Jobs for a Master's in Mental Health Counseling
Are you ready to turn your passion for helping people into a meaningful career? A master's degree in mental health counseling can help you gain the professional skill-set and certification necessary to turn caring for people into a full-time job.
Career Paths with a Master's in Mental Health Counseling
A mental health counseling master's degree prepares students to work with diverse populations on their emotional and psychological health and related behaviors. Because a master's is required to become a licensed counselor in the United States, this master's degree opens a variety of career options not accessible to graduates with a bachelor's degree. Counselors work with all ages in settings ranging from universities to prisons to treatment centers to hospitals to their client's home.
School and Career Counselor
School counselors work in an academic setting supporting students as they develop social skills and academic goals. If you enjoy working with children but prefer not to be a classroom teacher, a school counselor position offers you the opportunity to work with students one-on-one. By pursuing a master's degree in mental health counseling, you can earn the certification needed to work in a variety of settings including public and private schools, juvenile detention centers, boarding schools, foster homes, and universities.
Substance Abuse Counselor
As a substance abuse counselor, you can choose to work in a treatment center helping people affected by one particular substance abuse or behavioral disorder. While pursuing your master's degree in mental health counseling you might decide to specialize in alcohol and drug abuse issues or eating disorders. Alternately, you can choose a general counseling track and find employment in prisons or private practices working with a variety of different types of patients.
Marriage and Family Therapist
As a marriage and family therapist, you will have the opportunity to touch the heart of your client's lives by helping them manage issues with their loved ones. Professional certification through your master's degree will equip you to work either in private practice or in a larger mental health center. You can also choose to align yourself with a church or worship center if you prefer to offer religiously-based counseling.
Rehabilitation counselors must have a master's degree and be licensed to work with clients who have developmental disorders, injuries or other disabilities. They might help a client transition to live independently for the first time or help someone with an injury transition back to independent living, while also working with their clients develop the skills they will need for life and employment. They can work with clients ranging from an autistic youth setting out on his own for the first time to a senior citizen returning home after a stroke.
A master's degree in mental counseling can help transform your ability to care for others into a career as a Grief counselor and become certified to help clients deal with loss and grief. They can also lead group sessions for survivors of traumas like rape, gang violence, and child abuse. They may also be employed by government agencies or non-profits to respond to natural and man-made humanitarian disasters.
Clinical Social Worker
A clinical social worker works in their community to help clients navigate difficult situations such as the loss of their parents, medical accidents, and abuse. Clinical social workers are licensed to provide mental health counseling for their clients as well as practical help in finding housing, dealing with bills, or placement within the foster care system. A master's degree sets clinical social workers apart from social workers with a bachelor's degree and can generally make them eligible for a higher salary.
|Careers with a Master's in Counseling||Median Salary (2019)||Job Growth (2016-26)|
|Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Therapist||$44,630||23%|
|Family and Marriage Counselor||$50,090||23%|
|Clinical Social Worker||56,781||16%|
Admittance Requirements for a Master's in Mental Health Counseling Program
Before you apply you will need a bachelor's degree in psychology, sociology, or a related field. Take the time to develop positive relationships with your professors during your bachelor's degree program. You will need to ask them for letters of recommendation for your master's degree application. While most universities require a GRE test score, if you prefer not to take the GRE there are a variety of programs that do not require it.
Because mental health is becoming an increasingly recognized problem in our society, the job outlook for counseling careers is on the rise. By pursuing a master's in mental health counseling, you have the opportunity to work with clients in a variety of settings and have a massive positive impact on their lives.