Behavioral Health Sciences

Program Description

The Behavioral Health Sciences certificate program through Arizona Western College provides students with mental/behavioral health knowledge and skills and the proficiency to implement essential care for individuals with various behavioral health situations and settings. The BHS program introduces students to behavioral health and social services. It provides a foundational study of effective communication and identifying signs and symptoms of an individual with mental/behavioral health illnesses. The BHS program includes courses designed to provide students with the skill set necessary to deliver fundamental competencies to treat those individuals with a variety of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, and developmental disabilities. 

Arizona Western College, as part of its Behavioral Health Sciences certificate program, is proud to offer multi-track options for those entering the mental/health behavioral health field to those currently having roles within the mental/behavioral health discipline.

  • BHS Track A is designed to provide skills and a knowledge foundation to those entering into entry-level employment in a behavioral health setting.
  • BHS Track B certified program is created for those currently in the mental health field and to enhance further the specialization requiring them to work with mentally/behaviorally ill patients.
  • BHS Track C is intended to provide students with the skills to deliver essential mental/behavioral health services. The core focus of the program is practical training and service-learning experiences.

Working as a behavioral health technician requires you to have these skills and traits:

  • Compassion. Because behavioral health technicians spend considerable time interacting with patients, they should be caring and want to help people.
  • Interpersonal skills. Behavioral Health technicians continually provide ongoing patient care, so they should develop a rapport with them. Gaining such connections makes behavioral health technicians better able to treat their patients and assess their condition.
  • Observational skills. BH Technicians must monitor patients closely and be sensitive to any differences or changes in behavior. For their safety and that of their patients, they must identify signs of distress or concern among patients.
  • Patience. Working with patients with mental/behavioral health concerns can be emotionally challenging. Therefore, BH technicians must stay calm in stressful situations.
  • Physical energy. BH technicians must lift, move, and sometimes restrain patients. They must also spend a considerable amount of time on their feet.

Program Requirements

  • Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card: $73.00
  • TB Screen: $20-$30.00
  • CPR/1st Aid: $55.00

The costs provided are estimates and are subject to change.

Degree(s) / Certificates(s)

Title Local Bachelor's
Basic Behavioral Health Sciences Track A - CERT Occupational Certificate -
Basic Behavioral Health Sciences Track B - CERT Occupational Certificate -
Basic Behavioral Health Sciences Track C - CERT Occupational Certificate -

Career Outlook

Behavioral Health Technician salary in Arizona: 
Average salary $33,000/yr

Overall employment of psychiatric technicians and aides is projected to grow 9 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.

About 16,500 openings for psychiatric technicians and aides are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Alternative Career Paths:

  • Residential Aide
  • Case Manager
  • Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Social service assistant
  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
  • Registered nurse (RN) career

Source(s): Intuit Mint and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Successful completion of this program may lead to employment in a variety of different occupations and industries. Check the above for additional information.

Contact Information

Department Contact(s)

Allied Health

Hours of Operation
  • Normal Hours
  • Monday - Thursday: 7:00am-5:00pm