Entry-Level Mental Health Counselors are not likely to strike it rich; they only make around $38K annually on average. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the specific employer. Most Entry-Level Mental Health Counselors survey respondents are women (78 percent). Work is enjoyable for Entry-Level Mental Health Counselors, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. While nearly one-fourth report receiving no health benefits, a strong majority do receive medical coverage, and more than half have dental, as well. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.

$29,530 - $49,610
(Median)
$30K
$38K
$50K
MEDIAN: $38,465
10%
50%
90%

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$12.02 - $28.35
(Median)
$12
$17
$28
MEDIAN: $17.00
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
$29,530 - $49,610  
   
Bonus
$193.92 - $5,171  
Profit Sharing
$2,000  
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).
)
$27,896 - $51,660  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 950
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 - $28.35  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.67  
Overtime
$13.44 - $30.50  
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
$193.92 - $5,171  
   
Profit Sharing
$2,000  
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).
)
$27,896 - $51,660  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 575
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Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $37,955

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

With a pay rate for Entry-Level Mental Health Counselors that is 16 percent greater than the national average, New York offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Entry-Level Mental Health Counselors can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Miami (+11 percent), Atlanta (+11 percent), Seattle (+7 percent), and San Diego (+6 percent). With compensation 12 percent below the national average, Chicago is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Workers in Memphis and Lynchburg earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (9 percent less and 8 percent less, respectively).

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.

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Skills That Affect Mental Health Counselor Salaries

Spanish Language
up arrow 8%

Family Practice
up arrow 7%

Bereavement Counseling
up arrow 6%

Clinical Psychology
up arrow 4%

Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
up arrow 3%

Group Therapy
up arrow 2%

Community Health
up arrow 2%

Counseling
up arrow 1%

National Average
$38,000

Case Management
up arrow 1%

Milieu Therapy
up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 128 votes.

Gender

Female
78 %
Male
22 %

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 74%
dental benefits
Dental: 58%
medical benefits
Vision: 45%
dental benefits
None: 24%
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