A psychiatric technician works in private and state hospitals and community facilities dealing with patients who are emotionally and developmentally disabled. A technician can also work in corrections and human services including daycare centers, substance abuse programs, special education and other areas that promote mental health. In California, psychiatric technician programs are accredited by the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians. Students take the State Board Licensure Examination after completion of their studies.

Mt. San Antonio College

What separates Mt. San Antonio College psychiatric technician program is its stringent entrance requirements. Based in Walnut, California, the college offers an associate degree in mental health. In addition to a high school diploma or equivalent, you are required to take a writing examination at the college's assessment center. Physical examination and certain immunizations are required upon acceptance, and a background check is compulsory. This is important because certain convictions might prevent you from licensure. The program is accredited by the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT).

Cypress College

The college offers an associate of science degree for a psychiatric technician. It also prepares you to transfer to a four-year degree at another institution. A high school diploma, or the General Education Development (GED) test with a minimum score of 45 is required. Cypress College only admits 24 students each fall and spring semesters. When selected, you must obtain a physical examination. Immunization is also required. To graduate, you have to maintain an overall GPA of 2.0. A transfer student must have at least 50 percent of all major coursework completed at the college. The program is accredited by the BVNPT.

Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts

Based in Concord, California, Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts offers a 14-month vocational diploma program. Courses include basic hygiene and nursing care, measurement of vital signs in a patient, performance of prescribed medical treatments, administration of prescribed medications, behavioral management as well as crisis intervention. Students also learn the facilitation of individual and group therapeutic activities. To graduate, you have to complete 576 hours of didactic and laboratory instructions and 954 hours of clinical education. The school is accredited by the BVNPT, and graduates are eligible to take the BVNPT licensure examination.

Santa Rosa Junior College

Accredited by the BVNPT, Santa Rosa Junior College offers a psychiatric technology vocational program. The program is 1,554-hours length, designed to be completed in three semesters with a student spending about 35 hours per week in theory and clinical classes. This is a vocational certificate program which prepares a student for licensure.

Bernardino Valley College

The program at San Bernardino Valley College lasts one year. The course prepares you to work with emotionally, mentally and developmentally challenged clients. The school is accredited by the BVNPT and prepares you for the California Psychiatric Technician licensing examination. You can also choose to earn an associate degree at Bernardino Valley College if you decide to study for another year.

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