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Become A Residential Counselor

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Working As A Residential 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

  • $24,960

    Average Salary

What Does A Residential Counselor Do

A Residential Counselor counsels and supports people who live in group homes or assisted-living facilities. They generally work at organizations such as rehabilitation centers, residential care facilities, group homes, and shelters.

How To Become A Residential 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.

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Residential Counselor jobs

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Residential Counselor Career Paths

Residential Counselor
Therapist Clinical Director
Administrative Director, Behavioral Health Services
11 Yearsyrs
Direct Care Staffer House Manager Direct Care Worker
Assistant Program Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Counselor Case Manager
Career Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Counselor Instructor
Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Therapist
Clinical Supervisor
8 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Program Director
Director Of Residential Services
7 Yearsyrs
Program Director Educator Case Manager
Family Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Therapist Career Manager
Health Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Home Health Aid Direct Support Professional
Home Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Technician Registered Nurse Case Manager
Housing Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Technician Behavioral Health Technician Case Manager
Mental Health Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Program Director Specialist Direct Support Professional
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Substance Abuse Counselor Program Coordinator Program Supervisor
Residential Program Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Direct Support Professional Case Manager
Senior Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Program Manager
Service Program Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Social Worker
Social Services Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Direct Support Professional Program Coordinator Social Worker
Social Work Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Social Worker
Social Work Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Family Support Worker Child Protective Investigator Dependency Case Manager
Targeted Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Program Director
Unit Director
5 Yearsyrs
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Residential Counselor Demographics

Gender

  • Female

    67.2%
  • Male

    30.5%
  • Unknown

    2.2%

Ethnicity

  • White

    80.9%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    9.8%
  • Asian

    6.5%
  • Unknown

    1.8%
  • Black or African American

    1.0%
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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

    61.3%
  • French

    13.8%
  • Portuguese

    5.5%
  • German

    2.6%
  • Chinese

    2.5%
  • Italian

    2.2%
  • Mandarin

    1.5%
  • Russian

    1.4%
  • Cantonese

    1.4%
  • Hindi

    1.2%
  • Korean

    1.1%
  • Yoruba

    0.9%
  • Vietnamese

    0.8%
  • Arabic

    0.8%
  • Swahili

    0.6%
  • Dakota

    0.6%
  • Polish

    0.6%
  • Hawaiian

    0.5%
  • Amharic

    0.5%
  • Dutch

    0.3%
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Residential Counselor

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Residential Counselor Education

Residential Counselor

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Real Residential Counselor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Residential Counseling Coordinator Highridge Family Center West Palm Beach, FL Jan 05, 2012 $49,516
Residential Counselor Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, LLC New York, NY Sep 01, 2016 $45,000
Residential Counselor Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, LLC New York, NY Jan 09, 2016 $45,000
ABA Counselor-Residential Melmark, Inc. Dracut, MA Jan 11, 2016 $42,765 -
$76,149
ABA Counselor-Residential Melmark, Inc. Dracut, MA Jan 08, 2016 $42,765 -
$76,149
Residential Counselor Justice Resource Institute, Inc. Tewksbury, MA Aug 01, 2013 $39,083
ABA Counselor-Residential Melmark, Inc. Dracut, MA Aug 15, 2015 $37,170 -
$60,320
Residential Counselor Justice Resource Institute, Inc. Tewksbury, MA Aug 01, 2010 $36,712
Residential Cottage Counselor Youth Opportunity Center, Inc. Muncie, IN Sep 22, 2016 $35,000 -
$45,000
Residential Counselor The Learning Center for Deaf Children Framingham, MA Oct 01, 2010 $32,897
Residential Counselor Eastern Appalachian Teen Challenge, Inc. Fincastle, VA Jul 29, 2010 $32,420
Residential Counselor Eastern Appalachian Teen Challenge, Inc. Fincastle, VA Aug 31, 2010 $32,420
Residential Counselor Justice Resource Institute, Inc. Tewksbury, MA Mar 15, 2010 $28,642
Residential Counselor Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Inc. Fort Myers, FL Oct 01, 2010 $26,880

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Top Skills for A Residential Counselor

CrisisInterventionBehavioralIssuesDailyLivingSkillsIndividualTreatmentPlansLifeSkillsMentalHealthIssuesDailyLivingActivitiesDirectCareDirectSupervisionRecreationalActivitiesCounselorsIndependentLivingSkillsADLResidentialTreatmentSettingMedicationAdministrationDevelopmentalDisabilitiesSubstanceAbuseSocialSkillsCPRMentalIllness

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Top Residential Counselor Skills

  1. Crisis Intervention
  2. Behavioral Issues
  3. Daily Living Skills
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Completed intake assessments and diagnoses, treatment plans, as well as provided crisis intervention.
  • Spearheaded the development of a residential rehabilitation program serving teenagers with chronic behavioral issues in collaboration with the program manager.
  • Assisted individuals with activities of daily living skills directed towards independent living and community integration.
  • Developed and maintained a therapeutic environment using behavioral management techniques and milieu therapy according to individual treatment plans.
  • Delegated and aided in building essential life skills such as money management, food preparation, personal hygiene and housekeeping.

Top Residential Counselor Employers

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