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Finding the Right Job with a Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling

written by: •edited by: SForsyth•updated: 11/5/2010

Just received your master's degree in mental health counseling? Learn about the different jobs available with a master's degree in mental health counseling and other job related information you should know about, such as the job outlook and salary range.

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    Introduction

    After years working on your master's degree in mental health counseling, you have graduated and are now looking for a job. But what are available jobs with a master's degree in mental health counseling? With this degree, you can provide counseling services in a variety of settings that suit you. As a mental health counselor, you can work with patients who have different psychological issues, such as anxiety, substance abuse or depression. Job opportunities with a master's degree in mental health counseling may also include advocacy work, community outreach or mediation, notes the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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    Job Outlook

    In 2008, 113,300 jobs were held by mental health counselors, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even in this tough economy, the number of jobs available in mental health counseling to people with a master's degree in mental health counseling is expected to increase at a faster rate than other jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2018, the projected number of jobs available in mental health counseling is expected to be 140,400, which is a 24 percent increase.

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    Salary Range

    The salary you can earn as a mental health counselor varies on where you work. PayScale reports that the average salary for a job with a master's degree in mental health counseling based on national data ranges from $31,390 to $39,866. The Bureau of Labor Statistics adds that “the lowest 10 percent [of mental health counselors] earned less than $23,580, and the highest 10 percent [of mental health counselors] earned more than $63,100." Employers who paid higher than the median salary include the local government at $45,510 and offices of other health professionals at $40,880, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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    Types of Counseling Settings

    With a master's degree in mental health counseling, you can work in a variety of settings. Education-Portal.com lists group therapy, child psychotherapy and adult psychotherapy as different groups of clients that you can work with. Besides providing therapeutic services for mental health services, a mental health counselor may also help patients with relationship, career and educational issues. If planning to go into counseling services, either in private practice or with an organization, check your state's requirements for licensure. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that with a master's degree in mental health counseling, you may need 3,000 hours of clinical experience with supervision and a passing grade on a licensing exam in the state you want to practice in.

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    References

    United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition – Counselors

    http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos067.htm

    PayScale: Master's Degree, Mental Health Counseling Degree Salary

    http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Degree=Master%27s_Degree,_Mental_Health_Counseling/Salary

    Education-Portal.com: Master Degree Programs in Mental Health Counseling

    http://education-portal.com/master_degree_programs_in_mental_health_counseling.html