Licensed Mental Health Counselor Salary

Licensed Mental Health Counselors in the United States take home approximately $45K per year on average. Pay generally varies between $34K and $68K per year. Location and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Licensed Mental Health Counselors like their work and job satisfaction is high. Although a fair number have medical coverage and a majority have dental coverage, approximately one in four claim no health benefits at all. The vast majority of Licensed Mental Health Counselors (80 percent) who participated in the survey are women. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
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$33,997 - $62,186
(Median)
$34K
$45K
$62K
MEDIAN: $45,168
10%
50%
90%

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$17.56 - $48.30
(Median)
$18
$25
$48
MEDIAN: $24.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$23K$46K$69K
Salary
$33,997 - $62,186  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,037  
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).
)
$34,346 - $67,549  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 549
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$17.56 - $48.30  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $31.09  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,037  
   
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).
)
$34,346 - $67,549  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 184
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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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Survey results imply that Licensed Mental Health Counselors put a diverse skill set to use. Most notably, skills in Counseling, Clinical Supervision, Diagnosis and Treatment Planning, and Patient Counseling are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Crisis intervention, Group Therapy, and Patient Counseling. It is not unusual for someone who knows Counseling to be familiar with Diagnosis and Treatment Planning as well.

Pay by Experience Level for Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Licensed Mental Health Counselors — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $43K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $47K. For Licensed Mental Health Counselors, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $50K. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $52K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


For Licensed Mental Health Counselors, busy Florida offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 18 percent above the national average. Licensed Mental Health Counselors will also find cushy salaries in New York (+13 percent), Miami (+9 percent), Fort Lauderdale (+9 percent), and Jacksonville (+3 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Pensacola, 14 percent below the national average. Employers in Omaha and Orlando also lean toward paying below-median salaries (14 percent lower and 9 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Licensed Mental Health Counselor Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 11%

Experienced
up arrow 8%


National Average
$47,000


Skills That Affect Licensed Mental Health Counselor Salaries

Counseling
0%

Clinical Supervision
0%

National Average
$47,000

Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
up arrow 2%

Patient Counseling
up arrow 7%

Group Therapy
up arrow 9%

Crisis intervention
up arrow 10%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 91 votes.

Gender

Female
80 %
Male
20 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
25%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 72% dental benefits Dental: 57%
vision benefits Vision: 44% employee benefits None: 27%
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