Licensed Mental Health Counselor Salary

For Licensed Mental Health Counselors, yearly average wages total $45K annually. Pay ranges from $35K on the low end to $68K per year on the high end. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. The vast majority of Licensed Mental Health Counselors (80 percent) who responded to the survey are women. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — just under one in three lack coverage. On the flip side, a strong majority have medical insurance and the greater part receive dental plans. Work is enjoyable for Licensed Mental Health Counselors, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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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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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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Popular Skills for Licensed Mental Health Counselor


Survey results suggest that Licensed Mental Health Counselors use a fairly large toolkit of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Clinical Supervision, Diagnosis and Treatment Planning, Patient Counseling, and Counseling are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Crisis intervention and Group Therapy. It is often found that people who know Counseling are 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.


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $44K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $47K. For Licensed Mental Health Counselors, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $50K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $52K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $46,692

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

Home to some of the best pay for Licensed Mental Health Counselors, Florida offers exceptional salaries, 17 percent above the national average. Licensed Mental Health Counselors can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Fort Lauderdale (+10 percent), Worcester (+9 percent), Miami (+9 percent), and New York (+7 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 14 percent south of the national average, can be found in Pensacola. Below-median salaries also turn up 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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