Join our team as a Clinical Psychologist

Central Coast Shoreline

We're hiring qualified licensed and unlicensed clinical psychologists at our facility in Atascadero, along California’s beautiful Central Coast.

As a clinical psychologist working with the California Department of State Hospitals (DSH), you’ll enjoy a stimulating and exciting working environment, a collegial, team-oriented treatment approach, and a host of world-class benefits. Our location in Atascadero, along California’s beautiful Central Coast affords opportunities for an excellent work-life balance. We invite you to join us as we provide care for one of California’s most vulnerable populations-those struggling with severe mental illness. AT DSH, our total staff of over 10,000 employees work together to provide quality mental and health services and support to over 6,000 patients in five facilities throughout the State of California.

About our Facility

The California Department of State Hospitals-Atascadero is a secure public-sector hospital providing inpatient forensic services for mentally-ill adult males who are court committed throughout the State of California.
DSH–Atascadero recognizes that mental health recovery is most effectively achieved in an environment that fosters creative problem solving, innovation, and mutual respect within a dynamic therapeutic milieu. The hospital employs over 2,000 staff. Treatment is designed collaboratively by a multi-disciplinary team which includes psychiatrists, clinical social workers, rehabilitation therapists, clinical dietitians, physicians, registered nurses,and psychiatric technicians. Our clinical psychologists are vital to the hospital’s treatment mission and integral to its collegial milieu.

To experience our milieu for yourself, we offer guided tours of the facility. Please contact us using the information at the bottom of this page for more information on how to schedule a tour.


Psychologists are, amongst other duties, to complete an Admission Psychological Assessment (APA) for patients. Other responsibilities include carrying out assessments in a timely fashion to further delineate and clarify psychiatric and psychological diagnoses. Our psychologists also complete Suicide Risk Assessments (SRA) on all patients, conduct intellectual and cognitive assessments of all patients when clinically indicated, and are responsible for creating and monitoring behavioral interventions as clinically necessary. Finally, DSH psychologists are expected to perform treatmentteam duties, deliver treatment services, and provide timely feedback to the patient the results of psychological assessments and evaluations and complete appropriate documentation of this interaction.

Minimum Qualifications

Research for Minimum Qualifications

Possession of a valid license as a Psychologist issued by the California Board of Psychology and possession of an earned Doctorate Degree in Psychology from an educational institution meeting the criteria of Section 2914 of the Medical Board of California's Business and Professions Code AND Possession of the education and experience for the appropriate specialty (Clinical, Counseling, Educational, Experimental, or Social) as outlined in Section 1396 of the Board of Psychology's Regulations. Individuals who do not qualify for licensure by the California Board of Psychology or who are in the process of securing this license will be admitted into the examination and may be appointed, but must secure a valid license within three years of an appointment or the employment shall be terminated. For persons employed less than full time, an extension of a waiver of licensure may begranted for additional years proportional to the extent of part-time employment, as long as the person is employed without interruption in service, but in no case shall the waiver exceed five years. (Unlicensed individuals who are recruited from outside the State of California and who qualify for licensure may take the examination and may be appointed for a maximum of two years at which time licensure shall have been obtained or the employment shall be terminated. Additionally, they must take the licensure examination at the earliest possible date after the date of employment.)

Completion of all requirements for a Doctoral Degree in Psychology from a recognized college or university with specialization in clinical or child clinical psychology. [Graduates of foreign universities, except Canadian, and graduates of unaccredited universities must meet the educational requirements for State licensure as a Psychologist as evidenced by a written statement from the California Board of Psychology and possession of an earned Doctorate Degree in Psychology from an educational institution meeting the criteria of Section 2914 of the Medical Board of California's Business and Professions Code. This statement will also be required to determine the sufficiency of an academic specialty believed equivalent to those mentioned here.]

Employment Process

Below is a list of the main steps you'6ll take as you pursue employment as a Psychologist at DSH. We understand this process can be a bit overwhelming- please don't hesitate to use the contact information at the bottom of this page to get in touch with any questions!

1. Create a CalCareers account.
2. Gain eligibility by taking and passing the required employment exam.
3. Apply for the vacancy. (current deadline is 7/16/2024)

*if the vacancy link has expired, please contact us directly, or search for DSH-Atascadero Psychologist vacancies

Salary and Benefits

  • Competitive salary ranges:
    • Licensed: $9,940 - $11,095/month
    • Unlicensed: $8,420 - $9,155/month (Unlicensed psychologists accrue necessary hours and receive in-house supervision towards licensure)
  • Health, dental, and vision insurance
  • Paid holidays, vacation, and sick leave
  • Pension-style CalPERS Safety retirement
  • 401k and 457b plans available through Savings Plus


Central Coast Shoreline

Located in California's coastal heartland midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles in beautiful San Luis Obispo County, is the Department of State Hospitals – Atascadero, a forensic, psychiatric treatment facility. The region encompasses the historic university town of San Luis Obispo, a world-class wine industry, agricultural lands, ranches, and beach communities all with a carefully preserved rural quality. An unpolluted environment, the Central Coast offers the amenities of a more urbane community, however in a serene country setting.
In addition to San Luis Obispo and Atascadero, communities include Morro Bay, Cambria, Pismo Beach, Arroyo Grande, Templeton, Paso Robles, amongst others. Our employees enjoy a laid-back California coastal lifestyle that includes light traffic commutes, numerous food and music festivals, gorgeous wineries and vineyards, and outdoor activities like surfing, biking, and hiking. Click on the link below to learn more about our area!

    Contact us!

  • Employment Office
  • Front Desk: (805) 468-3384