How to Choose a School for Aspiring Mental Health Technicians

Dec 09, 2019

Students may explore mental health technology through certificate and associate degree programs in the field. These programs are commonly available at community colleges and technical schools.

Mental health technicians can work under many different titles, including case manager, drug abuse counselor and life skills counselor. Certificate, associate and select bachelor degree programs are available for those interested in pursuing this career.

Schools with Mental Health Technology Degree Programs

The following colleges offer specialized education and training for individuals interested in mental health technology and related careers.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees*
Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis, IN, and many other campus locations 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate $4,368 (in-state), $8,402 (out-of-state)
CUNY LaGuardia Community College Long Island City, NY 2-year, Public Associate $5,218 (in-state), $8,098 (out-of-state)
Sinclair Community College Dayton, OH 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate $4,004 (in-state), $7,271 (out-of-state)
Metropolitan Community College of New York New York, NY 2-year, Public Associate, Bachelor's $8,050
Anne Arundel Community College Arnold, MD 2-year, Public Continuing Education (CE) credits $99/class (plus fees)
Cypress College Cypress, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate $1,140 (in-state), $6,158 (out-of-state)
Pima Community College Tucson, AZ 2-year, Public Certificate $2,142 (in-state), $7,458 (out-of-state)
Houston Community College Houston, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate $3,360 (in-state), $3,756 (out-of-state)
Montgomery College Rockville, MD 2-year, Public Associate $9,966 (in-state), $13,602 (out-of-state)
San Antonio College San Antonio, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate $6,300 (in-state), $13,830 (out-of-state)

Sources:* NCES, school websites

School Selection Criteria

Consider the following when looking for a mental health technician school:

  • If your state requires certification, be sure to choose a program that prepares students for licensure examinations.
  • Some programs may have options for part-time study or weekend and evening classes.
  • Check for application prerequisites such as a criminal background check or physical exam.
  • Many schools combine mental health technician instruction with social work skills.

Certificate in Mental Health Technology

Certificate programs contain 14-23 credit hours of study. These programs usually contain one or more internships at local mental health facilities or hospitals. Programs with more of an emphasis on social work may provide instruction on sociology, the aging process, small group dynamics and patient interviewing.

Associate Degree Programs in Mental Health Technology

The typical mental health technician associate degree program requires two years of study. Degrees awarded can include an Associate of Science in Social Work and an Associate of Applied Science in Mental Health and Addiction Technology. Most students are also required to complete several internships.

Certificate and associate degree programs in mental health technology prepare students for a number of counseling and case management careers. In addition to classroom instruction, internships in clinical settings are a frequent fixture of these programs.

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