Licensed Mental Health Counselor Salary
Job Description for Licensed Mental Health Counselor
A licensed mental health counselor works with different types of patients in a variety of settings. Some work in clinics or hospitals treating patients as they arrive and in ongoing therapy. Others see patients in their homes for family counseling, and still others work in courts specifically overseeing matters of child custody and adoption. The counselor routinely deals with patients dealing with psychological issues. These may include - but are not limited to - substance abuse, depression, anxiety, relationships issues, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sexual violence, and domestic violence. To best aid patients, the counselor regularly consults with (and often reports to) other medical professionals, law enforcement, educational professionals, and courts.Read More...
A typical day for a counselor begins by reviewing upcoming scheduled patients and meeting with those patients. After each patient meeting, a recorded assessment of progress is noted in their patient file. Follow-up calls with other professionals to discuss patient care and treatment may be necessary. Meeting with hospitalized, institutionalized, or home-bound patients may also take place during the work day. Patient paperwork and notations to fellow professionals often require additional time in the office or at home.
A licensed mental health counselor spends many years training for this position. After successful completion of a master's degree in mental health, a prospective counselor then performs two years of supervised clinical experience. Then, the candidate takes a licensing exam to receive the title of licensed mental health counselor.
Licensed Mental Health Counselor Tasks
- Facilitate adult or youth groups and individual counseling sessions.
- Prepare and execute treatment plans according to the needs of each patient.
- Conduct psychological assessments, make recommendations, and maintain records.
Common Career Paths for Licensed Mental Health Counselor
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Popular Skills for Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, skills in Patient Counseling, Group Therapy, Diagnosis and Treatment Planning, and Counseling are correlated to pay that is above average. Substance Abuse and Crisis intervention, on the other hand, are typically associated with much lower pay. Those educated in Counseling tend to be well versed in Clinical Supervision.
Pay by Experience Level for Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $44K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $49K. Licensed Mental Health Counselors who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $53K. Licensed Mental Health Counselors who have acquired more than two decades of experience generally do see greater compensation; their average income is approximately $57K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Licensed Mental Health Counselors, busy Florida offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 14 percent above the national average. Licensed Mental Health Counselors will also find cushy salaries in Worcester (+13 percent), Fort Lauderdale (+9 percent), Spokane (+8 percent), and Miami (+7 percent). The lowest-paying market is Pensacola, which sits 17 percent below the national average. Employers in Omaha and Tampa also lean toward paying below-median salaries (17 percent lower and 14 percent lower, respectively).
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Key Stats for Licensed Mental Health Counselor
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