Mental Health Counselors

General Information

Description

Counsel with emphasis on prevention. Work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. May help individuals deal with issues associated with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging.

Business Breakdown

People in this career work in these sectors.

  1. State and local government31.03%
  2. Private, for profit29.11%
  3. Private, not for profit28.97%
  4. Self-employed8.80%
  5. Federal government2.03%

Workplace at a Glance

What you can expect to experience while on the job

  • Responsibility
  • Exposure to job hazards
  • Physical activity
  • Decision making
  • Repetitiveness
  • Level of competition
  • Time pressure

Job Outlook

Employment of substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors is projected to grow 20 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth is expected as people continue to seek addiction and mental health counseling services. Demand for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors is also expected to increase as states seek treatment and counseling services for drug offenders rather than jail time. In recent years, the criminal justice system has recognized that drug and other substance abuse addicts are less likely to offend again if they get treatment for their addiction. As a result, sentences often require drug offenders to attend treatment and counseling programs. In addition, some research suggests that these programs are more cost effective than incarceration and states may use them as a method to reduce recidivism rates. In addition, there will be a continued need for counselors to work with military veterans to provide them the appropriate mental health or substance abuse counseling care.

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Salary

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Education

Most Common Education Levels

People in this career achieve this level of education.

  • Master's degree 62%
  • Bachelor's degree 34%
  • Associate's degree 1%
  • Post-master's certificate 1%
  • High school 0%
  • Some college 0%
  • Doctoral degree 0%
  • Post baccalaureate 0%
  • Less than high school 0%
  • Post-doctoral training 0%
  • First professional degree 0%
  • Post-secondary certificate 0%

Knowledge

  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Psychology
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Education and Training
  • Sociology and Anthropology

Skills at a Glance

Skills helpful in this career

  • Verbal skills
  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Equipment operation & maintenance
  • Math & science skills
  • Technology design & control
  • Leadership
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