Licensed Mental Health Counselor Salary

An average Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the United States can expect to take home roughly $45K annually. Earnings generally vary between $35K and $67K per year. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. There are far more female Licensed Mental Health Counselors who answered the questionnaire than men, making up 80 percent. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Health benefits are not claimed by all — just under one in three lack any form of coverage — but a strong majority have medical insurance, and a majority have dental, too. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$34,098 - $62,060
(Median)
$34K
$45K
$62K
MEDIAN: $45,239
10%
50%
90%

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$17.87 - $48.65
(Median)
$18
$25
$49
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
$34,098 - $62,060  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,008  
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).
)
$34,521 - $67,322  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 459
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
$17.87 - $48.65  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $48.48  
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 - $2,008  
   
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).
)
$34,521 - $67,322  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 153

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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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Many Licensed Mental Health Counselors move into a Licensed Professional Counselor role, which does not lead to a big boost in pay. Licensed Professional Counselors on average bring in a similar salary to Licensed Mental Health Counselors.

Licensed Professional Counselor Job Listings

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Job skills reported by Licensed Mental Health Counselors are limited. Most notably, skills in Diagnosis and Treatment Planning, Counseling, Group Therapy, and Crisis intervention are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Crisis intervention and Group Therapy. Employees educated in Counseling are typically practiced in Diagnosis and Treatment Planning, too.

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. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $43K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $47K. Licensed Mental Health Counselors with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $50K. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $52K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

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 can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like New York (+14 percent), Fort Lauderdale (+9 percent), Miami (+7 percent), and Seattle (+3 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 14 percent south of the national average, can be found in Omaha. Below-median salaries also turn up in Atlanta and Phoenix (7 percent lower and 6 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

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

Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
up arrow 3%

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 88 votes.

Gender

Female
80 %
Male
20 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 71% dental benefits Dental: 56%
vision benefits Vision: 44% employee benefits None: 28%