Career Detail

Mental Health Counselor
“Is Everything O.K.?”
Work with individuals, families, and groups to address and treat mental and emotional disorders and to promote mental health.
Average Pay: $26,780 -- $45,610/yr    Qualifications: Usually a Master's Degree
The Job
Mental health counselors are trained in a variety of therapeutic techniques used to address issues, including depression, addiction and substance abuse, suicidal impulses, stress, problems with self-esteem, and grief. They also help with job and career concerns, educational decisions, issues related to mental and emotional health, and family, parenting, marital, or other relationship problems.
Work Environment
Mental Health Counselors work in a variety of environments such as offices, hospitals, and residential centers. Some Mental Health Counselors even work in the homes of their clients.
College Majors
Social Work, Master of Counseling, Psychology
Minimum Qualifications
A master's degree is usually required to be licensed as a counselor. Some States require counselors in public employment to have a master's degree; others accept a bachelor's degree with appropriate counseling courses.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Desire to help others and should be able to inspire respect, trust, and confidence.
Quick Facts
  • Requirements vary based on occupational specialty and State certification requirements.
  • Successful mental health counselors should be able to inspire respect, trust, and confidence.
Compensation and Outlook
Median annual wages of mental health counselors in May 2008 were $36,810. The middle 50 percent earned between $28,930 and $48,580. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,580, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $63,100.
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