With the number of children, adolescents and adults struggling with mental and emotional illnesses, counselors will always have an important role in society. Mental health counselors are guides for those who are struggling.
People who successfully complete a master’s degree in mental health counseling can help individuals and families across different cultures, backgrounds and circumstances. Not all counseling jobs require a master’s degree; the real value in obtaining a graduate-level degree in mental health counseling is the skill set and knowledge it will provide. A Master of Mental Health Counseling is a signal to potential employers that you are serious and deeply knowledgeable about how to help people live happier, more functional lives.
Counselors work in different facilities, depending on their specialty. Settings may include hospitals, schools, prisons and private practices. Your specific counseling concentration is up to you to decide. What are you most passionate about?
Here are some of the more common types of careers you can pursue with an online Master of Mental Health Counseling.
The mental health counselor is one of the most popular jobs in the field of psychology for people with a master’s in counseling. Mental health Counselors help people navigate their inner struggles with mental and emotional health, developing personalized therapy sessions that examine the roots of their problems and provide solutions to help people overcome them.
The average median salary for counselors, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is $42,840 a year. Advanced degrees and professional certifications may increase your earning potential as a mental health counselor.
The school counselor looks after the well-being of students in the education system, ranging from the elementary to the college level. They develop programs to help students deal with emotional difficulties they experience as a result of school-related stress.
One of the most important responsibilities of the school counselor is to make life for students with behavioral and mental illnesses easier. Students who suffer from learning disabilities or live with autism aren’t always suited for traditional learning environments; the counselor needs to create settings in which they can thrive and make sure that school faculty like teachers enforce those settings.
The BLS has two important statistics about school counselor jobs that people in this field should consider: The median annual salary for school counselors is $54,560 a year, and employment is expected to grow by 11% from 2016 to 2026.
Substance abuse counselors are there to help people struggling with addictions to drugs and alcohol. This means spotting the mental and emotional turmoil that addicts experience as a result of their addictions and helping them push past it. Helping patients better manage their distress also reduces the likelihood of a relapse.
Another big part of the substance abuse counselor’s job is measuring patients’ road to recovery and sobriety. The end goal of treatment is to ensure the patient never relapses back into addiction or the behaviors that result from it.
The BLS reports that the median annual salary for substance abuse counselors is $41,070 a year. Again, your earning potential as a substance abuse counselor may improve with an advanced degree and professional certifications.
A marriage and family therapist helps married couples and family members solve their differences and form healthier, stronger relationships. They encourage families and couples to talk about their problems with one another in the open during sessions. This is the key to helping the therapist develop a solution that helps all parties better understand each other and conquer the hurdles that are driving them apart.
The BLS has two big findings on the state of marriage and family therapist jobs:
- The median annual salary is $49,170 a year.
- Jobs in this field are expected to grow by 20% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for most jobs.
A geriatric counselor provides services to seniors who suffer from problems related to aging. Counselors in this field help their patients cope with the realities that come with old age, such as:
- The death of a family member
- Deteriorating physical health
- Emerging mental illnesses like dementia
Geriatric counselors are also responsible for looking out for signs of depression in seniors. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, older adults are more likely to develop depression than other age groups. Mental health counselors need to help seniors understand that depression is not a natural symptom of aging but a real illness for which they can provide treatment.
|Mental Health Counselor||$42,840|
|Substance Abuse Counselor||$41,070|
|Marriage and Family Therapist||$49,170|
The more credentials you have that prove your expertise, the more people feel like they can come to you with their personal struggles. A master’s degree in mental health counseling exemplifies your prowess in helping individuals overcome mental, emotional and behavioral crises.
Focus on School Counseling
Are you interested in focusing on the mental health needs of students?