How Much Do Mental Health Counselors Make in 2021 (including Starting Salary)

Stan T.Career, SalaryLeave a Comment

Annual Salary, Salary Range, and Highest Paying States and Industries

Mental Health Counselors

Mental Health Counselors counsel and advise individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health, with an emphasis on prevention. May help individuals deal with a broad range of mental health issues, such as those associated with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; or aging.

Becoming One
Very Hard
Master's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth


Table of contents
  1. Average salary
  2. Starting salary
  3. Salary rank
  4. Salary range
  5. Highest paying states
  6. Highest paying industries

Average salary

Annual salary
$51550 per year
Hourly wage
$25 per hour

Starting salary

Entry-level annual salary
$30,590 to $36,950 per year
Entry-level hourly wage
$15 to $18 per hour

Entry-level Mental Health Counselors with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $30,590 to $36,950 per year or $15 to $18 per hour. Similar to any other job, their salary will increase as they gain experience.

Salary rank

Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of Mental Health Counselors to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank. We compared the salary of all careers then we gave them a rank of A, B, C, or D depending on where their average salary sit in comparison to other careers.

Salary range

Level Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $38 $78,700
Senior (Top 25%) $30 $61,760
Middle (Mid 50%) $23 $47,660
Junior (Bottom 25%) $18 $36,950
No experience (Bottom 10%) $15 $30,590

Highest paying states

State Hourly Annual
NV $33 $68,560
UT $30 $62,250
AK $30 $61,980
NJ $29 $61,310
OR $29 $59,800
NY $28 $57,210
HI $27 $57,170
CA $27 $56,860
ND $27 $56,280
DC $27 $56,200

Another simple way to increase your salary as a Mental Health Counselor is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like NV doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the expenses at NV might be much higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to BLS, the highest paid Mental Health Counselors are in the states of NV, UT, AK, NJ and OR.

Highest paying industries

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Insurance Carriers $71460 $34.35
Other Ambulatory Health Care Services $71030 $34.15
Specialty Hospitals $70240 $33.77
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $65530 $31.50
Offices of Other Health Practitioners $65040 $31.27
Local Government $60790 $29.23
State Government $60670 $29.17
Offices of Physicians $60400 $29.04
Educational Support Services $59650 $28.68
Office Administrative Services $58630 $28.19
Grantmaking and Giving Services $58420 $28.09
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals $57840 $27.81
Child Day Care Services $56630 $27.23
Scientific Research and Development Services $56530 $27.18
Employment Services $56530 $27.18
Agencies, Brokerages, and Other Insurance Related Activities $56450 $27.14
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $56150 $27.00
Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities) $55360 $26.62
Elementary and Secondary Schools $54910 $26.40
Outpatient Care Centers $54380 $26.15
Civic and Social Organizations $52040 $25.02
Home Health Care Services $51550 $24.78
Management of Companies and Enterprises $50000 $24.04
Individual and Family Services $48550 $23.34
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services $48260 $23.20
Other Residential Care Facilities $48010 $23.08
Social Advocacy Organizations $47620 $22.89
Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly $47450 $22.81
Community Food and Housing, and Emergency and Other Relief Services $45070 $21.67
Vocational Rehabilitation Services $41920 $20.15

Explore Other Careers

Don’t know which career to pursue?

Take the career quiz to find careers that match your personality type. Take The Career Quiz

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.