Psychiatric Aides: Salary Overview
Psychiatric aides care for people with mental illness and developmental disabilities, help them in their daily activities, and ensure a clean and safe environment.
Their job description typically includes monitoring patients’ behavior, helping them with dressing, bathing, and other daily activities, serving meals, changing bed linens and cleaning the facility, participating in group activities, helping transport patients, and restrain patients who become violent.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for psychiatric aides was $29,180 as of May 2019.
The median wage shows us that half the workers in this profession earned less than this while half earned more.
Salaries vary depending on the place of employment, the aide’s level of experience, and the region, among other factors.
The lowest 10 percent reported a salary that was below $19,830 while the highest 10 percent earned more than $46,490.
Psychiatric Aide Salary by Industry
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that psychiatric aides held about 6,100 jobs in the United States in 2018, most of them being employed by psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals and by state governments.
Other places where psychiatric aides may find employment are residential mental health and substance abuse facilities and residential intellectual and developmental disability facilities.
Psychiatric aides who worked for psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals reported an average annual wage of $34,230 as of May 2019.
The mean annual wage for psychiatric aides employed by state governments was $30,360.
Those who work for residential intellectual and developmental disability, mental health and substance abuse facilities earned, on average, $26,600 per year.
The average annual wage was $35,120 for psychiatric aides who worked for general medical and surgical hospitals and $21,810 for those employed in the field of individual and family services.
This industry includes activity centers, adult day care centers, youth centers, and other establishments that provide individual and family social, counseling, welfare, or referral services.
The highest average annual wage was reported by psychiatric aides who worked for offices of physicians.
Here the mean annual wage for this profession in 2019 was $36,680.
Another field where psychiatric aides may earn more than the average for this profession is the industry of nursing care facilities.
Psychiatric aides who worked in nursing care homes reported an average annual wage of $35,650.
In conclusion, salaries vary widely depending on the place of employment.
However, there are many other factors that determine how much a psychiatric aide makes.
For example, as an entry-level employee in a psychiatric hospital, your salary may be close to the minimum for this profession but as you gain experience you will start earning more.
In conclusion, this profession is not very well paid and we should also mention that the rate of injuries and illnesses is high for psychiatric aides.
You will care for patients who may be disoriented, uncooperative, or violent and their work requires completing a variety of physically demanding tasks, such as lifting patients.
Also, because many facilities that care for psychiatric patients operate 24 hours a day, as a psychiatric aide you will typically work in shifts.
One way of improving your earning prospects is to earn a postsecondary certificate as a psychiatric technician.
The American Association of Psychiatric Technicians offers several levels of certification.
The median annual wage for psychiatric technicians is $33,780 according to BLS, slightly higher than the median wage reported by psychiatric aides.
As the nation’s population ages, the incidence of cognitive mental disorders, such as Alzheimer’s is also expected to grow.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the projected job growth for psychiatric aides at 11 percent from 2018 to 2028.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Psychiatric Aides. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.