Clinical/Mental Health Counselors

Clinical/Mental Health Counselors

Career Overview

Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors provide treatment and advise people who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, or other mental or behavioral problems.

Education

Most positions require at least a bachelor’s degree. Although educational requirements can vary from a high school diploma and certification to a master’s degree for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, a master’s degree and an internship is typically required to become a mental health counselor.

Future Outlook

Employment of substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors is projected to grow 25 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth is expected as people continue to seek addiction and mental health counseling services.

Work Environment

Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors work in a wide variety of settings, such as mental health centers, community health centers, prisons, and private practice. Most work full time.

Recommended High School Courses

  • Math - as much as possible!
  • Communication
  • Science - as much as possible, including biology and psychology!

  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Negotiation - Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Philosophy and Theology - Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Time Sharing - The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Maintain client records.
  • Write reports or evaluations.
  • Counsel clients or patients with substance abuse issues.
  • Collaborate with other professionals to assess client needs or plan treatments.
  • Interview clients to gather information about their backgrounds, needs, or progress.
  • Develop treatment plans for patients or clients.
  • Monitor clients to evaluate treatment progress.
  • Intervene in crisis situations to assist clients.
  • Modify treatment plans to accommodate client needs.
  • Maintain professional social services knowledge.
  • Present social services program information to the public.
  • Refer clients to community or social service programs.
  • Supervise workers providing client or patient services.
  • Train staff members in social services skills.
  • Advocate for individual or community needs.
  • Administer drug screening tests.
  • Counsel family members of clients or patients.
  • Confer with family members to discuss client treatment plans or progress.
  • Collaborate with other professionals to develop education or assistance programs.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of counseling or educational programs.
  • Plan programs to address community health issues.

Schools

usa_school
Adelphi University
Alfred University
American International Co...
Appalachian State Univers...
Assumption College
Barry University
Bellevue University
Belmont University
Bethel University
Bluefield College
Boise State University
Boston University
Bowling Green State Unive...
Bradley University
Brescia University
California State Universi...
Clackamas Community Colle...
Cook Inlet Tribal Council
Corban University
Delaware Technical And Co...
Drexel University
Eastern Washington Univer...
Evangel University
Fairfield University
Fairleigh Dickinson Unive...
Fayetteville State Univer...
Fort Valley State Univers...
Franciscan University At...
Gwynedd Mercy University
Hampton University
Henderson State Universit...
Hofstra University
Idaho State University- M...
Indiana University-east C...
Interior Alaska Campus
Johnson And Wales Univers...
Kent State University
Letourneau University
Loma Linda University
Loyola University- New Or...
Lubbock Christian Univers...
Malone University
Manhattan College
Metropolitan State Univer...
Minneapolis Community And...
Minnesota State Universit...
Misericordia University
Mississippi College
Missouri Baptist Universi...
Monmouth University
Montclair State Universit...
Moraine Valley Community...
Mount Aloysius College
New York University
North Carolina A & T Stat...
North Central University
Northeastern State Univer...
Northern Kentucky Univers...
Northwestern State Univer...
Oakland City University
Ohio Christian University
Oral Roberts University
Portland State University
Post University
Regional Alcohol And Drug...
Rider University
Salve Regina University
Saybrook University
Southwestern Assemblies O...
St. Louis Community Colle...
Stark State College- Akro...
Stephen F. Austin State U...
Suny At Brockport
Suny At New Paltz
Suny At Old Westbury
Suny Corning Community Co...
Suny Finger Lakes Communi...
Suny Genesee Community Co...
Suny Hudson Valley Commun...
Suny Jamestown Community...
Suny Jefferson Community...
Suny Mohawk Valley Commun...
Suny Monroe Community Col...
Suny Niagara County Commu...
Suny North Country Commun...
Suny Onondaga Community C...
Suny Schenectady County C...
Suny Tompkins Cortland Co...
Suny Westchester Communit...
Troy University
Truett Mcconnell Universi...
Union College- Kentucky
University Of Bridgeport
University Of Central Ark...
University Of Hawaii- Hil...
University Of Houston- Cl...
University Of Illinois- S...
University Of Maine- Fort...
University Of Mary
University Of Minnesota-...
University Of North Carol...
University Of North Carol...
University Of North Carol...
University Of North Flori...
University Of Northern Co...
University Of Saint Franc...
University Of South Alaba...
University Of South Dakot...
University Of Southern Ma...
University Of St. Thomas
University Of Tennessee-...
University Of Texas- Tyle...
University Of The Cumberl...
University Of West Alabam...
University Of Western Sta...
University Of Wisconsin-...
University Of Wisconsin-...
Valparaiso University
Virginia Commonwealth Uni...
Viterbo University
Walsh University
Waubonsee Community Colle...
Wayland Baptist Universit...
Wayne State University
Western Carolina Universi...
Western Illinois Universi...
Westminster College- Penn...
Wheaton College- Illinois...
Wichita State University
Winthrop University
Wright State University
Xavier University
Yeshiva University
canada_school
Academy Of Learning- B...
Academy Of Learning- H...
Academy Of Learning- H...
Academy Of Learning- R...
Athabasca University
Bow Valley College- Do...
Canadian College Of He...
Cdi College- Calgary S...
Cdi College- Edmonton...
Cdi College- Vancouver...
Cdi College- Winnipeg...
Confederation College
Cts Canadian Career Co...
Durham College- Oshawa...
Fleming College- Suthe...
Georgian College- Oril...
Humber College- Lakesh...
Medicine Hat College
Niagara College- Wella...
Nicola Valley Institut...
Okanagan Valley Colleg...
Saskatchewan Polytechn...
Stenberg College
Stratford Career Insti...
University Of Prince E...
Vancouver Career Colle...
Vancouver Career Colle...
Vancouver Career Colle...
Yorkville University-...

Potential Scholarships

5 Strong Scholarship
Agnes M. Lindsay Scholars...

Approx Salary Expectation

Currency:
Low End:
$29,520.00 /yr
Avg/Med:
$46,240.00 /yr
High End:
$76,080.00 /yr

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/.
Trend Analysis - Explorer the Market, Labour Market Information, Government of Canada https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/trend-analysis.
O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, https://www.onetonline.org/.