Entry-Level Mental Health Counselor Salary

Entry-Level Mental Health Counselors can expect only a modest salary, with average pay of just $37K annually. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the specific employer. While some workers in this profession — close to one-fourth — do not have any health coverage, a strong majority do receive medical benefits and more than half have dental insurance. Most Entry-Level Mental Health Counselors report high levels of job satisfaction. Most Entry-Level Mental Health Counselors survey respondents are women (78 percent). This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$28,877 - $49,547
(Median)
$29K
$37K
$50K
MEDIAN: $37,230
10%
50%
90%

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$12.02 - $29.13
(Median)
$12
$17
$29
MEDIAN: $16.00
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$18K$36K$54K
Salary
$28,877 - $49,547  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,920  
Profit Sharing
$300.00  
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).
)
$27,480 - $51,505  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,185
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$11$22$33
Hourly Rate
$12.02 - $29.13  
   
Hourly Tips
$3.63  
Overtime
$1.82 - $32.21  
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$22K$44K$66K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,920  
   
Profit Sharing
$300.00  
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).
)
$27,480 - $51,505  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 692
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Mental Health Counselor Job Listings

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Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $36,680

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

Home to some of the best pay for Entry-Level Mental Health Counselors, New York offers exceptional salaries, 15 percent above the national average. Entry-Level Mental Health Counselors can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Baltimore (+12 percent), Miami (+11 percent), Atlanta (+10 percent), and Denver (+9 percent). Pittsburgh is the lowest-paying area, 18 percent south of the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Chicago (6 percent lower) and Richmond (4 percent lower).

Mental Health Counselor Advice

What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?

Mental Health Counselor in Denver:
"Growth opportunities."
Be sure to explore opportunities for growth. Bachelor's level won't get anyone very far these days, so if it's all you have, make sure you ask about additional responsibilities that would also involve a raise. Also, does the employer pay for additional schooling or training.

Mental Health Counselor in Centralia:
"Get a a mentor."
Make sure that you have a good mentor for on the job training to learn what you don't learn in school.

Mental Health Counselor in Nashville:
"How the organization was structured."
Before you say yes to a firm, be sure that all aspects of the agency function is explained.

Mental Health Counselor in Florida:
"That the salary would be lower than what is deserved."
Work hard and study hard. Concentrate on the areas that most interest you and develop your theories from there.

United States (change)

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

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Skills That Affect Mental Health Counselor Salaries

Family Practice
up arrow 9%

Bereavement Counseling
up arrow 8%

Spanish Language
up arrow 8%

Clinical Psychology
up arrow 4%

Group Therapy
up arrow 4%

Counseling
up arrow 1%

Community Health
up arrow 1%

Case Management
0%

National Average
$37,000

Milieu Therapy
up arrow 1%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 203 votes.

Gender

Female
78 %
Male
22 %

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 73%
dental benefits
Dental: 58%
medical benefits
Vision: 42%
dental benefits
None: 25%
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