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Psychiatric Technician

Are you helpful, compassionate, and a good listener? If you want to help improve the quality of life for some of the most needy or vulnerable individuals in today’s society, consider the profession of Psychiatric Technician. Psychiatric technicians are active members of interdisciplinary healthcare teams in the forefront of care and treatment of individuals with mental illness or development disabilities.

Catalog Information

The PTEC application period for Fall 2024 is now closed.  Please check back for the application dates of the next cohort offering.

Did You Know?

  • Median pay for psychiatric technicians in California is $54,800.
  • Napa State Hospital opened in 1875 and is the oldest State Hospital still in operation.
  • NVC’s program currently enjoys a 100% job placement rate.

Program Highlights

NVC’s Psychiatric Technician program, which is accredited by the Board of Vocational Nurses and Psychiatric Technicians, is a patient-centered program operated in cooperation with hospitals and healthcare agencies. Coursework is combined with practical clinical training at local hospitals and health agencies.

After completion of prerequisites, students earning a Certificate of Achievement are eligible to take the examination for state licensure. With the addition of general education classes, students may earn an AS in Psychiatric Technician, with eligibility to qualify for state licensure as well as to pursue onward undergraduate study at a public or private college.

The Psych Tech schedule will look like this:
Monday-Thursday 6:30am-1:00pm- Clinical
(3 or 4 days)
Monday-Thursday 2:00pm-4:00 or 5:00pm- Class
Please note times and days are subject to change.

Contact Us


There is a shortage of trained and experienced psychiatric technicians in California, with constant demand in the public sector.  Most jobs are concentrated near state hospitals such as Napa State Hospital, but there are many other jobs available within prison systems, via county mental health services, in private mental health care facilities, and in acute and subacute hospitals with mental health units. Once certified and licensed, graduates can earn healthy entry-level pay, and advance further with additional certifications and/or degree completion.

  • Psychiatric technicians
  • Social and human services assistants
  • Nurses
  • Psychiatrists
  • Special education teachers
  • Learn More:
    • Career Paths – American Association of Psychiatric Technicians
    • CareerOneStop – guide to local wage averages & job growth

After NVC

Students may opt to join the Psychiatric Technician Fast-Track program, offered as a joint initiative by the Department of State Hospitals and the Joint Apprenticeship Committee of California. Students register at NVC but complete all coursework at neighboring Napa State Hospital and work as apprentices during their training. Students must apply for admission to the program via the Department of State Hospitals.  To determine whether this option is right for you, consult with department faculty and NVC Counseling.