What Are Popular Entry-Level Jobs in Mental Health?

Mental health counseling is a field that covers many different areas and specialties. Read on to learn more about these specialties as well as requirements for entry-level jobs in this field. Schools offering Mental Health Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Popular Mental Health Careers Overview

Community mental health centers, outpatient mental health clinics, drug treatment centers and hospitals are just some of the institutions that offer entry-level jobs in mental health. Many popular entry-level jobs in mental health are offered in the areas of counseling or family services.

Important Facts About These Occupations

Mental Health CounselorsSocial Workers
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 19% expected increase 12% expected increase
Entry-Level EducationMaster's degreeBachelor's degree; master's degree required for some positions
Training2-4,000 hours working in a clinic under supervisionMandatory internship or supervised work in the field
Certification/LicensingLicense requiredLicensure or certification required in all states; specific requirements different in each state

U.S. Bureau of Labor

Counselor Positions

Entry-level counseling positions can be found at community care centers or mental health facilities. You can find various entry-level jobs in different positions, such as admissions counseling for incoming patients or counseling for drug treatment programs. Positions as a counselor aide may also be found in these work environments. Popular mental health entry-level counselor positions include:

  • Adult mental health counselor
  • Youth counselor
  • Drug/substance abuse counselor
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) counselor
  • Respite counselor
  • Intake and admissions counselor

Social Worker Positions

Entry-level jobs in social work are popular for professionals entering the field of mental health. As a social worker, you'll help people cope with mental health issues, such as substance abuse or mental illness, among other problems. These types of social workers may be referred to as clinical social workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). These entry-level mental health jobs can generally be found at state or local government agencies, family services agencies, hospitals or schools. Some popular entry-level jobs in this area include child protection worker, youth services worker, program coordinator or rehabilitation assistant.

What Can I Earn?

Your income as a counselor will greatly depend on which specialty area you choose. PayScale.com reported in September 2015 that entry-level mental health counselors and social workers earned a median income of $37,005 and $39,252 respectively. Also, the website reported that entry-level substance abuse counselors earned a median annual income of $33,390.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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Popular Schools

  • George Mason University

    George Mason University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at George Mason University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

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  • Indiana Wesleyan University

    Indiana Wesleyan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Indiana Wesleyan University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

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    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • University of the Rockies

    University of the Rockies responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at University of the Rockies:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available