Health Career Center

Psychiatric Aide

Psychiatric aides, also referred to as psychiatric nursing or mental health assistants, assist individuals with mental health problems and emotional disorders. They typically collaborate with therapists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Psychiatric aides assist patients with basic tasks, such as eating, grooming, and dressing, and they comfort them and organize recreational and educational activities. Psychiatric aides often watch movies with patients, play board games with them, organize and coordinate group activities, and setup field trips. They monitor patients and report abnormalities or behavioral problems to the proper authorities. Likewise, psychiatric aides often sit with patients during therapy sessions. Since they frequently interact with patients, psychiatric aides influence patients’ attitudes and progress.

Education and Training
Certain community colleges and assisted care facilities, vocational schools, and high schools offer formal training programs for psychiatric aides. Many states require psychiatric aides to be formally trained prior to practicing professionally, but psychiatric aides typically complete on-the-job training.

Job Outlook
Job growth is expected to increase at an above average rate, so psychiatric aides should enjoy great job opportunities.

Job growth for psychiatric aides is estimated to increase by 6 percent, a lower rate than average projected growth in other industries. Compared to attendants, orderlies, and nursing aides, there are fewer psychiatric aides. They’re typically employed at hospitals, but more jobs are expected to be created for psychiatric aides at assisted living facilities housing recovering addicts, people diagnosed with mental health problems, and adults with developmental disabilities. More effort is being made to treat mentally ill patients in non-hospital settings to reduce expenses and increase patient independence. Many psychiatric aides will be needed to fill positions in residential facilities since more elderly people now rely on mental health services. Demand for psychiatric specialists will also be on the rise since many elderly parents will be unable to care for their disabled adult children. Job growth will also be affected by alterations in federal funding for programs designed to assist people struggling with mental health disorders.

Healthcare Degree Search
Search top accredited healthcare degrees and programs.
Featured Health Articles
A Career in Healthcare »
Healthcare is one of the largest industries in the world, providing over 14 million jobs in the United States alone. [more...]
The Ever-Growing Healthcare Industry »
In some industries career opportunities have all but evaporated, but the healthcare industry continues to provide job opportunities. [more...]
Rewards of Working in Healthcare »
Although healthcare jobs can be stressful, most professionals agree a career in health is also very rewarding. [more...]
10 Fastest Growing Allied Health Careers »
Of the twenty fastest growing occupations in the United States today, not surprisingly, eight of them are in health care. [more...]

Psychologists specialize in analyzing human behavior and brain function. They study all features of human experience, including child development, cognitive function, and human relationships. Psychology offers a wide array of career opportunities.

Salary: $30,000 - $78,654

Education: 4 - 8 Years (beyond high school)

Job Outlook: Excellent

Learn more...