Licensed Mental Health Counselor Salary

Average Licensed Mental Health Counselors in the United States make around $45K per year. Lower pay rates hover around $35K, and the higher rates verge on $68K per year. Geographic location and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The vast majority (80 percent) of Licensed Mental Health Counselors who took the survey are female. Most Licensed Mental Health Counselors like their work and job satisfaction is high. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — just under one in three lack coverage. On the flip side, a fair number have medical insurance and more than half receive dental plans. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$34,111 - $61,608
(Median)
$34K
$45K
$62K
MEDIAN: $45,155
10%
50%
90%

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$17.70 - $47.78
(Median)
$18
$25
$48
MEDIAN: $24.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$23K$46K$69K
Salary
$34,111 - $61,608  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,032  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$34,545 - $67,950  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 690
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$16$32$48
Hourly Rate
$17.70 - $47.78  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $43.68  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$32K$64K$96K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,032  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$34,545 - $67,950  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 249
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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.

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Licensed Mental Health Counselor Tasks

  • Conduct psychological assessments, make recommendations, and maintain records.
  • Prepare and execute treatment plans according to the needs of each patient.
  • Facilitate adult or youth groups and individual counseling sessions.

Common Career Paths for Licensed Mental Health Counselor


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For Licensed Mental Health Counselors, career advancements do not tend to correlate with a rise in salary. On average, lower-level Licensed Mental Health Counselors earn similar salaries to those in higher-end positions like Licensed Professional Counselor.

Licensed Professional Counselor Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Licensed Mental Health Counselor


Licensed Mental Health Counselors report using a diverse set of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Clinical Supervision, Diagnosis and Treatment Planning, Patient Counseling, and Counseling are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Crisis intervention and Group Therapy. Those proficient in Counseling are, more often than not, also skilled 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.


For Licensed Mental Health Counselors, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $44K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $47K. Licensed Mental Health Counselors claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $50K. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $52K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $46,692

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Surpassing the national average by 17 percent, Licensed Mental Health Counselors in Florida receive some of the highest pay in the country. Licensed Mental Health Counselors will also find cushy salaries in Fort Lauderdale (+10 percent), Worcester (+9 percent), Miami (+9 percent), and New York (+7 percent). In Pensacola, salaries are 14 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Tampa and Atlanta (7 percent lower and 6 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Licensed Mental Health Counselor Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 11%



National Average
$47,000


Skills That Affect Licensed Mental Health Counselor Salaries

Clinical Supervision
up arrow 3%

Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
up arrow 1%

Patient Counseling
up arrow 1%

Counseling
0%

National Average
$47,000

Group Therapy
up arrow 8%

Crisis intervention
up arrow 10%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 119 votes.

Gender

Female
80 %
Male
20 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
39%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 71%
dental benefits
Dental: 57%
medical benefits
Vision: 45%
dental benefits
None: 28%
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