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Licensed Mental Health Counselor Salary

Licensed Mental Health Counselors in the United States pull down an average of $45K per year. The income range spans the entire spectrum between $34K and $67K per year. Location and experience level 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 — nearly one-fourth — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by a fair number and dental plans are enjoyed by a majority. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$34,128 - $62,013
(Median)
$34K
$45K
$62K
MEDIAN: $45,135
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
$34,128 - $62,013  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,016  
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).
)
$34,415 - $66,586  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 488
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 - $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 - $2,016  
   
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).
)
$34,415 - $66,586  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 156

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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

  • 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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Licensed Mental Health Counselors who go on to become Licensed Professional Counselors may see somewhat stagnant compensation. On average, a Licensed Professional Counselor, an upper-level role, pays $46K.

Licensed Professional Counselor Job Listings

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Typical Licensed Mental Health Counselors report a focused set of job skills. Most notably, skills in Counseling, Diagnosis and Treatment Planning, Group Therapy, and Crisis intervention are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Crisis intervention, Group Therapy, and Diagnosis and Treatment Planning. Many workers who know Counseling also know Diagnosis and Treatment Planning.

Pay by Experience Level for Licensed Mental Health Counselor

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


Licensed Mental Health Counselors with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $43K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $47K. Licensed Mental Health Counselors with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $50K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $52K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Licensed Mental Health Counselors, working in the bustling city of Florida has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Licensed Mental Health Counselors will also find cushy salaries in New York (+13 percent), Fort Lauderdale (+9 percent), Miami (+7 percent), and Spokane (+2 percent). Trailing the national average by 14 percent, Omaha is the market with the smallest paychecks. Employers pay around 8 percent less in Orlando and 7 percent less in Atlanta, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Licensed Mental Health Counselor Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 11%

Experienced
up arrow 9%


National Average
$46,000


Skills That Affect Licensed Mental Health Counselor Salaries

Counseling
0%

National Average
$46,000

Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
up arrow 4%

Group Therapy
up arrow 9%

Crisis intervention
up arrow 9%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 89 votes.

Gender

Female
79 %
Male
21 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
26%
20 years or more
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 71% dental benefits Dental: 56%
vision benefits Vision: 44% employee benefits None: 27%
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