Mental health specialists work with individuals who have mental illnesses or substance abuse problems. They consult with other mental health professionals to provide effective treatment plans. They work in rehabilitation centers, hospitals, clinics, correctional facilities, and nursing homes, among others. Furthermore, they provide counseling, crisis intervention, and social work services to patients. Asides from that, they assess the mental status of patients through interviews or observations. Additionally, they monitor the treatment progress of the patient and keep track of the patient's mental status.

Most employers require that candidates hold at least a bachelor's degree in psychology, counseling, social work, or a related field. You must have experience working with mental health patients. Most employers require knowledge of CPR and first aid. You must possess organization, communication, collaboration, and crisis management skills. These professionals earn around $37,712 per year. It ranges between $27,000 and $52,000.

What Does a Mental Health Specialist Do

There are certain skills that many mental 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 Mental Health Specialist does

How To Become a Mental Health Specialist

If you're interested in becoming a mental health specialist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 62.3% of mental health specialists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 20.8% of mental health specialists have master's degrees. Even though most mental 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 Mental Health Specialist

Mental Health Specialist Career Paths

Average Salary for a Mental Health Specialist

Mental Health Specialists in America make an average salary of $47,321 per year or $23 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $71,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $31,000 per year.
Average Mental Health Specialist Salary
$47,321 Yearly
$22.75 hourly
$31,000
10 %
$47,000
Median
$71,000
90 %

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Mental Health Specialist Education

Mental Health Specialist Majors

Mental Health Specialist Degrees

Bachelors

62.3 %

Masters

20.8 %

Associate

10.1 %

Top Colleges for Mental Health Specialists

1. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

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

2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

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

3. San Jose State University

San Jose, CA • Private

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

4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

5. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

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

6. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

7. Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,656
Enrollment
32,072

8. Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,464
Enrollment
9,639

9. Hunter College of the City University of New York

New York, NY • Private

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

10. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

Top Skills For a Mental 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, 18.3% of mental 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 Mental Health Specialist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Mental Health Specialist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Mental 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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Mental Health Specialist Resume
Mental Health Specialist Resume
Mental Health Specialist Resume
Mental Health Specialist Resume
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Mental Health Specialist Resume

Mental Health Specialist Demographics

Mental Health Specialist Gender Distribution

Female
Female
67%
Male
Male
33%

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

  • Among mental health specialists, 67.1% of them are women, while 32.9% are men.

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

  • The most common foreign language among mental health specialists is Spanish at 68.7%.

Online Courses For Mental 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.
Addiction & Mental Health (Dual Diagnosis) Integrative 12hrs
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4.6
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Mental Health and Wellness Professional (MHW) Diploma Course
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Discover a flexible and comprehensive way of understanding mental health as a Certified Mental Health Professional (MHP)...

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Best States For a Mental Health Specialist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a mental health specialist. The best states for people in this position are California, Alaska, Hawaii, and Nevada. Mental health specialists make the most in California with an average salary of $71,693. Whereas in Alaska and Hawaii, they would average $64,875 and $62,867, respectively. While mental health specialists would only make an average of $59,048 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 Mental Health Specialist Jobs:
5,911
Highest 10% Earn:
$114,000
Location Quotient:
1.13 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. Alaska

Total Mental Health Specialist Jobs:
175
Highest 10% Earn:
$75,000
Location Quotient:
1.17 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. Iowa

Total Mental Health Specialist Jobs:
777
Highest 10% Earn:
$78,000
Location Quotient:
1.19 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 Mental Health Specialists

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Top Mental Health Specialist Employers

Most Common Employers For Mental Health Specialist

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Lincoln Center Education$61,691$29.6659
2RAMS$54,781$26.3433
3Wounded Warrior Project$51,234$24.6330
4SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH$50,180$24.1328
5San Diego Youth Services$49,550$23.8225
6Allendale Association$49,367$23.73203
7McLean Hospital$48,597$23.36155
8Telecare$47,942$23.0558
9Phoenix Family$47,663$22.9125
10UMCH Family Services$44,943$21.6136

Mental Health Specialist Videos

Becoming a Mental Health Specialist FAQs

What are five examples of mental health professionals?

Five examples of mental health professionals include clinical social workers, psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists, and mental health specialists. Many types of mental health care professionals can help a person achieve their mental health goals.

What degree do you need to be a mental health specialist?

The degree needed to be a mental health specialist is usually a bachelor's degree in social work or psychology. They also need to gain any licensure required by the state they live and work in.

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