Mental Health Clinician Salary
Job Description for Mental Health Clinician
Mental health clinicians help treat and diagnose individuals who have (or may have) any psychological issues. They work with patients directly using many different techniques, including evaluating patients, conducting therapy sessions (either individual or group), advocating for their patient, and attending court hearings on behalf of their patient. Mental health clinicians may work with individuals dealing with a number of difficult issues, such as addiction, relationship violence, and many different types of trauma.Read More...
Depending on the patient, different approaches are used by clinicians. For this reason, it is important that all mental health clinicians are able to understand clients' needs and how to best help them. In addition, it is important that they have excellent communication and listening skills. They must also be organized and up to date on current best practices in their area of expertise. Additionally, dealing with patients requires a great deal of compassion.
Along with these skills, most states require mental health clinicians to meet an educational requirement. They generally need to have a master's degree in social work with an emphasis on clinical study, therapy, or a related course of study. Without this training, they are not allowed practice or help others. It is also preferred that they have worked 2,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience with a licensed clinician, which in some cases is obtained in a post-master's programs. Additionally, they need proof of a license to be able to practice. This can either be a registration notice or an actual license issued by the state in which they practice. This license generally must state what specific area the clinician is in (such as intern, therapist, and social worker).
Mental Health Clinician Tasks
- Work directly with clients to assess health, create plans and evaluate progress.
- Visit clients at work, home or social settings to assess progress.
- Counsel clients during emergency and crisis events.
- Participate in peer reviews and trainings, including making presentations.
- Connect clients to services, support and resources.
Common Career Paths for Mental Health Clinician
As Mental Health Clinicians transition into upper-level roles such as Clinical Director, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Clinical Directors earn $72K on average per year. Career advancement for the typical Mental Health Clinician often leads to becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker or a Clinical Supervisor; median salaries in these positions are $8K higher and $9K higher, respectively.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Mental Health Clinician
San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center, Inc. attracts talent by shelling out the biggest paychecks in the area — the median in that office is $58K.
Popular Skills for Mental Health Clinician
Survey results suggest that Mental Health Clinicians use a fairly large toolkit of professional skills. Lucky workers who know Clinical Psychology can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 27 percent above average. Spanish Language and Assessment are also correlated to pay that is above average, with increases between 11 percent and 27 percent. It is often found that people who know Case Management are also skilled in Group Therapy.
Pay by Experience Level for Mental Health Clinician
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For many Mental Health Clinicians, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $42K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $48K. Mental Health Clinicians who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $51K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make no more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage.
Pay Difference by Location
San Jose offers some of the highest pay in the country for Mental Health Clinicians, 21 percent above the national average. Mental Health Clinicians will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+20 percent), Anchorage (+15 percent), New York (+11 percent), and Philadelphia (+11 percent). The lowest-paying market is Springfield, which sits 20 percent below the national average. Seattle and Denver are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 14 percent lower and 6 percent lower, respectively.
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