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Licensed Mental Health Counselor Salary (United States)

Median pay for Licensed Mental Health Counselors in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $45K per year. Pay generally varies between $34K and $69K per year. Geographic location and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Licensed Mental Health Counselors report high levels of job satisfaction. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Licensed Mental Health Counselors making up 79 percent. Although a majority have medical coverage and over one-half have dental coverage, slightly less than a third claim no health benefits at all. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
Licensed Mental Health Counselor Salary (?
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.
)
$34,190 - $61,926
(Median)
34K
39K
45K
52K
62K
MEDIAN: $44,948
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Licensed Mental Health Counselor Salary (?
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.
)
$17.46 - $60.82
(Median)
17
25
35
61
MEDIAN: $25.00
10%
50%
75%
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$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$34,190 - $61,926  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,957  
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).
)
$34,464 - $69,427  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 383
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$21$42$63
Hourly Rate
$17.46 - $60.82  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $29.36  
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 - $1,957  
   
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).
)
$34,464 - $69,427  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 130
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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.

Licensed Professional Counselor Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Licensed Mental Health Counselors usually report a few specific skills. Those who have experience with Diagnosis and Treatment Planning, Counseling, and Crisis intervention can expect to be compensated well for these skills. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Crisis intervention. Most people 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.
For many Licensed Mental Health Counselors, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. The average inexperienced worker earns $44K, and someone who has worked for five to 10 years can expect a bigger median salary of $46K. Licensed Mental Health Counselors claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median 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

New York
up arrow 20%
Florida
up arrow 19%
Seattle
up arrow 18%
Fort Lauderdale
up arrow 9%
Miami
up arrow 6%
Indianapolis
up arrow 1%
Jacksonville
0%
National Average
$46,000
Boston
up arrow 1%
Chicago
up arrow 3%
Spokane
up arrow 3%
Orlando
up arrow 4%
Tampa
up arrow 4%
Phoenix
up arrow 5%
Atlanta
up arrow 7%
Omaha
up arrow 14%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
New York offers some of the highest pay in the country for Licensed Mental Health Counselors, 20 percent above the national average. Licensed Mental Health Counselors will also find cushy salaries in Florida (+19 percent), Seattle (+18 percent), Fort Lauderdale (+9 percent), and Miami (+6 percent). The lowest-paying market is Omaha, which sits 14 percent below the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Atlanta and Phoenix (7 percent lower and 5 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Licensed Mental Health Counselor Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 12%
Experienced
up arrow 7%
Mid-Career
0%
National Average
$46,000

Skills That Affect Licensed Mental Health Counselor Salaries

Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
up arrow 15%
National Average
$46,000
Counseling
up arrow 1%
Crisis intervention
up arrow 9%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 71 votes.

Gender

Female
79%
female alumni
 
Male
21%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
35%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
26%
20 years or more
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 69% dental benefits Dental: 55%
vision benefits Vision: 42% employee benefits None: 29%