Mental Health Counselor career Field

Mental Health CounselorMental health counselors work to assist those with mental and emotion disorders and to help increase their patient’s overall mental health. They work with groups, families, and individuals to treat issues like depression, anxiety, substance abuse, stress and anxiety, trauma, grief, and other emotional and mental issues. Mental health counselors can also be involved with other mental health specialists like psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, doctors, and school counselors as they work with clients. They may also be involved in doing community outreach and education programs.

Educational Requirements & Licensing Requirements

High School Diploma
Bachelor’s Degree in Education/Family Studies/Health Sciences (4 years)
Master’s Degree in Counseling Fields like Education/Marriage and Family Therapy/Addictions Counseling/Rehabilitation Counseling/Mental Health counseling (2 years beyond bachelor’s degree)
Different states require mental health counselors to have different qualifications. Most employers like to hire mental health counselors with a master’s degree in mental health counseling. However, a degree is not always a requirement to get hired. Most state and federal agency will require a master’s degree in counseling, but the state licensing requirements vary greatly.

Educational Courses

Patient Assessment
Treatment Planning
Group Counseling Techniques
Individual Counseling
Crisis Intervention and Case Management Skills
Interviewing Techniques
Rehabilitation Treatment Techniques
Stress Coping Strategies
Mental Illness & Treatment

Employment Statistics

Number Employed in 2008: 113,300
Projected Employment through 2018: 140,400
Average Hourly Pay for Mental Health Counselors in 2008: $36,810

Great Colleges

Kaplan University
Capella University
Northcentral University
Argosy University
Walden University

Related Careers

Human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists
Occupational therapists
Physicians and surgeons
Registered nurses
Social and human service assistants
Social workers
Teachers—kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary
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