A psychiatric institution facilities technician functions as part of a rehabilitative services team, providing support for people with mental, emotional or developmental impairments. They are responsible for performing maintenance tasks that enhance the environment and improve the operation of a psychiatric institution.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that psychiatric institution facilitates technician jobs are expected to grow steadily in coming years. Employment should rise as the demand for mental health services rises, due to an increase in awareness of mental health treatment. Job growth will also be affected by growing elderly population, many of whom will require mental health services.
Psychiatric Institution Facilities Technician Job Duties
Psychiatric institution facilities technicians perform a variety of work duties around institutional maintenance and care. Duties include basic daily maintenance as well as preventative maintenance on critical systems and equipment. They may troubleshoot plumbing and heating systems and make necessary repairs, and maintain safety features, equipment, fixtures and certain medical equipment.
Additional duties in this profession may include installing and modernizing new and existing refrigeration equipment, water systems, HVAC systems and electrical systems. These professionals also provide support to psychiatric rehabilitation teams by providing information concerning facilities, systems, usage and operations.
Psychiatric institution facilities technicians typically work in private or public psychiatric and mental health care facilities, private rehabilitation facilities or residential mental health facilities. They may work full or part time, with evening and weekend work hours if required.
According to national data on PayScale.com in April 2011, the median total annual pay for the category that includes psychiatric institutional facilities technicians was $35,216. The middle 50% earned between $20,205 and $50,228. Recent associate’s degree program graduates will typically start out at the lower end of the scale and move up in salary with experience.
Education and Training
Employers typically prefer candidates with associate’s degrees when hiring for psychiatric institution facilities technician jobs. Previous experience is attractive to many employers, and can be obtained through summer jobs while pursuing an associate’s degree.
The road to becoming a psychiatric institution facilities technician can begin with an associate’s degree in applied psychology. Coursework typically includes group behavior, introduction to psychology, general physical science and human behavior perspective.
Employers can be confident that graduates of an associate’s degree in applied psychology program are able to:
- Characterize various psychological and interdisciplinary theories of human behavior.
- Exhibit the values of ethical behavior.
- Identify and develop solutions through critical thinking.
- Value the complexity of sociocultural diversity.
- Leverage advanced skills and knowledge to succeed as a psychiatric institution facilities technician.
Some employers offer opportunities for continuing education. It’s possible to gain a position with an associate’s degree and use a tuition assistance program to pay for additional training or education.
Essential Skills for Success in a Psychiatric Institution Facilities Technician Career
If you have a desire to help others, are skilled with your hands, enjoy working in a variety of environments and are in good physical shape, consider a career as a psychiatric institution facilities technician. This occupation also requires good problem-solving skills, self-motivation, and the ability to maintain working relationship with co-workers, supervisors and other personnel. Possessing these characteristics can lead to success in a new career as a psychiatric institution facilities technician.