Licensed Mental Health Counselors in the United States take home approximately $46K per year on average. Location and tenure each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Licensed Mental Health Counselors report high levels of job satisfaction. Some workers in this field — roughly a fourth — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by a fair number and dental plans are enjoyed by more than half. The vast majority of Licensed Mental Health Counselors (82 percent) who responded to the survey are women. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$34,481 - $62,649
$34K
$46K
$63K
MEDIAN: $46,063
10%
50%
90%

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$17.03 - $41.63
$17
$25
$42
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$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$34,481 - $62,649  
   
Bonus
$-0.49 - $9,787  
Profit Sharing
$1,750  
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).
)
$34,711 - $69,997  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 533
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$15$30$45
Hourly Rate
$17.03 - $41.63  
   
Overtime
$12.16 - $42.95  
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$30K$60K$90K
Bonus
$-0.49 - $9,787  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,750  
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).
)
$34,711 - $69,997  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 235

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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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

  • 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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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


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

National Average: $47,906

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

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Gender

Female
82 %
Male
18 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 74 votes.
Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
22%
20 years or more
10%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Licensed Mental Health Counselor Salaries




National Average
$48,000


Skills That Affect Licensed Mental Health Counselor Salaries

Patient Counseling
up arrow 9%




Clinical Supervision
0%

National Average
$48,000

Crisis intervention
up arrow 12%

Substance Abuse
up arrow 23%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 74 votes.

Gender

Female
82 %
Male
18 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
22%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 71%
dental benefits
Dental: 59%
vision benefits
Vision: 48%
dental benefits
None: 27%
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