Find The Best Behavioral Health Specialist Jobs For You

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Average Salary
$50,271
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
11%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
85,540
Job Openings

Behavioral Health Specialist Careers

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.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a behavioral health specialist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $24.17 an hour? That's $50,271 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 11% and produce 81,200 job opportunities across the U.S.

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.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a behavioral health specialist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 16.5% of behavioral health specialists included mental health, while 9.1% of resumes included patient care, and 8.9% of resumes included substance abuse. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the behavioral health specialist job title. But what industry to start with? Most behavioral health specialists actually find jobs in the health care and non profits industries.

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 54.7% of behavioral health specialists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 21.4% 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.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a behavioral health specialist. When we researched the most common majors for a behavioral health specialist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on behavioral health specialist resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a behavioral health specialist. In fact, many behavioral health specialist jobs require experience in a role such as internship. Meanwhile, many behavioral health specialists also have previous career experience in roles such as case manager or counselor.

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Average Salary
$50,271
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
11%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
85,540
Job Openings

Behavioral Health Specialist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Behavioral Health Specialist

Top Careers After Behavioral Health Specialist

Therapist
10.5 %

Behavioral Health Specialist Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Behavioral Health Specialist

Behavioral Health Specialists in America make an average salary of $50,271 per year or $24 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $67,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $37,000 per year.
Average Salary
$50,271
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Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
New York, NY
Salary Range46k - 74k$59k$59,230
New Haven, CT
Salary Range45k - 70k$57k$56,755
Bend, OR
Salary Range46k - 67k$56k$55,775
Colorado Springs, CO
Salary Range42k - 65k$53k$52,783
Santa Rosa, CA
Salary Range42k - 64k$52k$52,262
Olympia, WA
Salary Range43k - 61k$52k$51,789
$27k
$74k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Behavioral Health Specialist III (QP) CCM-Hospital Based
Behavioral Health Specialist III (QP) CCM-Hospital Based
RHA Health Services
RHA Health Services
06/30/2021
06/30/2021
$31,30506/30/2021
$31,305
Behavioral Health Specialist II-Supportive Community Residential Services
Behavioral Health Specialist II-Supportive Community Residential Services
Fairfax County Sheriff's Office
Fairfax County Sheriff's Office
06/27/2021
06/27/2021
$56,81606/27/2021
$56,816
Behavioral Health Specialist
Behavioral Health Specialist
Unitedhealth Group Inc.
Unitedhealth Group Inc.
06/26/2021
06/26/2021
$53,30006/26/2021
$53,300
Behavioral Health Specialist
Behavioral Health Specialist
Canon City Schools
Canon City Schools
06/23/2021
06/23/2021
$35,64506/23/2021
$35,645
Inpatient Behavioral Health Specialist
Inpatient Behavioral Health Specialist
Centura Health
Centura Health
06/18/2021
06/18/2021
$31,93106/18/2021
$31,931
See More Recent Salaries

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Behavioral Health Specialist Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Behavioral Health Specialist. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Behavioral Health Specialist Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Behavioral Health Specialist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Behavioral Health Specialist Demographics

Gender

female

66.0 %

male

28.6 %

unknown

5.4 %

Ethnicity

White

75.5 %

Hispanic or Latino

12.8 %

Black or African American

6.1 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

67.4 %

French

5.3 %

Hmong

3.2 %
See More Demographics

Behavioral Health Specialist Education

Majors

Degrees

Bachelors

54.7 %

Masters

21.4 %

Associate

10.9 %

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
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Behavioral Health Specialist That You May Like

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...

Diagnosing Health Behaviors for Global Health Programs
coursera

Health behavior lies at the core of any successful public health intervention. While we will examine the behavior of individual in depth in this course, we also recognize by way of the Ecological Model that individual behavior is encouraged or constrained by the behavior of families, social groups, communities, organizations and policy makers. We recognize that behavior change is not a simplistic process but requires an understanding of dimensions like frequency, complexity and cultural congruit...

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...

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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.

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 New Jersey, Nevada, North Dakota, and New York. Behavioral health specialists make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $64,006. Whereas in Nevada and North Dakota, they would average $60,704 and $60,298, respectively. While behavioral health specialists would only make an average of $59,069 in New York, 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. North Dakota

Total Behavioral Health Specialist Jobs:
202
Highest 10% Earn:
$87,000
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

2. Nevada

Total Behavioral Health Specialist Jobs:
414
Highest 10% Earn:
$91,000
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. Maine

Total Behavioral Health Specialist Jobs:
353
Highest 10% Earn:
$66,000
Location Quotient:
1.46
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
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Top Behavioral Health Specialist Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ behavioral health specialists and discovered their number of behavioral health specialist opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that United States Army was the best, especially with an average salary of $58,289. New Foundations follows up with an average salary of $58,082, and then comes RHA Health Services with an average of $48,467. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a behavioral health specialist. The employers include Providence Health & Services, Pacific Medical Centers, and Cityblock

1. United States Army
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$58,289
Behavioral Health Specialists Hired: 
154+
2. New Foundation SA
3.3
Avg. Salary: 
$58,082
Behavioral Health Specialists Hired: 
40+
3. RHA Health Services
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$48,467
Behavioral Health Specialists Hired: 
24+
4. Deschutes County Title Co.
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$61,067
Behavioral Health Specialists Hired: 
17+
5. Loma Linda Pharmacy
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$57,956
Behavioral Health Specialists Hired: 
15+
6. Intermountain Healthcare
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$47,353
Behavioral Health Specialists Hired: 
13+

Behavioral Health Specialist Videos

Updated October 2, 2020