How To Become A Mental Health Social Worker: Degree and Education Requirements

Stanley TanLeave a Comment



what degree do you need to become a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker
majors for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers

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+



Be A Mental Health Social Worker: What You Really Need


In this requirements guide for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers, you will find out what do you need to become a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker and what it takes to become one.

After reading this, you will be able to plan for your future if you want to be a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker.



Degree required

Recommended degree level

Master’s Degree

Master’s degree
56.87%

Post-masters certificate
14.95%

Bachelors degree
14.62%

Certificate
4.3%

High School Diploma
3.55%

Generally, employers are looking for Mental Health Social Workers who have a Master’s degree. They also prefer someone who is good in Active Listening and Speaking.

1 common question that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become A Mental Health Social Worker or what courses do I need to take.

We did a survey to ask other Mental Health Social Workers what did they major in college or university and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Social Work
Social Work, Other
Clinical/Medical Social Work

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers must have a master’s degree and two years of post-master experience in a supervised clinical setting. A bachelor’s degree in social work is not required to enter a master’s degree program in social work. A degree in almost any major is acceptable. However, courses in psychology, sociology, economics, and political science are recommended.



Schools

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. You will need some of your details to get you matched with the right college or university. This service is free thanks to our sponsors.

Questions to ask the university or college:

  1. How many students are in the program?
  2. Is your program accredited?
  3. How many faculty members do you have? Do they hold the right credentials?
  4. What is your job placement rate?
  5. Does your school hold career fairs or other on-campus events with employers? How many employers typically attend?
  6. How many of your students have at least one internship by graduation?

Click to start becoming a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker




How long does it take

Difficulty
Hard

You will need a considerable amount of skill, knowledge and experience to be A Mental Health Social Worker. Normally you will be required to have more than five years of experience.

For example: A surgeon have to complete 4 years of college plus an additional 5 to 7 years of specialized medical training to be able to do his/her job.

In terms of on-the-job training, you may need some training however you will be assumed that you will already have the necessary skills and work experience to perform the job.


How long does it take
1 to 2 years


Work experience
1 to 2 years

1 to 2 years
38.46%

2 to 4 years
33.32%

6 months to 1 year
12.09%

No experience
6.01%

4 to 6 years
5%

Job training
1 to 3 months

1 to 3 months
35.84%

0 to 1 month
25.52%

3 to 6 months
15.64%

6 months to 1 year
11.94%

No training
6.12%

Most Mental Health Social Workers have 1 to 2 years work experience and 1 to 3 months job training.

To increase your chances of getting a job, you can look for job training while studying to be one.



License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification
Required


Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers must also be licensed in the state in which they practice. All states have some type of licensure or certification requirement, which varies by state. However, some states provide exemptions for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers who work in government agencies. Becoming a licensed healthcare social worker usually requires a master’s degree in social work and a minimum of 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience after graduation. After completing their supervised experience, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers must pass a clinical exam to be licensed. Because licensing requirements vary by state, those interested should contact their state board. Most states also have licenses for non-clinical social workers. For more information about regulatory licensure board by state, contact the Association of Social Work Boards.



Skills required

We asked other Mental Health Social Workers if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Active Listening what does this mean
2.Speaking what does this mean
3.Social Perceptiveness what does this mean
4.Reading Comprehension what does this mean
5.Critical Thinking what does this mean
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

We did some research and found that most successful Mental Health Social Workers have these 5 common characteristics. Most of them had Concern for Others and Integrity.

1.Concern for Others
2.Integrity
3.Dependability
4.Stress Tolerance
5.Self Control




Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need some know-hows to do the job. To become a successful Mental Health Social Workers you need to acquire knowledge in these 5 key areas.

1. Psychology what does this mean
2.Therapy and Counseling what does this mean
3.Customer and Personal Service what does this mean
4.Sociology and Anthropology what does this mean
5.English Language what does this mean

As A Mental Health Social Worker, you may also be required to know how to use certain Desktop publishing software, Medical software and Data base user interface and query software tools.

Adobe Systems Adobe PageMaker (Desktop publishing software)
Client records software (Medical software)
Command Systems ComServe (Data base user interface and query software)
Corel WordPerfect software (Word processing software)
Database software (Data base user interface and query software)
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for




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Career type

Human and Social Service
Support Services
Counseling and Mental Health Services

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Related to Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers Requirements

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers requirements, how to become Mental Health Social Workers, degree required to be a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers license and certifications, majors to be a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker, is it hard to become a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker and how long does it take

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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