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Updated July 11, 2022

Average Mental Health Specialist Salary

$42,698 yearly
To create our salary estimates, Zippia starts with data published in publicly available sources such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Foreign Labor Certification Data Center (FLC) Show More

$20.53 hourly

Entry level Salary
$28,000 yearly
$28,000
10 %
$42,698
Median
$63,000
90 %

How much does a Mental Health Specialist make?

Mental health specialists make $42,698 per year on average, or $20.53 per hour, in the United States. Mental health specialists on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $28,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $63,000.

Location impacts how much a mental health specialist can expect to make. Mental health specialists make the most in Nevada, California, Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington.

Highest Paying States For Mental Health Specialists

The darker areas on the map show where mental health specialists earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

  • State View
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Average Salary:

Mental Health Specialist average salary by State

Rank  State  Avg. Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Count  
1California$68,976$33.165,911
2Idaho$52,148$25.07357
3Nevada$71,507$34.38346
4Alaska$63,234$30.40175
5Mississippi$53,359$25.65370
6Washington$59,617$28.661,228
7Hawaii$61,610$29.62210
8Iowa$47,609$22.89777
9North Carolina$49,159$23.631,823
10Wyoming$48,668$23.40111
11Arizona$47,931$23.041,295
12Utah$50,922$24.48510
13Colorado$50,473$24.271,000
14Louisiana$47,061$22.63643
15Oregon$55,251$26.56588
16Delaware$50,705$24.38197
17Maine$43,160$20.75359
18New Mexico$49,377$23.74250
19District of Columbia$48,185$23.17275
20New Hampshire$47,631$22.90257
21South Dakota$45,569$21.91167
22Connecticut$47,224$22.70457
23Texas$45,154$21.713,283
24New York$45,739$21.992,085
25Oklahoma$39,676$19.07642
26Missouri$39,367$18.931,198
27Florida$45,040$21.651,963
28Rhode Island$41,619$20.01206
29Kansas$43,032$20.69465
30North Dakota$40,334$19.39161
31Massachusetts$37,151$17.863,448
32Minnesota$37,169$17.871,513
33West Virginia$43,260$20.80125
34Alabama$40,013$19.24706
35Vermont$36,773$17.68165
36Indiana$34,358$16.521,584
37Montana$41,970$20.18167
38New Jersey$43,866$21.09961
39Maryland$35,999$17.311,410
40Michigan$33,057$15.891,904
41Kentucky$34,412$16.54678
42Arkansas$32,803$15.77592
43Ohio$31,141$14.972,140
44Nebraska$32,619$15.68425
45Tennessee$34,969$16.81541
46Georgia$35,782$17.201,142
47South Carolina$34,480$16.58587
48Wisconsin$30,594$14.71992
49Virginia$33,568$16.141,538
50Pennsylvania$29,968$14.411,950
51Illinois$34,515$16.591,331

Highest Paying Cities For Mental Health Specialists

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Rank  City  Avg. Salary  Hourly Rate  
1San Francisco, CA$69,790$33.55
2Anchorage, AK$63,370$30.47
3Tacoma, WA$60,177$28.93
4Eugene, OR$55,944$26.90
5Colorado Springs, CO$50,849$24.45
6Washington, DC$48,256$23.20
7New York, NY$45,884$22.06
8Austin, TX$45,245$21.75
9New Brunswick, NJ$43,803$21.06
10Bangor, ME$41,723$20.06
11Billings, MT$41,209$19.81
12Boston, MA$37,230$17.90
13Minneapolis, MN$37,176$17.87
14Columbia, SC$34,399$16.54
15Chicago, IL$34,154$16.42

Mental Health Specialist Salary Details

Mental Health Specialist Salary

What is a Mental Health Specialist's Salary?

Percentile  Annual Salary  Monthly Salary  Hourly Rate  
90th Percentile$63,000$5,250$30
75th Percentile$52,000$4,333$25
Average$42,698$3,558$21
25th Percentile$34,000$2,833$16
10th Percentile$28,000$2,333$13

Average Salary By Related Titles

Job Title  Annual Salary  Monthly Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
Community Health Counselor$44,694$3,724$21.49131,804
Mental Health Practitioner$49,715$4,143$23.90140,365
Mental Health Counselor$43,664$3,639$20.99110,752
Mental Health Worker$38,814$3,235$18.66144,879
Mental Health Professional$48,109$4,009$23.13109,499
Mental Health Clinician$51,900$4,325$24.9591,347

How would you rate the starting salaries for Mental Health Specialists, as well as the prospects for salary advancement?

Logan Lamprecht Ph.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor, Counseling Clinic Director, Idaho State University

Most beginning counselors will make between $35,000 to $45,000 per year. This number depends on the number of hours a new counselor wants to work and how they might vary their time across different practices. After a professional counselor becomes independently licensed (LCPC), this number can range between $45,000 to $120,000. This depends on their skills, marketability, and advanced practice licensure that the counselor seeks post-graduation.Show more

Which Companies Pay Mental Health Specialists The Most?

According to our most recent salary estimates, Sutter Health and Highland General Hospital are the highest paying companies for mental health specialists.
Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Sutter Health$65,142$31.3281
2Highland General Hospital$60,300$28.9913
3Overlake Medical Center & Clinics$51,314$24.676
4Marion County$44,696$21.49
5International Rescue Committee$43,894$21.1032
6Chicago Public Schools$43,810$21.0699
7Board Of Regents Of The University System Of Georgia$43,751$21.0339
8Western Washington University$43,402$20.873
9Jvs Chicago$42,698$20.53
10Denton County$42,698$20.53
11HERO House NW$42,698$20.53
12Washington County$42,698$20.53
13National Guard$42,698$20.53
14Community Treatment Alternatives, a program of Journey Mental Health Center$42,698$20.53
15Tri-County Behavioral Healthcare$42,698$20.53
16UnityPoint Health$42,698$20.53
17COMMUNITY ACTION COUNCIL OF PORTAGE COUNTY$42,698$20.53
18Child Abuse Prevention Center$42,698$20.53
19Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy$42,698$20.53
20Acacia Network$42,698$20.53

How Much Do Mental Health Specialists Make In Different Industries?

Here are some examples of how much a mental health specialist salaries can based on different industries:

  1. The government industry pays mental health specialists an average salary of $41,722

  2. The professional industry pay $39,658

  3. The lowest paying industry for mental health specialists is the non profits industry. Mental health specialists in this industry earn an average salary of $38,002

Highest Paying Industries For Mental Health Specialists

Rank  Industry  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  
1Government$41,722$20.06
2Professional$39,658$19.07
3Health Care$39,389$18.94
4Non Profits$38,002$18.27

High Paying Mental Health Specialist Jobs

Mental Health Specialist Salary Trends

The salary for a mental health specialist can vary depending on the years of experience that a person has, from entry level to senior level. Data on how experience level affects total compensation is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as part of their National Compensation Survey, which is based on factors such as knowledge, complexity, contacts, and environment.

Average Mental Health Specialist Salary Over Time

Compare salaries for individual cities or states with the national average.

    Mental Health Specialist Salary By Year

    Year  Avg. Salary  Hourly Rate  % Change  
    2022$42,700$20.53+4.2%
    2021$40,900$19.66+3.9%
    2020$39,300$18.89+3.5%
    2019$37,900$18.22+1.3%
    2018$37,400$17.99+1.2%

    Recently Added Mental Health Specialist Salaries

    Company  Job  Location  Date Added  Salary  
    Compass Health NetworkMental Health Specialist (Pinocchio)Saint Louis, MO06/01/2022$42,241
    Trinity Youth ServicesMental Health Services Billing SpecialistRancho Cucamonga, CA06/01/2022$36,523
    Keystone Human ServicesMental Health SpecialistLancaster, PA06/01/2022$33,392
    Oakland County Community Mental Health AuthoritySchool Mental Health Resource and Referral SpecialistTroy, MI05/31/2022$43,347
    Jasper MountainChildren's Mental Health Treatment TeamIone, OR05/30/2022$40,133
    State of NebraskaMental Health Specialist-NRCNorfolk, NE05/30/2022$45,914
    Community Services ConsortiumHead Start Mental Health & Disabilities Content SpecialistIone, OR05/28/2022$45,058
    Help In The Home, LLCMental Health Community SpecialistRockville, MD05/26/2022$35,000
    Florida Department of TransportationMental Health Security SpecialistMacclenny, FL05/26/2022$54,650
    McKinley Children's CenterMental Health Rehabilitation SpecialistPalmdale, CA05/25/2022$36,523

    Mental Health Specialist Salaries FAQs

    What state pays Mental Health Specialists the most?

    Nevada pays Mental Health Specialists the most in the United States, with an average salary of $71,507 per year, or $34.38 per hour.

    How do I know if I'm being paid fairly as a Mental Health Specialist?

    You know if you are being paid fairly as a Mental Health Specialist if your pay is close to the average pay for the state you live in. For example, if you live in California you should be paid close to $68,976 per year.

    What type of Mental Health Specialist gets paid the most?

    Youth Care Specialist gets paid the most. Youth Care Specialist made a median salary of $66,166. The best-paid 10 percent make $80,000, while the lowest-paid 10 percent make $54,000.

    How much do mental health experts make?

    Mental health experts make an average of around $40,000 in a year. This amount can range from $30,000 per year to $70,000 in a year.

    Mental health social workers play a critical role in improving overall wellbeing and mental health in our society. They spend their time assessing, diagnosing, treating, and preventing mental, behavioral, and emotional issues. Some mental illnesses they address include depression, anxiety, and borderline personality disorder.

    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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