FIND PERSONALIZED JOBS
Sign up to Zippia and discover your career options with your personalized career search.
APPLY NOW
Apply Now
×
FIND
PERSONALIZED JOBS

CONTENT HAS
BEEN UNLOCKED
Close this window to view unlocked content
or
find interesting jobs in

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

Sign Up

SIGN UP TO UNLOCK CONTENT

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Sign Up

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

Sign up to save the job and get personalized job recommendations.

Sign up to dismiss the job and get personalized job recommendations.

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Already have an account? Log in

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

Company Saved

Answer a few questions and view jobs at that match your preferences.

Where do you want to work?

Job Saved

See your Saved Jobs now

or

find more interesting jobs in

Job Dismissed

Find better matching jobs in

Your search has been saved!

Become A Mental Health Counselor

Where do you want to work?

To get started, tell us where you'd like to work.
Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.

Working As A Mental Health Counselor

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $47,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Mental Health Counselor Do

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists help people manage and overcome mental and emotional disorders and problems with their family and other relationships. They listen to clients and ask questions to help the clients understand their problems and develop strategies to improve their lives.

Duties

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists typically do the following:

  • Diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, such as anxiety and depression
  • Encourage clients to discuss their emotions and experiences
  • Help clients process their reactions and adjust to difficult changes in their life, such as divorce and layoffs
  • Guide clients through the process of making decisions about their future
  • Help clients develop strategies and skills to change their behavior and to cope with difficult situations
  • Refer clients to other resources or services in the community, such as support groups or inpatient treatment facilities

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists use a variety of techniques and tools to help their clients. Many apply cognitive behavioral therapy, a goal-oriented approach that helps clients understand harmful thoughts, feelings, and beliefs and teaches how to replace them with positive, life-enhancing ones. Furthermore, mental health counselors use cognitive behavioral therapy to teach clients to eliminate unwanted and damaging behaviors and to replace them with more productive ones.

Although some disorders can be overcome, others need to be managed. With the latter, mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists help the client develop strategies and skills to minimize the effects of their disorders or illnesses.

Many mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists work in private practice. They must spend time marketing their practice to prospective clients and working with insurance companies and clients to get payment for their services.

Mental health counselors provide treatment to individuals, families, couples, and groups. Some work with specific populations, such as the elderly, college students, or children. Mental health counselors deal with a variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, grief, low self-esteem, stress, and suicidal impulses. They also help with mental and emotional health issues and relationship problems. 

Marriage and family therapists work with individuals, couples, and families. Unlike other types of mental health professionals, they bring a family-centered perspective to treatment, even when treating individuals. They evaluate family roles and development, to understand how clients’ families affect their mental health. They treat the clients’ relationships, not just the clients themselves. They address issues, such as low self-esteem, stress, addiction, and substance abuse.

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists coordinate patient treatment with other professionals, such as psychiatrists and social workers.

Show More

Show Less

How To Become A Mental Health Counselor

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists are typically required to have a master’s degree and a license to practice.

Education

To become a mental health counselor or a marriage and family therapist, applicants typically need a master’s degree in psychology, clinical mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, or a related mental health field. A bachelor’s degree in most fields is acceptable to enter a master’s program.

Counseling programs prepare students to recognize symptoms of mental and emotional disorders and to use effective counseling strategies. Marriage and family therapy programs teach students about how marriages, families, and relationships function and how these relationships can affect mental and emotional disorders.

Many employers prefer to hire counselors who have graduated from programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs.

Training

Candidates gain hands-on experience through postdegree supervised clinical work, sometimes referred to as an internship or residency. In training, they learn to provide family therapy, group therapy, psychotherapy, and other therapeutic interventions, under the supervision of a licensed counselor.

Licenses

All states require mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists to be licensed in the state in which they practice. Licensure requires a master’s degree and 2,000 to 4,000 hours of postdegree supervised clinical experience, sometimes referred to as an internship or residency. In addition, counselors and therapists must pass a state-recognized exam and complete annual continuing education classes.

Contact information for state boards regulating mental health counselors is available through the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Contact and licensing information for marriage and family therapists is available through the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Counselors and therapists often work with people who are dealing with stressful and difficult situations, so they must be compassionate and empathize with their clients.

Interpersonal skills. Being able to work with different types of people is essential for counselors and therapists. They spend most of their time working directly with clients and other professionals and must be able to encourage good relationships.

Listening skills. Good listening skills are essential for mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists, both of whom need to give their full attention to their clients to understand their problems, values, and goals.

Organizational skills. Good organizational skills are especially important for counselors and therapists in private practice, who must keep track of payments and work with insurance companies.

Speaking skills. Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists need to be able to communicate with clients effectively. They must express ideas and information in a way that clients can understand easily.

Show More

Show Less

Do you work as a Mental Health Counselor?

Send To A Friend

Mental Health Counselor Jobs

NO RESULTS

Aw snap, no jobs found.

Add To My Jobs

Mental Health Counselor Career Paths

Mental Health Counselor
Therapist Program Manager General Manager
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Recruiter Career Counselor
Career Consultant
6 Yearsyrs
Therapist Massage Therapist Registered Nurse
Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Clinical Supervisor Nursing Director Case Manager
Case Manager/Program Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Program Director Registered Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Alcohol And Drug Counselor Addictions Counselor Corrections Counselor
Correctional Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Specialist Social Worker Program Supervisor
Director Of Residential Services
7 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Specialist Case Manager Social Worker
Director Of Social Work
6 Yearsyrs
Clinician Program Manager Assistant Director
Director Of Training
7 Yearsyrs
Clinical Supervisor Program Director Regional Director
Division Director
9 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Therapist Clinical Supervisor Nursing Director
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Professional Service Provider Integrator
Health Unit Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Specialist Direct Support Professional
Home Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Clinician Clinical Supervisor Nursing Director
Managed Care Director
9 Yearsyrs
Program Director General Manager Owner
Owner/Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Instructor Case Manager
Senior Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Alcohol And Drug Counselor Substance Abuse Counselor Child Protective Investigator
Targeted Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Therapist
Therapist And Program Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Show More
Share

Do you work as a Mental Health Counselor?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Clinical Counselor 2.6 years
Primary Counselor 2.5 years
Family Counselor 2.3 years
Counselor 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Mental Health Counselor
Internship 14.5%
Counselor 10.3%
Therapist 5.2%
Volunteer 4.8%
Teacher 3.7%
Supervisor 2.6%
Clinician 2.6%
Top Careers After Mental Health Counselor
Case Manager 10.7%
Counselor 9.7%
Therapist 9.7%
Clinician 7.5%
Internship 5.7%
Teacher 2.9%

Do you work as a Mental Health Counselor?

Mental Health Counselor Demographics

Gender

Female

68.8%

Male

29.2%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

62.2%

Hispanic or Latino

14.5%

Black or African American

12.3%

Asian

7.3%

Unknown

3.7%
Show More
Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

63.1%

French

10.3%

Portuguese

4.9%

Russian

2.9%

Hindi

2.3%

Mandarin

2.3%

German

2.0%

Gujarati

1.4%

Italian

1.4%

Chinese

1.4%

Japanese

1.1%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Korean

0.9%

Urdu

0.9%

Cantonese

0.9%

Greek

0.9%

Arabic

0.9%

Swedish

0.6%

Hebrew

0.6%

Hmong

0.6%
Show More

Mental Health Counselor Education

Schools

Liberty University

12.1%

Capella University

12.1%

University of Phoenix

9.4%

Walden University

8.1%

Webster University

6.0%

Nova Southeastern University

5.7%

Troy University

5.2%

Norfolk State University

4.4%

Chicago School of Professional Psychology

4.3%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.1%

Grand Canyon University

4.0%

Old Dominion University

3.8%

Springfield College

3.3%

University of South Florida

2.6%

Fordham University

2.6%

University of Massachusetts - Boston

2.5%

Cambridge College

2.5%

Virginia State University

2.5%

New York University

2.4%

Southern University and A & M College

2.4%
Show More
Majors

Mental Health Counseling

16.1%

Psychology

15.6%

Social Work

13.8%

Counseling Psychology

11.7%

School Counseling

11.4%

Clinical Psychology

4.5%

Criminal Justice

3.3%

Human Services

3.3%

Business

2.9%

Nursing

2.8%

Family Therapy

2.7%

Education

2.5%

Sociology

2.2%

Rehabilitation Science

2.2%

Special Education

1.1%

Educational Leadership

1.0%

Management

0.8%

Human Development

0.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

0.7%

Health Care Administration

0.7%
Show More
Degrees

Masters

57.4%

Bachelors

21.0%

Other

10.2%

Doctorate

5.4%

Certificate

2.7%

Associate

2.6%

Diploma

0.3%

License

0.3%
Show More

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Mental Health Counselor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Mental Health and Behavioral Disorder Counselor Ronald I. Weiner, PH.D., LLC Silver Spring, MD Oct 01, 2015 $135,655
Mental Health Counselor/Coordinator Metropolitan Center for Mental Health New York, NY Nov 13, 2014 $71,843
Mental Health and Behavioral Disorder Counselor Ronald I. Weiner, PH.D., LLC Silver Spring, MD Oct 01, 2015 $71,744
Mental Health Counselor Sexual Abuse Core Professional Services Rochester, MN Jun 23, 2015 $70,958
Mental Health Counselor Sexual Abuse Core Professional Services Mankato, MN Oct 01, 2014 $70,958
Bilingual Mental Health Counselor South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Inc. Framingham, MA Sep 18, 2014 $66,784
Mental Health Counselor II St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center New York, NY Nov 14, 2016 $65,000
Mental Health Counselor Bleulerpsychotheraphy Center Inc. Hillsdale, NY Nov 21, 2016 $64,697
Mental Health Counselor Bleuler Psychotherapy Center Inc. Hillsdale, NY Nov 21, 2016 $64,697
Mental Health Counselor Michael Demarco, PH.D. New York, NY Sep 14, 2016 $62,610
Mental Health Counselor Hamilton-Madison House New York, NY Mar 11, 2013 $62,610
Mental Health Counselors Group Health Plan, Inc. Minneapolis, MN Jan 09, 2014 $60,500
Mental Health Counselor PHC of Nevada, Inc. Las Vegas, NV Feb 13, 2015 $60,000
Mental Health Counselor PHC of Nevada, Inc. Las Vegas, NV Aug 22, 2016 $60,000 -
$72,000
Mental Health Counselor Earth Circles Counseling Center Oakland, CA Aug 09, 2016 $44,262
Mental Health Counselor (Assertive Community Treat Amherst H Wilder Foundation Saint Paul, MN Aug 06, 2014 $44,179 -
$48,179
Mental Health Counselor The Children's Hospital Association Aurora, CO Jun 09, 2014 $44,033
Mental Health Counselor Omni Health Services, Inc. Allentown, PA Jul 28, 2016 $44,000 -
$50,000
Mental/Behavioral Health Counselor Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. San Francisco, CA May 16, 2016 $43,680
Mental Health Counselors Counseling & Assessment Clinic of Worcester, LLC Worcester, MA Jul 31, 2014 $43,389
Mental Health Counselors Counseling & Assessment Clinic of Worcester, LLC Worcester, MA Jul 25, 2014 $43,389
Mental Health Counselor Best Behavioral Healthcare Inc. Philadelphia, PA Oct 30, 2015 $43,000
Mental Health Counselors New Horizons Community Mental Health Center Miami, FL May 13, 2013 $38,000
Mental Health Counselor South Cove Community Health Center Boston, MA Jul 18, 2016 $38,000 -
$53,000
Mental Health Counselor Asian Human Services, Inc. Chicago, IL Sep 16, 2016 $38,000
Mental Health Counselor South Cove Community Health Center Boston, MA Sep 14, 2016 $38,000 -
$53,000
Geriatric Mental Health Counselor Navos Kent, WA Apr 15, 2016 $37,858
Mental Health Counselor Aurora Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center Aurora, CO Sep 21, 2015 $37,629
Mental Health Counselor Omni Health Services, Inc. Allentown, PA Aug 07, 2015 $37,502
Mental Health Counselor South Shore Mental Health Center, Inc. Quincy, MA Feb 08, 2016 $37,440

No Results

To get more results, try adjusting your search by changing your filters.

Show More

AVERAGE SALARY FOR A Mental Health Counselor

Average Yearly Salary
$47,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$36,000
Min 10%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$61,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Providence Health & Services
Highest Paying City
Everett, WA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.7 years
How much does a Mental Health Counselor make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Mental Health Counselor in the United States is $47,250 per year or $23 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $36,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $61,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Mental Health Counselor?

Have you worked as a Mental Health Counselor? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Mental Health Counselor.

Top Skills for A Mental Health Counselor

  1. Mental Health
  2. Treatment Plans
  3. Crisis Intervention
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided case management, comprehensive assessment and psychiatric rehabilitation to CalWorks adults with severe and persistent mental health issues.
  • Aided in the development and implementation of individualized treatment plans.
  • Provided individual counseling, intake assessments, crisis intervention, and group counseling to an uninsured adult population.
  • Developed and implemented group counseling in areas of gang prevention and substance abuse/addiction prevention.
  • Administered intake assessments to identify presenting problems and levels of crisis.

How Would You Rate Working As a Mental Health Counselor?

Are you working as a Mental Health Counselor? Help us rate Mental Health Counselor as a Career.

Rank:

Average Salary:

Embed On Your Website

Top 10 Best States for Mental Health Counselors

  1. Alaska
  2. Maine
  3. New Jersey
  4. Wyoming
  5. Connecticut
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Oregon
  8. Nevada
  9. North Dakota
  10. New Mexico
  • (90 jobs)
  • (184 jobs)
  • (469 jobs)
  • (29 jobs)
  • (299 jobs)
  • (73 jobs)
  • (211 jobs)
  • (118 jobs)
  • (43 jobs)
  • (108 jobs)

Top Mental Health Counselor Employers

Show More

Jobs From Top Mental Health Counselor Employers

Mental Health Counselor Videos

Mental Health Counselor, Career Video from drkit.org

Mental Health Counselor (university setting), Career Video from drkit.org

Damon Cobble – Mental Health Counselor | American Graduate | KET

Related to your recently viewed content