salary in Canada
The Canadian Government’s Job Bank reports a median pay of C$19.66 per hour for “Nurse Aides, Orderlies and Patient Service Associates,” which includes psychiatric aids. On an annual basis, the median pay stands at C$40,893. Earnings run from C$13.00 per hour to C$26.00 per hour, or C$27,040 per year to C$54,080 per year.
Psychiatric Technician Salary in UK
Psychiatric technicians in the United Kingdom make between £12,000 and £35,000. Since most psychiatric technicians are employed by the NHS, salaries do not vary as much as they would in other countries.
Psychiatric Technician Salary in Australia
In Australia, “Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers” earn a full-time median salary of AU$879 per week, or AU$45,748 per year. (http://joboutlook.gov.au/occupation.aspx?code=4233&search=&Tab=stats&graph=EA). Taking into account part-time workers, the median pay for these workers is AU$700 per week, or AU$36,400 per year.
Psychiatric Technician Salary in New Zealand
As set by an enterprise agreement applicable throughout New Zealand, except for the Auckland region, the pay scale for psychiatric assistants runs from NZD$34,326 to NZD$46,807 as of April 30, 2015.
2. How Much Does a Psychiatric Technician Make According to Experience?
According to PayScale, the median pay for entry-level psychiatric technicians is $29,000. At five years of experience, the median rises to $33,000 and then to $38,000 after ten years. Technicians with over 20 years of experience earn a median pay of $47,000 annually.
In the United Kingdom, new psychiatric techs make £12,000 per year and, with experience and seniority, can earn as much as £35,000.
Under the enterprise agreement in most of New Zealand, psychiatric assistants advance through the first four steps based on years of service. For example, at Step 1, the annual salary is NZD$34,326 and is NZD$37,443 at Step 2. Upon reaching Step 4, psychiatric assistants make NZD$43,897 per year. However, attainment of Step 5, or a salary of NZD$46,807, is based on merit.
3. How Much Does a Psychiatric Technician Make According to Work Environment?
In the United States, psychiatric technicians in state government agencies make $42,010. Salaries average $37,450 in “Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals” and $34,830 in “General Medical and Surgical Hospitals.”
Salaries for “Nurse Aids, Orderlies and Patient Service Associates” in Canada depend, in part, on geographic region. According to Job Bank, labor agreements and availability of workers can impact the differences. For example, the Northwest Territories had the highest median wage, at C$30.94 per hour, with New Brunswick having the lowest at C$15.00 per hour. In Ontario, the median was C$19.85. The median in Quebec stood at C$19.15.
Generally, the psychiatric technician field contains a mix of full and part-time workers. For example, in Australia, approximately 44.1 percent of “Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers” were employed full-time. The average work week for these employees were 34.5 hours per week, compared with 40.2 hours a week for all employees.. In Canada, approximately seven out of ten logged full-time hours, compared with 81 percent of workers overall in the country. Given that hospitals and residential facilities operate at all hours and days, psychiatric technicians often have night, weekend and holiday shifts.
Bonuses and Benefits
According to PayScale, bonuses for psychiatric technicians in the United States average $503. In Canada, certain provinces may offer signing bonuses and other incentives for personal care attendants.
Psychiatric technicians in New Zealand and Australia receive statutorily-mandated benefits. These include four weeks of paid annual leave and superannuation or employer-funded pension benefits. In the United Kingdom, health workers in the National Health Service typically have vested benefits at age 65.
Overall, demand for psychiatric technicians will depend on factors such as the aging population and presence of behavior and mental health issues in the population. With aging comes the increased risk and prevalence of conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Substance abuse and other behavioral problems will also necessitate the services of psychiatric technicians and aides.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a five percent rise in the employment of psychiatric technicians in the United States by 2024. As of 2014, the United States had 67,900 psychiatric technicians.
Job Canada states that, through 2024, there should be 129,100 job seekers for 132,200 openings for nurse aids, orderlies and patient care associates. This suggests a shortage of these workers in Canada.
According to the Australian Government’s “Job Outlook,” job openings of “Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers” should number above 50,000 by November 2019. As of November 2015, the field had 87,000 occupants.
Psychiatric technicians may advance to roles as licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, social workers, mental health counselors, social work supervisor and nurse practitioner.
Experience, location of practice and the type of employer will guide pay prospects for psychiatric technicians. Enterprise or collective bargaining agreements or agency scales establish pay based on experience and performance. Bonuses or other incentives may await those willing to practice in under-served or rural areas.