The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

July 3, 2013
What California state workers earn: Psychiatric technicians


Although Ken Murch retired in 2012 after decades as the executive director of the California Association of Psychiatric Technicians, he returned this year to bargain for the union. It's a plus for CAPT. Murch and Gov. Jerry Brown have a relationship that dates back to the governor's first go-round in office.

Meanwhile, California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Diana Dooley has established a task force that will consider the future of state's developmental center system. Many of California's psychiatric technicians work at the four large developmental centers and one small community facility that serve roughly 1,500 residents with an annual budget of $545 million.

Number of employees in 2012: 5,484
2012 average pay: $48,525
2012 median pay: $56,430

Number of employees in 2011: 5,627
2011 average pay: $46,833
2011 median pay: $53,418

2012 Largest job class: Psychiatric Technician (Safety) (2,858)
Highest paid job class (2012 average): Psychiatric Technician Instructor ($64,742)
Lowest paid job class (2012 average): Psychiatric Technician Training Candidate ($811)

This chart shows the average and median pay for Bargaining Unit 18 in 2011 and 2012.

With talks and ratification votes for new state employee contracts on the agenda over the next few weeks, The State Worker is taking a first-ever look at what unionized workers earned over the last two years by bargaining unit.

The numbers feeding the series come from the State Controller's payroll database. The figures include only regular pay issued to full-time employees represented by the 21 bargaining units that negotiate contracts with the state. The number of employees includes only full-time workers who were paid during the calendar year. University of California and California State University employee earnings are not included in these figures. The data covers calendar 2011 and 2012.

Check out The Bee's state worker pay database here.

PHOTO: Sharon Benda shows her license as ID to gain entry to visit her mentally ill son at the Napa State Hospital in Napa on Saturday September 4, 2004. The Sacramento Bee/Renee C. Byer.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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