A.S., Psychiatric Technician

C.A., Psychiatric Technician


The Psychiatric Technician Program (PSYT) prepares students to utilize the nursing process in the provision of care and treatment to individuals with mental and/or intellectual impairment under the supervision of a physi-cian, psychologist and/or registered nurse. Psychiatric Technicians partici-pate in rehabilitation and treatment programs, assist patients with activities of daily living, and administer medications and treatments. Upon completion of the program students are eligible to take the Psychiatric Technician state licensure exam leading to licensure as a California Psychiatric Technician.

The Cuesta Psychiatric Technician courses are taught at the training facilities of the Department of State Hospitals - Atascadero (DSH-A) in Atascadero, CA, located half way between Cuesta’s San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles campuses. Hands-on internship experience is part of the training.


An Associate Degree, depending on the focus of study, is designed to prepare students for transfer into upper division course work in a bach-elor’s degree program, or, to prepare students to enter the workforce in a particular vocational field. To qualify for an Associate’s Degree, a student must: 

  1. complete each intraspecific course required for the degree with at least a “C” grade or better,
  2. complete all Cuesta College general education, graduation and residency requirements, and 
  3. achieve an overall grade point average of 2.0 for all courses attempted (major, gen-eral education, elective).

A Certificate Program is designed for students who desire specific training to meet an immediate occupational or personal goal, or for promotion or lateral transfer within their existing field of employment. To qualify for a Certificate of Achievement or a Certificate of Specialization, a student must: 

  1. complete all courses required for the Certificate with an overall grade point average of 2.0.
Where are they employed?
State Hospitals Psychiatric Technician Programs
Day Treatment Centers Geropsychiatric Centers
Developmental Centers Residential Care Facilities
Correctional Facilities Vocational Training Centers
Psychiatric Hospitals & Clinics Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

Career Opportunities
Community Mental Health Centers State Correctional Facilities
Psychiatric Hospital Setting State Hospital Setting
Residential Mental Health Facilities  
Degree/Certificate Types:
A.A. - Associate in Arts C.A. - Certificate of Achievement
A.S. - Associate in Science C.S. - Certificate of Specialization
A.A.-T. - Associate in Arts for Transfer C.C. - Certificate of Completion (Non Credit)
A.S.-T. - Associate in Science for Transfer C.C. - Certificate of Competency (Non Credit)