A mental health worker provides care for people with mental health concerns or developmental disabilities. You will mostly work under the supervision of a registered nurse in psychiatric hospitals and residential mental health facilities. Some of your core job responsibilities include assessing and interacting with patients to develop treatment plans and strategies, administering therapeutic care, monitoring patients, leading individual, family, or group therapy to foster group support and growth. You will be involved in case management, brokerage services, pharmaceutical assistance, chart documentation, and other insurance concerns.

You are also expected to facilitate communication between care, service, and support providers. Important skills for any mental health worker are crisis intervention, mental health, patient care, CPR, vital signs, and great verbal and non-verbal communication skills. The average mental health worker earns $17.72 per hour or $36,000 annually. Most of them have a bachelor's degree in psychology, social work, criminal justice, or other related fields.

What Does a Mental Health Worker Do

There are certain skills that many mental health workers 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 Worker does

How To Become a Mental Health Worker

If you're interested in becoming a mental health worker, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 59.1% of mental health workers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 11.9% of mental health workers have master's degrees. Even though most mental health workers 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 Worker

Mental Health Worker Career Paths

Average Salary for a Mental Health Worker

Mental Health Workers in America make an average salary of $41,081 per year or $20 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $59,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $28,000 per year.
Average Mental Health Worker Salary
$41,081 Yearly
$19.75 hourly
$28,000
10 %
$41,000
Median
$59,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Mental Health Worker Education

Mental Health Worker Majors

Mental Health Worker Degrees

Bachelors

59.1 %

Associate

14.5 %

Masters

11.9 %

Top Colleges for Mental Health Workers

1. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

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

2. Hunter College of the City University of New York

New York, NY • Private

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

3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

4. New York University

New York, NY • Private

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

5. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

6. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

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

7. San Jose State University

San Jose, CA • Private

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

8. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

9. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

10. Coppin State University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,873
Enrollment
2,326

Top Skills For a Mental Health Worker

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, 19.4% of mental health workers listed crisis intervention on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and emotional skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Mental Health Worker Resume templates

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

Mental Health Worker Gender Distribution

Female
Female
65%
Male
Male
35%

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

  • Among mental health workers, 65.1% of them are women, while 34.9% are men.

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

  • The most common foreign language among mental health workers is Spanish at 68.5%.

Online Courses For Mental Health Worker 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
udemy
4.6
(1,203)

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

Addiction & Mental Health - Chemically Speaking Two (2hrs)
udemy
4.3
(251)

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Interventions - Understand Drug & Alcohol Addiction & Mental Health. How to help people...

Mental Health and Resilience for Healthcare Workers
coursera

This course will help institutions and individuals better manage the mental health challenges of being a healthcare worker. Healthcare providers such as the University Health Network (UHN) address the mental health needs of their staff through several initiatives intended to help build resilience and to provide respite from the demands of their work. This was critical during the pandemic but, of course, healthcare workers encounter high levels of stress even without a pandemic. The primary purpo...

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Best States For a Mental Health Worker

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a mental health worker. The best states for people in this position are California, New York, New Jersey, and Washington. Mental health workers make the most in California with an average salary of $53,576. Whereas in New York and New Jersey, they would average $53,076 and $52,619, respectively. While mental health workers would only make an average of $48,447 in Washington, 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 Worker Jobs:
7,588
Highest 10% Earn:
$82,000
Location Quotient:
1.31 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. New Hampshire

Total Mental Health Worker Jobs:
407
Highest 10% Earn:
$62,000
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. North Carolina

Total Mental Health Worker Jobs:
2,541
Highest 10% Earn:
$61,000
Location Quotient:
1.33 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 Workers

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Top Mental Health Worker Employers

Most Common Employers For Mental Health Worker

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Alvarado Parkway Institute$45,771$22.0144
2Childrens Community Services$45,400$21.8356
3NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital$42,672$20.5265
4Glade Run Lutheran Services$41,347$19.8883
5Peoples Services$41,233$19.8238
6HSS$39,526$19.0036
7Brattleboro Retreat$38,236$18.38100
8Sheppard Pratt$37,840$18.19404
9Butler Hospital$37,773$18.1664
10College Hospital Laguna Woods$37,286$17.9355

Mental Health Worker Videos

Becoming a Mental Health Worker FAQs

Do you need a degree to be a mental health worker?

Yes, you need a degree to be a mental health worker. Typically people who work as mental health workers have a bachelor's degree in social work or psychology, as well as any licensure that is required by the state that they live and work in.

How long does it take to become a mental health worker?

It takes four to six years to become a mental health worker. Typically people who work as mental health workers have a bachelor's degree in social work or psychology, as well as any licensure that is required by the state that they live and work in.

What is considered a mental health worker?

There are a number of roles that are considered a mental health worker, and these include psychologist, counselor, or psychiatrist. Many types of mental health care professionals can help a person achieve their mental health goals.

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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