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Mental Health Professional Careers

The Mental Health Professional, also known as a Mental Health Therapist, diagnoses and treats patients with mental health illnesses and disorders. The Therapist, amongst other things, is tasked with doing comprehensive patient assessments, diagnosing mental health disorders, providing crisis support, organizing and fulfilling sessions with the patients, their families, groups of people with similar or same mental health issues, and others.

They also might redirect patients to other, more specialized therapists, as needed, and monitor the progress of patients during treatment. Due to the nature of their job, the Therapist also has to keep up to date with the latest research and studies of the mental health industry and their specific fields.

A person hoping to begin work as a Mental Health Professional must generally have a Master's Degree in Psychology, Social Work, or a related subject. They will most likely have to have previous experience in a similar position and some form of certification or licensing, varying from state to state.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a mental health professional. For example, did you know that they make an average of $20.52 an hour? That's $42,689 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 Mental Health Professional Do

There are certain skills that many mental health professionals 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 interpersonal skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a mental health professional, we found that a lot of resumes listed 24.8% of mental health professionals included mental health, while 9.3% of resumes included cpr, and 8.4% of resumes included crisis intervention. 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 mental health professional job title. But what industry to start with? Most mental health professionals actually find jobs in the health care and non profits industries.

How To Become a Mental Health Professional

If you're interested in becoming a mental health professional, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 30.8% of mental health professionals have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 60.3% of mental health professionals have master's degrees. Even though most mental health professionals have a college degree, it's impossible 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 mental health professional. When we researched the most common majors for a mental health professional, we found that they most commonly earn master's degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on mental health professional resumes include doctoral degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a mental health professional. In fact, many mental health professional jobs require experience in a role such as internship. Meanwhile, many mental health professionals also have previous career experience in roles such as case manager or social work internship.

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Average Salary
$42,689
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
11%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
78,679
Job Openings

Mental Health Professional Career Paths

Top Careers Before Mental Health Professional

Top Careers After Mental Health Professional

Therapist
12.3 %

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 Mental Health Professional

Mental Health Professionals in America make an average salary of $42,689 per year or $21 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $61,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $29,000 per year.
Average Salary
$42,689

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Luis Obispo, CA
Salary Range48k - 76k$61k$60,842
Rochester, MN
Salary Range44k - 68k$55k$54,857
Olympia, WA
Salary Range46k - 63k$54k$54,197
Portland, OR
Salary Range38k - 55k$46k$46,291
Colorado Springs, CO
Salary Range37k - 54k$45k$44,910
Baltimore, MD
Salary Range34k - 56k$44k$44,109
$26k
$76k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Licensed Mental Health Professional-Hamilton Co Jail
Licensed Mental Health Professional-Hamilton Co Jail
Quality Correctional Health Care
Quality Correctional Health Care
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$50,08801/29/2021
$50,088
Mental Health Professional I
Mental Health Professional I
Sc Department of Public Safety
Sc Department of Public Safety
01/28/2021
01/28/2021
$33,49401/28/2021
$33,494
Mental Health Professional
Mental Health Professional
Geo Group Inc.
Geo Group Inc.
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$64,48001/27/2021
$64,480
Clinical Program Therapist 4-Licensed Mental Health Professional
Clinical Program Therapist 4-Licensed Mental Health Professional
State of Minnesota
State of Minnesota
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$59,46601/27/2021
$59,466
Sage Treatment Navigator-Mental Health Professional
Sage Treatment Navigator-Mental Health Professional
DESC
DESC
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$43,45901/27/2021
$43,459
See More Recent Salaries

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Mental Health Professional 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 Mental Health Professional. 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 Mental Health Professional Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Mental Health Professional 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.

View Detailed Information

Mental Health Professional Demographics

Gender

female

70.5 %

male

24.4 %

unknown

5.1 %

Ethnicity

White

75.5 %

Hispanic or Latino

12.8 %

Black or African American

6.1 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

75.0 %

Portuguese

2.9 %

German

2.9 %
See More Demographics

Mental Health Professional Education

Majors

Degrees

Masters

60.3 %

Bachelors

30.8 %

Certificate

2.3 %

Top Colleges for Mental Health Professionals

1. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Public

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

2. Hunter College of the City University of New York

New York, NY • Public

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

3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

4. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

5. New York University

New York, NY • Private

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

6. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Public

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

7. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

8. SUNY at Albany

Albany, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,011
Enrollment
13,434

9. San Jose State University

San Jose, CA • Public

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

10. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Mental Health Professional

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, 24.8% of mental health professionals listed mental health on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and emotional skills are important as well.

Best States For a Mental Health Professional

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a mental health professional. The best states for people in this position are New York, California, North Dakota, and Nevada. Mental health professionals make the most in New York with an average salary of $64,821. Whereas in California and North Dakota, they would average $59,629 and $58,597, respectively. While mental health professionals would only make an average of $56,049 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. North Dakota

Total Mental Health Professional Jobs:
256
Highest 10% Earn:
$80,000
Location Quotient:
1.3
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. Minnesota

Total Mental Health Professional Jobs:
2,074
Highest 10% Earn:
$81,000
Location Quotient:
1.47
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. Washington

Total Mental Health Professional Jobs:
1,974
Highest 10% Earn:
$72,000
Location Quotient:
1.28
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 Mental Health Professional Employers

1. Metrocare Services -- Administrative Office
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$39,849
Mental Health Professionals Hired: 
104+
2. Correct Care Solutions
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$42,945
Mental Health Professionals Hired: 
65+
3. MHMR of Tarrant County
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$38,612
Mental Health Professionals Hired: 
34+
4. Community Services Group
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$40,575
Mental Health Professionals Hired: 
31+
5. MHM Services
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$39,377
Mental Health Professionals Hired: 
30+
6. Corizon
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$40,370
Mental Health Professionals Hired: 
29+

Mental Health Professional Videos

Updated October 2, 2020