Mental Health Counselors: Salary, Job Description, How To Be One and More

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Mental Health Counselors jobs information
pros and cons of being a Mental Health Counselor

Mental Health Counselors

Other names for this job might include Behavior Analyst, Behavior Support Specialist (BSS), Bereavement Counselor, Case Manager, Child Care Counselor, Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Clinician, Correctional Counselor, Corrections Caseworker, Counselor


  • $45080
    Salary
  • 70%
    Job satisfaction
  • Hard
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank

B



Mental Health Counselors: Know It All In 1 Minute


In this career summary, you will find out what the job of A Mental Health Counselor 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 Counselors 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.

  • Maintain confidentiality of records relating to clients’ treatment.
  • Encourage clients to express their feelings and discuss what is happening in their lives, helping them to develop insight into themselves or their relationships.
  • Collect information about clients through interviews, observation, or tests.
  • Assess patients for risk of suicide attempts.

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


Become one

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Interested in becoming A Mental Health Counselor? 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
$45080 per year

Hourly wage
$21.67 an hour


Mental Health Counselors with little to no experience tend to make between $26300 and $32720 while the more experienced ones make over $54320 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
AK$28.94$60190
UT$27.16$56500
ID$26.3$54700
OR$25.6$53250
WY$25.39$52800

1 of the easiest ways to increase your salary as A Mental Health Counselor is to move to a higher paying state like AK. Right now, the highest paying states for Mental Health Counselors are AK, UT, ID, OR and WY.

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

3 other factors that can increase your salary as A Mental Health Counselor 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 Counselors 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 Counselors what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Master’s degree followed by Bachelors degree.

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

Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling
Clinical/Medical Social Work
Clinical Pastoral Counseling/Patient Counseling
Mental Health Counseling/Counselor

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

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

Active Listening
Social Perceptiveness
Speaking
Service Orientation
Writing

In addition to that, 1 common characteristic among successful Mental Health Counselors is they are good at Self Control. Here are the top 5 common characteristics.

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

Read more about what it really takes to become A Mental Health Counselor 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 Counselor as your career.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Suitable for people who values relationships between coworkers and customers and wants to work in a friendly noncompetitive environment
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
70%

Is this job meaningful
89%


Working hours
More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule
Regular (Set schedule and routine)


On a normal working week Mental Health Counselors work More than 40 hours per week.

70% of Mental Health Counselors said they were satisfied with their job and 89% 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: $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: $74030

They assess and evaluate individuals’ problems through the use of case history, interview, and observation and provide individual or group counseling services to assist individuals in achieving more effective personal, social, educational, and vocational development and adjustment.
Rank: B+
Salary: $45820

They 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.
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.
Rank: B
Salary: $41870

They counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, drug, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders. May counsel individuals, families, or groups or engage in prevention programs.






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Career type

Human and Social Service
Health Informatics
Counseling and Mental Health Services

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Job Description
Salary
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Is This Right For Me

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Related to Mental Health Counselors Career Information

Mental Health Counselors job description, Mental Health Counselors salary, Mental Health Counselors information, what is the job of a Mental Health Counselor like, pros and cons about Mental Health Counselors, colleges and universities for Mental Health Counselors, is Mental Health Counselors 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/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm
http://www.amhca.org/
http://www.cacrep.org/
http://www.aamft.org/

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Mental Health Counselors
Written by: Stanley Tan
Mental Health Counselors 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.
4 / 5 stars

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