Behavioral health specialists help patients with unproductive behavioral patterns. They may work with patients to understand their challenges, identify counterproductive behavior, and change them accordingly. The field of behavioral health therapy is one of the fastest-growing medical sectors in this century.

A day in the life of a behavioral health specialist involves meeting and counseling patients who deal with addiction and other physical and mental illnesses. They may also meet with other specialists to discuss patient needs and create a holistic treatment plan.

These professionals may work in a school setting to create and modify programs to accommodate individual students' needs. In some instances, they may also facilitate classroom training sessions for students with challenges.

To become a behavioral health specialist, you need a bachelor's or master's degree in psychology, social work, or mental health counseling. Certifications from the National Certified Counsellor (NCC) or The Master Addictions Counsellor (MAC) are recommended.

What Does a Behavioral Health Specialist Do

There are certain skills that many behavioral health specialists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed emotional skills, interpersonal skills and problem-solving skills.

Learn more about what a Behavioral Health Specialist does

How To Become a Behavioral Health Specialist

If you're interested in becoming a behavioral health specialist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 58.3% of behavioral health specialists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 22.9% of behavioral health specialists have master's degrees. Even though most behavioral health specialists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Behavioral Health Specialist

Behavioral Health Specialist Career Paths

Average Salary for a Behavioral Health Specialist

Behavioral Health Specialists in America make an average salary of $44,808 per year or $22 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $66,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $29,000 per year.
Average Behavioral Health Specialist Salary
$44,808 Yearly
$21.54 hourly
$29,000
10 %
$44,000
Median
$66,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Behavioral Health Specialist Education

Behavioral Health Specialist Majors

Behavioral Health Specialist Degrees

Bachelors

58.3 %

Masters

22.9 %

Associate

11.8 %

Top Colleges for Behavioral Health Specialists

1. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

3. Hunter College of the City University of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,182
Enrollment
16,205

4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

5. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

6. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

7. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

8. San Jose State University

San Jose, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,796
Enrollment
27,125

9. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

10. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

Top Skills For a Behavioral Health Specialist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 16.5% of behavioral health specialists listed mental health on their resume, but soft skills such as emotional skills and interpersonal skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Behavioral Health Specialist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Behavioral Health Specialist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Behavioral Health Specialist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Behavioral Health Specialist Demographics

Behavioral Health Specialist Gender Distribution

Female
Female
71%
Male
Male
29%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among behavioral health specialists, 70.8% of them are women, while 29.2% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among behavioral health specialists is White, which makes up 80.9% of all behavioral health specialists.

  • The most common foreign language among behavioral health specialists is Spanish at 67.4%.

Online Courses For Behavioral Health Specialist That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Applying Health Coaching in Patient Care
edX (Global)

For health practitioners, having knowledge of treatment protocols is not enough. They must be able to inspire behavior change in their patients. In order for the treatment to be effective patients must be empowered to implement therapeutic approaches in their lives. In this course, you will learn about health coaching, which is an effective method for helping patients change their behaviors. Health coaching uses a blend of evidence-based strategies, interventions and communication to actively...

Strengthening Community Health Worker Programs
edX (Global)

Despite medical and technological advances, half of the world’s population lacks access to essential health services, and over 8.9 million preventable deaths occur every year. There is an acute global shortage of health workers, a gap that will grow to 18 million by 2030. Studies show that training high-performing community health workers can help close these gaps and save more than 3 million lives annually. In the past few decades, many community health worker programs across the world have...

Addiction & Mental Health (Dual Diagnosis) Integrative 12hrs
udemy
4.6
(1,203)

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Interventions: Drug & Alcohol Addiction & Mental Health - Integrative Holistic Approach...

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Best States For a Behavioral Health Specialist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a behavioral health specialist. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, New Jersey, California, and Nevada. Behavioral health specialists make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $70,214. Whereas in New Jersey and California, they would average $67,324 and $62,706, respectively. While behavioral health specialists would only make an average of $61,974 in Nevada, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. California

Total Behavioral Health Specialist Jobs:
6,562
Highest 10% Earn:
$100,000
Location Quotient:
1.24 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Nevada

Total Behavioral Health Specialist Jobs:
414
Highest 10% Earn:
$97,000
Location Quotient:
1.09 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. North Dakota

Total Behavioral Health Specialist Jobs:
202
Highest 10% Earn:
$78,000
Location Quotient:
1.2 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Behavioral Health Specialists

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Top Behavioral Health Specialist Employers

Most Common Employers For Behavioral Health Specialist

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Deschutes County$57,533$27.6627
2Stan Co Office of Ed$54,886$26.3912
3Evolent Health$53,971$25.9588
4Colorado Department of Transportation$53,103$25.5312
5Wexford Health Sources$53,023$25.498
6County of Riverside$51,777$24.8915
7Cigna$49,699$23.899
8Loma Linda University Health$48,754$23.4413
9UC Health$46,805$22.5010
10UnitedHealth Group$45,597$21.927

Behavioral Health Specialist Videos