Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers: Salary, Job Description, How To Be One and More

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Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers jobs information
pros and cons of being a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers

Other names for this job might include Addictions Counselor, Alcoholism Worker, Case Manager, Case Managers, Case Therapist, Chemical Dependency Counselor, Clinical Social Worker, Clinical Therapist, Clinician, Community Mental Health Social Worker


  • $47190
    Salary
  • 83%
    Job satisfaction
  • Hard
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank

B+



Mental Health Social Workers: Know It All In 1 Minute


In this career summary, you will find out what the job of A Mental Health Social Worker is about and what it is like.

After reading this, you will have a good idea on what the job is about and decide if this is the right career for you.



Job description

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs. Activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, case management, client advocacy, prevention, and education.

  • Counsel clients in individual or group sessions to assist them in dealing with substance abuse, mental or physical illness, poverty, unemployment, or physical abuse.
  • Monitor, evaluate, and record client progress with respect to treatment goals.
  • Interview clients, review records, conduct assessments, or confer with other professionals to evaluate the mental or physical condition of clients or patients.
  • Collaborate with counselors, physicians, or nurses to plan or coordinate treatment, drawing on social work experience and patient needs.

Read more about what does A Mental Health Social Worker really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.


Become one

schools for Mental Health Social Workers

Interested in becoming A Mental Health Social Worker? Find the right schools that can help you to become one. This service is free thanks to our sponsors.

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Salary

Average salary
$47190 per year

Hourly wage
$22.69 an hour


Mental Health Social Workers with little to no experience tend to make between $26230 and $32880 while the more experienced ones make over $55740 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
NJ$32.02$66590
CT$29.29$60920
CA$29.15$60620
ME$28.27$58790
NH$28.04$58320

1 of the easiest ways to increase your salary as A Mental Health Social Worker is to move to a higher paying state like NJ. Right now, the highest paying states for Mental Health Social Workers are NJ, CT, CA, ME and NH.

However a higher pay at NJ doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at NJ might be 2x higher than where you are currently at now.

3 other factors that can increase your salary as A Mental Health Social Worker is the degree you hold, the industry you work in and lastly the company you work for (bigger companies like the Fortune 500 companies tend to pay more).

Find out how much do successful Mental Health Social Workers make and if their salary is high when compared to all the other careers.


Requirements

Recommended degree level
Master’s Degree

We asked other Mental Health Social Workers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Master’s degree followed by Post-masters certificate.

Other than that we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Social Work
Social Work, Other
Clinical/Medical Social Work

Another popular question from our readers is what makes A Mental Health Social Worker successful or would they be good in this career.

Well, we found that most successful Mental Health Social Workers have these 5 skillsets.

Active Listening
Speaking
Social Perceptiveness
Reading Comprehension
Critical Thinking

In addition to that, 1 common characteristic among successful Mental Health Social Workers is they are good at Concern for Others. Here are the top 5 common characteristics.

Concern for Others
Integrity
Dependability
Stress Tolerance
Self Control
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

Read more about what it really takes to become A Mental Health Social Worker and the degree, training and education you need


Pros and Cons

Here are some reasons why you should and shouldn’t choose A Mental Health Social Worker as your career.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Suitable for people who values achievements and are resultsoriented
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
One of the fastest growing careers
CONS
Not suitable for people who likes practical and handson work
Salary is below average
It is very hard to get into this career. Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience is required for this career.


There will be pros and cons for all jobs. The point is how much do the pros outweigh the cons to you.

A pro to you might be a con to Bob. A pro to Bob might be a con to you. We suggest reading about this career framework that can help you to find out what type of careers are right for you.



What is the job like

Job satisfaction
83%

Is this job meaningful
82%


Working hours
40 hours per week

Working schedule
Regular (Set schedule and routine)


On a normal working week Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers work 40 hours per week.

83% of Mental Health Social Workers said they were satisfied with their job and 82% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Helpers and The Thinkers


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

They also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.



How we can help

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Rank: B
Salary: $53590

They provide individuals, families, and groups with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses. Services include advising family care givers, providing patient education and counseling, and making referrals for other services. May also provide care and case management or interventions designed to promote health, prevent disease, and address barriers to access to healthcare.
Rank: B
Salary: $43990

They counsel with emphasis on prevention. Work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. May help individuals deal with issues associated with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging.
Rank: B+
Salary: $51730

They diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems. Apply psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating such diagnosed nervous and mental disorders.
Rank: B
Salary: $56040

They counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.
Rank: B
Salary: $46180

They provide social services and assistance to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families and to maximize the family well-being and the academic functioning of children. May assist parents, arrange adoptions, and find foster homes for abandoned or abused children. In schools, they address such problems as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior, and truancy. May also advise teachers.






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Career type

Human and Social Service
Support Services
Counseling and Mental Health Services

Other Careers Like This


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Learn more about Mental Health Social Workers

Summary (You are here)
Job Description
Salary
Requirements
Is This Right For Me

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Related to Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers Career Information

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers job description, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers salary, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers information, what is the job of a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker like, pros and cons about Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers, colleges and universities for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers, is Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers the right career for me, Hard careers to get into, careers in Human and Social Service

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm
https://www.abecsw.org/
http://www.acosa.org/
https://www.socialworkers.org/

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Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
Written by: Stanley Tan
Mental Health Social Workers assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs. Activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, case management, client advocacy, prevention, and education.
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