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Behavioral Technician

What Is a Behavioral Technician and How to Become One

What Is a Behavioral Technician and How to Become One Image

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What Does a Behavioral Technician Do?

A behavioral technician provides mental health services to patients who struggle with a variety of behavioral problems, including psychiatric disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and physical and emotional abuse. Behavioral health technicians collaborate with doctors and nurses to carry out treatment plans for patients. The duties of behavioral technicians include administering medications, helping patients participate in meetings and group counseling sessions, and even assisting with everyday living skills like dressing and eating.

How to Become a Behavioral Health Technician

The education requirements to become a behavioral health technician include either a high school diploma or GED certificate followed by a certificate program or associate degree, as well as on-the-job training. Online programs exist for behavioral technician certification which some employers require. If you want to advance your career, a bachelor’s or master’s degree in counseling or psychology will qualify you for higher-paying positions.

Where Do Behavioral Technicians Work?

Behavioral technicians work in many settings, including mental health facilities, hospitals, schools, and shelters. Behavioral health technicians have many responsibilities, all with one common goal—to support psychiatric patients with their daily needs. Regardless of your work location, interaction with patients will dominate your work shifts. Skills such as patience, compassion, communication, and problem-solving will help you do your job well day after day.

What Is the Job Outlook for a Behavioral Technician?

Wherever people struggle with psychological issues, there’s a need for behavioral technicians. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a six percent increase in behavioral health technician jobs between 2016 and 2026. Behavioral technicians who graduate with a college degree in psychology or counseling have higher earning potential over the course of their careers.

Behavioral Technician Job Description Sample

With this Behavioral Technician job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember though, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for their Behavioral Technician position.


We are looking for a Behavioral Technician to join our patient care team. You provide support to patients as they follow their treatment plans and ensure they receive the care they need to address their behavioral issues. We are looking for someone who can accurately observe behavior and remain calm in emotionally stressful situations. As a Behavioral Technician, you should also feel comfortable providing guidance to family members. Our ideal candidate has either a two-year degree in psychology or a related field or professional experience interacting with people who have issues such as substance abuse or autism. Registered behavioral technicians (RBTs) with bilingual communication skills are preferred.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provide one-on-one patient care
  • Observe and record patient behavior
  • Help implement treatment plans
  • Coordinate with health professionals and family members to ensure adequate care
  • Provide medication as instructed

Requirements and Qualifications

  • A high school diploma or GED certificate
  • An associate degree in psychology or another relevant field is preferred
  • RBT certification is acceptable in place of advanced educational qualifications
  • Physical ability necessary to help manage patient needs
  • Communication skills
  • Bilingual communication skills are preferred
  • Patience

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