Mental health associates assist medical professionals in diagnosing and treating mental, developmental, and behavioral disorders in people. They work in hospitals, mental institutions, nursing homes, schools, and many more.

A big part of this job includes mediating between patients, nurses, and doctors. You will be responsible for helping patients with daily activities, such as hygiene routines, social programs, and the like. Occasionally you might be tasked with conducting therapy sessions or facilitating interventions as well.

Formal education is generally required to be considered for this position, like a degree in psychology or social work. Gaining experience in the field by doing internships or volunteering can also boost your chances of getting accepted to work at a relevant facility.

What Does a Mental Health Associate Do

There are certain skills that many mental health associates 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 communication skills, emotional skills and organizational skills.

Learn more about what a Mental Health Associate does

How To Become a Mental Health Associate

If you're interested in becoming a mental health associate, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 66.0% of mental health associates have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 12.7% of mental health associates have master's degrees. Even though most mental health associates 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 Mental Health Associate

Mental Health Associate Career Paths

Average Salary for a Mental Health Associate

Mental Health Associates in America make an average salary of $36,510 per year or $18 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $51,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $25,000 per year.
Average Mental Health Associate Salary
$36,510 Yearly
$17.55 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Mental Health Associate

The role of a mental health associate includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general mental health associate responsibilities:

  • Promote pharmacy and clinical services for rite aid in support of script growth initiatives. Perform business to business
  • Maintains a friendly, efficient, and positive customer service attitude toward customers, clients,
  • Assists in the collection of data for each assigned client. Participates with team members

There are several types of mental health associate, including:

Residential Counselor


Residential counselors work in social care facilities such as homeless shelters, rehabilitation centers, retirement homes, and the like. Their main responsibility is to maintain the structure of the environment or program and oversee the residents' daily activities.

Residential counselors are typically expected to have a degree in psychology, social work, or a related field. They keep an eye on the mental and emotional state of the people under their care and make sure everyone lives by the rules of the facility. They give a hand with transportation and come up with fun and engaging activities for the residents to do while spending quality time together.

As a residential counselor, your responsibilities do not revolve around generating profit, and this is reflected in the median annual salary of the position, which is $29,592. This is a bit less than half of what the average yearly living expenses amount to across the U.S. Caring for each other apparently is not the most lucrative business. It is, however, very rewarding on a personal level.

  • Average Salary: $34,117
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Mental Health Technician


Mental health used to be a taboo; a topic that was rarely touched upon. However, more and more institutions are currently emphasizing the importance of speaking about mental health. According to the World Health Organization, around 264 million people suffer from some form of mental disorder, whether it be anxiety, bipolar disorder, or depression. Around 80 percent of people in low-income countries do not receive treatment, as medical resources and trained personnel are lacking. It is unequivocally true to say that the area of mental health requires more human resource coordination.

The primary role of a mental health technician is in providing operational assistance to doctors and patients. This includes tasks such as initiating treatment plans, administering medications, and conducting vital signs measurement. Besides that, they manage patient transportation and conduct nursing duties, such as bathing, feeding, and dressing.

Employers require mental health technicians to have a minimum high school diploma or G.E.D equivalent. Having a bachelor's degree relating to sociology, psychology, or human services would be preferred. This role earns, on average, $14 per hour and suits individuals who are passionate about mental health.

  • Average Salary: $32,118
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Mental Health Counselor


If you've a strong sense of compassion, enjoy helping people, and are willing to learn and grow by facing new challenges, you may enjoy the role of a mental health counselor. In general, a mental health counselor is a person who helps people manage or overcome psychological and emotional disorders and problems with their families and relationships. As a mental health counselor, you may deal with individuals, families, groups, and communities as you help them overcome their cognitive, behavioral, or emotional issues and improve their mental well-being.

A career as a mental health counselor brings a lot of potential benefits with it. One of the remarkable rewards of being a mental health counselor is the gratification and fulfillment you get by helping people and improving their quality of life. Other than potential meaningfulness, a role as a mental health counselor offers you high earning potential, flexible schedules, and an opportunity to work with new people every day. Not only this, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a growth rate of about 22 percent for mental health counselor employment, which is significantly faster than the average for all occupations.

Many aspiring mental health counselors hold a bachelor's degree in a human services field such as psychology, sociology, or social work. However, earning a master's degree in counseling or a related field may help burnish your resume. Further, you may specialize in areas such as trauma, addiction, or youth services. The licensing and certification guidelines vary state by state. As a mental health counselor, you may work in various family services, outpatient mental health, substance abuse centers, hospitals, government schools, or a private practice. Typically your hours will include frequent one-on-one patient contact. Other hours may consist of time leading group counseling, meeting with supervisors and peers, and reviewing notes. What's more, once you get experience under your belt, you may start your own private therapy practice to earn an even better living.

  • Average Salary: $49,471
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Mental Health Associate Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active mental health associate jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where mental health associates earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Mental Health Associate Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
7North Carolina1,554$42,776
10New York1,388$50,434
20South Carolina806$23,759
21New Jersey792$41,764
39New Hampshire236$42,568
41New Mexico183$34,166
42Rhode Island180$33,996
45South Dakota138$33,567
47North Dakota128$40,071
49West Virginia88$27,301

Mental Health Associate Education

Mental Health Associate Majors

Mental Health Associate Degrees


66.0 %


12.7 %


11.1 %

Top Colleges for Mental Health Associates

1. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




2. Hunter College of the City University of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




4. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




5. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition




6. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition




7. San Jose State University

San Jose, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




8. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




9. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition




10. Coppin State University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Mental Health Associate

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, 23.9% of mental health associates listed patients on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and emotional skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Mental Health Associate Resume templates

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

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Mental Health Associate diversity

Mental Health Associate Gender Distribution


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

  • Among mental health associates, 67.0% of them are women, while 33.0% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among mental health associates is White, which makes up 74.2% of all mental health associates.

  • The most common foreign language among mental health associates is Spanish at 57.9%.

Online Courses For Mental Health Associate That You May Like

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1. The Social Context of Mental Health and Illness


Learn how social factors promote mental health, influence the onset and course of mental illness, and affect how mental illnesses are diagnosed and treated. This course explores how our understanding of mental health and illness has been influenced by social attitudes and social developments in North America and around the world. The course begins by situating our contemporary mental health practices in historical context, then looks at different aspects of mental health, mental illness and...

2. Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health


In today’s world, mental illness and distress are common and these account for a significant burden of disability within our community. At the same time, there is a growing interest in understanding and enhancing positive mental health and wellbeing; particularly from developments in the fields of positive psychology and mental health promotion. Positive Psychiatry is a new term (Jeste et al 2016) that describes a dual approach to mental health, where we build strengths, supports and healthy...

3. Addiction & Mental Health (Dual Diagnosis) Integrative 12hrs


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

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Best States For a Mental Health Associate

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a mental health associate. The best states for people in this position are New York, California, Nevada, and North Carolina. Mental health associates make the most in New York with an average salary of $50,434. Whereas in California and Nevada, they would average $45,318 and $43,982, respectively. While mental health associates would only make an average of $42,776 in North Carolina, 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. Maine

Total Mental Health Associate Jobs: 297
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. North Carolina

Total Mental Health Associate Jobs: 1,554
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. California

Total Mental Health Associate Jobs: 5,208
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Mental Health Associates

How Do Mental Health Associates Rate Their Jobs?

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Top Mental Health Associate Employers

Most Common Employers For Mental Health Associate

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
3Centers For Disease Control And Prevention$37,363$17.9656
5Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare$36,208$17.4136
6LifeWorks NW$34,751$16.7121
7Norton Healthcare$34,501$16.5916
8Riveredge Hospital$33,921$16.3172
9University of Maryland Medical System$33,524$16.1225
10Ohio Hospital Association$32,483$15.6215

Mental Health Associate Videos

Becoming a Mental Health Associate FAQs

How Much Do Mental Health Workers Make Per Hour?

Mental health workers make $17.72 an hour, on average ($36,000 a year). There is some range in the earning potential of a mental health worker - starting from as little $12.82 to as much as $26.92 an hour. Factors such as location and company impact how much a mental health worker can make.

What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A Mental Health Worker?

The primary qualification needed to become a mental health worker is relevant education. Levels of acceptable education vary for mental health workers, but minimum standards are required to be considered for a position in this field.

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