Mental Health Counselors
SOC: 21-1014.00

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.


National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.


Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
134,500 employed

Projected (2024):
160,900 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.


Alternate Titles:

  • Behavior Analyst
  • Behavior Support Specialist (BSS)
  • Bereavement Counselor
  • Case Manager
  • Child Care Counselor
  • Clinical Counselor
  • Clinical Mental Health Counselor
  • Clinician
  • Correctional Counselor
  • Corrections Caseworker
  • Counselor
  • Direct Care Counselor
  • Domestic Violence Advocate
  • Elder Counselor
  • Grief Counselor
  • Group Counselor
  • Group Home Counselor
  • Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor
  • Mental Health Case Manager
  • Mental Health Clinician
  • Mental Health Counselor
  • Mental Health Professional
  • Mental Health Program Specialist
  • Mental Health Specialist
  • Mental Health Therapist
  • Residential Child Care Counselor
  • Therapist
  • Treatment Coordinator


  • Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed

    Experience:

    Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

    Education:

    Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

    Job Training:

    Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.


    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Fine Arts
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation


  • Tasks:

  • Maintain confidentiality of records relating to clients' treatment.
  • Encourage clients to express their feelings and discuss what is happening in their lives, helping them to develop insight into themselves or their relationships.
  • Guide clients in the development of skills or strategies for dealing with their problems.
  • Prepare and maintain all required treatment records and reports.
  • Counsel clients or patients, individually or in group sessions, to assist in overcoming dependencies, adjusting to life, or making changes.
  • Collect information about clients through interviews, observation, or tests.
  • Act as client advocates to coordinate required services or to resolve emergency problems in crisis situations.
  • Develop and implement treatment plans based on clinical experience and knowledge.
  • Collaborate with other staff members to perform clinical assessments or develop treatment plans.
  • Evaluate clients' physical or mental condition, based on review of client information.
  • Meet with families, probation officers, police, or other interested parties to exchange necessary information during the treatment process.
  • Refer patients, clients, or family members to community resources or to specialists as necessary.
  • Counsel family members to assist them in understanding, dealing with, or supporting clients or patients.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of counseling programs on clients' progress in resolving identified problems and moving towards defined objectives.
  • Plan, organize, or lead structured programs of counseling, work, study, recreation, or social activities for clients.
  • Modify treatment activities or approaches as needed to comply with changes in clients' status.
  • Learn about new developments in counseling by reading professional literature, attending courses and seminars, or establishing and maintaining contact with other social service agencies.
  • Discuss with individual patients their plans for life after leaving therapy.
  • Gather information about community mental health needs or resources that could be used in conjunction with therapy.
  • Monitor clients' use of medications.
  • Plan or conduct programs to prevent substance abuse or improve community health or counseling services.
  • Assess patients for risk of suicide attempts.
  • Fill out and maintain client-related paperwork, including federal- and state-mandated forms, client diagnostic records, and progress notes.
  • Supervise other counselors, social service staff, assistants, or graduate students.
  • Coordinate or direct employee workshops, courses, or training about mental health issues.
  • Perform crisis interventions with clients.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Desktop computers
  • Digital medical thermometers
  • Flatbed scanners
  • Notebook computers
  • Personal computers
  • Sphygmomanometers
  • Client information database systems
  • Database software
  • Email software
  • Management information systems MIS software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Word
  • Netscape Navigator
  • Office suite software
  • Patient electronic medical record EMR software
  • Scheduling software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Statistical software
  • Test interpretation software
  • Web browser software
  • Word processing software


  • community and social service


    industry stats

    SOC: 21-0000

    Total Employed: 1,972,140

    Average Annual Salary: $46,160