Career Opportunities

Employment of community health workers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2012 to 2022, slower than the average for all occupations. Growth will be driven by an increase of older men and woman with cognitive mental diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Demand for psychiatric technicians in residential facilities are expected to rise as a result. In addition, the aging and increasing prison population has increased need for psychiatric technicians in correctional facilities.

More psychiatric technicians and aides will be needed in residential treatment facilities and in outpatient care centers for people with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and substance abuse problems. There is a long-term trend toward treating psychiatric patients in community-based settings rather than in hospitals. These settings allow patients greater independence, and they are often more cost-effective.

Federal health legislation will expand the number of patients who have access to health insurance, increasing patient access to medical care. Federal health insurance reform will expand coverage of mental health disorders to millions of people, and more technicians and aides will be needed to provide mental health services.

Location 2012 Employment Projected 2022 Percent Change Annual Job Openings
USA 153,000 160,600 5 7,600
Texas 7,950 8,268 4 318
Tyler 470 499 6 29

Psychiatric technicians and aides may work full time or part time. Because hospitals and residential facilities are open at all hours, many psychiatric technicians and aides work nights, weekends, and holidays.
In May 2012, the median annual wages for Psychiatric Technicians in the top five industries in which they worked were as follows:

Hospitals $32,010
State and Local Government $30,830
Residential Care Centers $24,440
Outpatient Care Centers $23,560
Health Practitioners Offices $31,470