Mental Health Careers
Your Career in Mental Health Starts Here
If you are interested in helping others, a career in mental health may be for you. Whether you are just starting your search, or you are looking to advance in either pay or responsibility, there is always room for you in this quickly growing field. Mental health care as a profession is expected to grow 23 percent in the coming decade, far surpassing other fields. This is due to ongoing mental health impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic, social media, ongoing stressors, and more people seeking help. The field of mental health includes counselors, therapists, psychologists and more.
Beyond the Degree
A degree is often required to work in the mental health field, but learning doesn’t stop there. For counselors, social workers, therapists, and psychologists, you’ll need licensure and continuing education to maintain the necessary credentials to work in the field. You’ll also want to join organizations, attend conferences, network, and connect with your peers so you can provide patients and clients with the best care.
The wonderful thing about the mental health field is the wide variety of employment possibilities You can work one-on-one, in a business, in a school, or for the government. You can have your own practice or work for a company. If you prefer hands-on patient care, you can do that, or you can work in administrative or leadership roles, managing other mental health professionals.
Be a Part of the Mental Health Team
Helping someone get their life back is rewarding, but sometimes difficult work. For many people, they need a whole team of individuals in their corner to be successful. As a part of the mental health team, you can work in a group or alone, in a company or in a private practice. You may travel for work, be asked to speak or help in schools or in governments and experience a lot of variety in your work.
More Than a Healthcare Career
While a career in mental health involves a lot of study of health and human behavior, not everyone on the mental healthcare team must have a healthcare background. Social workers and psychologists may study more of the human aspect of mental health, whereas a substance abuse counselor may study more of the science of addiction and therapies to treat substance use disorder. No matter which direction you choose, there is room in the mental health field for people with varied backgrounds and expertise.
Find Your Ideal Mental Health Career
Looking at the various mental health careers, maybe you already know which one you want to pursue, or possibly you are just starting your search. Either way, we hope you find these informative guides helpful, as a fulfilling, meaningful and rewarding profession awaits you. Now, you have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of patients, clients, friends and loved ones, and the overall community.
Whether you are interested in numbers and paperwork, or you like counseling and direct patient care, there are a variety of important roles within a mental healthcare team. From therapists who counsel houseless patients to the social workers and administrators who help set up housing or build plans to transition people to better situations, there are a variety of job functions within mental health that can help people get their lives back on track.
Get started learning about your new career in mental health!
A school psychologist works with students at one or more schools to help with mental health issues like bullying, self esteem and anxiety.
A counselor works in the mental health field and can work with a wide variety of patients like those with substance use disorder.
A social worker can be a member of the mental health team for a patient if they are a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).
A therapist can work in substance abuse counseling, behavioral health or marriage and family therapy.
An addiction counselor works with people suffering from substance use disorder to help them recover.
Marriage and Family Therapist
A Marriage and Family therapist works with families and has special education and licensing.
Earn Your Degree
The beginning of a career in mental health starts with higher education. For many roles such as counseling and social work, you’ll need at least a master’s degree in mental health counseling or a related field.
To practice as a mental health professional, you’ll have to obtain and maintain licensure. Each state has different requirements, and many require supervised postgraduate experience, an exam, a background check and annual renewal with continuing education.
Begin Your Career
Once you have completed your education and licensure, you’ll still need to network and interview to get the job you want. Like any role, you may have to work your way up to get the job you truly want. Finding a mentor to help you navigate your new career path is very helpful.