So you want to become a psych tech? Great! Here are five easy steps to get you started on your new career path.
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Psychiatric technicians work under the supervision of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to provide care and treatment to patients with mental illness. They work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, and outpatient clinics. If you are interested in becoming a psychiatric technician, there are a few things you need to do.
1. Get a high school diploma or equivalent.
2. Complete an accredited psychiatric technician program.
3. Obtain state licensure or certification, if required.
4. Consider voluntary certification through the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).
5. Find a job in a psychiatric setting that fits your interests and skillset.
Step One: Research
The first step to becoming a psych tech is to research the field and learn as much as you can about what psych techs do. Talk to mental health professionals, read articles and books about the field, and look for training programs that fit your needs. Once you have a good understanding of the field, you can begin working towards your goal of becoming a psych tech.
Step Two: Get Educated
The next step is to get educated. You will need to obtain at least an associate’s degree in psychology or a related field in order to work as a psych tech. Many psych techs also have a bachelor’s or master’s degree. If you are interested in pursuing a higher level of education, there are many great programs available. Look for schools that offer programs specifically designed for psych techs, or consider online programs that offer flexibility and convenience.
Step Three: Get Experience
It is also important to get experience in the field before you begin working as a psych tech. Many mental health professionals recommend volunteering or working in entry-level positions before starting your career. This will give you the opportunity to learn more about the field and gain valuable experience working with patients. You may also want to consider completing an internship or practicum as part of your education program. These experiences can provide you with important insights into the day-to-day work of a psych tech and help you decide if this is the right career for you.
Step Four: Get Certified
Another important step in becoming a psych tech is to get certified by the American Psychological Association (APA). To be eligible for certification, you must have completed an accredited training program and passed a national exam. Once you are certified, you will need to renew your certification every three years by completing continuing education credits. Certification shows potential employers that you are serious about your career and have the knowledge and skills necessary to work as a psych tech.
Step Five: Start Your Career
Once you have completed steps one through four, you will be ready to start your career as a psych tech! There are many great job opportunities available for qualified candidates. You can work in hospitals, clinics, private practices, or other settings where mental health care is provided. With experience, you may also have the opportunity to specialize in areas such as child and adolescent psychology, forensic psychology, or substance abuse counseling
Step Two: Prerequisites
In order to become a psych tech, there are a few prerequisites you’ll need to complete. First, you’ll need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Next, you’ll need to complete an accredited training program. Finally, you’ll need to pass a state-recognized exam.
Step Three: Certification
The third step to becoming a psych tech is to obtain certification. Although certification is not required in all states, it may be required by some employers. Certification shows that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the job and can be obtained through the American Association of Psychiatric Technicians or the National Board for Certification in Psychiatric Technology.
Step Four: Employment
Now that you have your degree and certification, you are ready to start working as a psych tech! There are a few different ways to go about finding employment.
One option is to contact mental health facilities in your area and inquire about open positions. Many times, these facilities will have a psych tech on staff who can provide you with information about the hiring process.
Another option is to search online job databases, such as Indeed or Monster, for open positions. Be sure to specify that you are looking for jobs in the mental health field, as this will help you narrow down the results.
Once you have found a few open positions that you are interested in, the next step is to apply! Be sure to include your resume and cover letter, as well as any other required materials, such as references or a writing sample.
Once you have submitted your application, the next step is to wait for a response from the employer. If you are selected for an interview, congratulations! Be sure to prepare for your interview by coming up with answers to common questions and practicing your interviewing skills.
If you are not selected for an interview, don’t fret! Keep searching and applying for jobs until you find the perfect fit.
Step Five: Maintaining Certification
Becoming certified is not the end of the story. To keep your certification, you will need to complete continuing education credits. The number of credits required and the type of courses will vary by state, but they are typically not difficult to find or complete. You may even be able to take some coursework online. Check with your state’s licensing board to find out what is required.