(Last Updated On: 05/04/2017)

Psychiatric Aide Jobs

Psychiatric Aide Job Description

Psychiatric aides care for patients who have mental disabilities and illnesses so severe that they require intensive care. Aides are heavily involved in their patients’ day to day lives, and can have a huge impact on their recovery.

Psychiatric aides are similar to psychiatric technicians, but focus on providing basic care rather than medical care.

Psychiatric aides work under the supervision of a physician, and are exposed to many different areas of healthcare. They commonly work with social workers, physical therapists, psychiatrists, and other professionals.

Responsibilities for psychiatric aides include:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting rooms.
  • Serving meals and helping patients eat them.
  • Assisting patients with therapeutic activities. Activities can be mental or physical
  • Helping patients bathe, groom, and dress themselves.

Work Environment and Schedule

Psychiatric aides commonly work in hospitals, psychiatric facilities, substance abuse centers, and mental health facilities.

Sometimes, working with psychiatric patients can be unpleasant or scary. Some people suffer from mental illnesses that make them violent, mean, or uncooperative. It can take a lot of practice and training to learn how to keep yourself and the patients safe in such situations.

Because care facilities are open around the clock, psychiatric aides often have to work on nights, weekends, and holidays.

Most people in this occupation work full time, but part time positions are also available.

How to Become a Psychiatric Aide

A minimum of a high school diploma is required for psychiatric aide positions, though some college level coursework in psychology or a related field may be helpful. Some psychiatric aides may choose to attend a community college and earn a certificate required to become a psychiatric technician.

On the job training can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on the type of care provided and the nature of the patients in the facility.

There are no licensing requirements for this occupation.

Related Occupations

Employment Outlook

There are currently 67,700 psychiatric aides in the United States, with 1,900 new psychiatric aide job openings created each year.

Psychiatric Aide jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.

Psychiatric Aide Salaries

Overall Salaries

Psychiatric Aide salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most psychiatric aides make between $20,400 – $32,600 per year, or $9.80 – $15.68 per hour.