Mental Health Specialist Salary

Earnings for Mental Health Specialists in the United States come in at around $14.46 per hour on average. Earnings sit near $10.10 per hour on the lower side but can approach $21.43 on the higher side. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Most Mental Health Specialists report high levels of job satisfaction. Although a strong majority have medical coverage and the larger part have dental coverage, between a fifth and a fourth claim no health benefits at all. Most Mental Health Specialists survey respondents are women (72 percent). The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$29,252 - $58,873
(Median)
$29K
$41K
$59K
MEDIAN: $41,241
10%
50%
90%

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$10.10 - $21.43
(Median)
$10
$14
$21
MEDIAN: $14.00
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$20K$40K$60K
Salary
$29,252 - $58,873  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,510  
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).
)
$23,204 - $51,690  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 152
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$10$20$30
Hourly Rate
$10.10 - $21.43  
   
Overtime
$13.81 - $28.52  
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$20K$40K$60K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,510  
   
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).
)
$23,204 - $51,690  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 238
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Job Description for Mental Health Specialist

A mental health specialist assists clients with understanding and living with mental illness and its effects on those around them, especially families. While many aspects of the job have a great deal in common with the work of psychologists or psychiatrists in private practice, the mental health specialist in many situations is the first encounter for a person seeking advice or counseling in this field. Mental health specialists may work in hospitals and clinics in this first-contact role; these specialists also work for wellness programs at businesses, schools and other institutions.

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Mental Health Specialist Tasks

  • Develop treatment, prevention and intervention plans emphasis on prevention.
  • Manage caseload and documentation.
  • Gather information about patients using interviews, case histories, observations and assessments.
  • Provide individual, family and group therapy.

Common Career Paths for Mental Health Specialist


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Mental Health Specialists who advance into the role of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker are fairly uncommon. Licensed Clinical Social Workers on average earn $51K per year. Mental Health Counselors or MSW Social Workers are common next-step roles for Mental Health Specialists moving up in their careers; annual pay for Mental Health Counselors is $3K higher on average, and it's $7K higher for MSW Social Workers.

Mental Health Counselor Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Mental Health Specialist


Typical Mental Health Specialists report a focused set of job skills. Group Therapy and Case Management are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay by 15 percent and 4 percent, respectively. Many workers who know Case Management also know Counseling.

Pay by Experience Level for Mental Health Specialist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Mental Health Specialists with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. People who have worked for fewer than five years bring home $32K on average. Median compensation in the five-to-10 year group, however, is higher at approximately $38K. Mental Health Specialists see a median salary of $40K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Seasoned veterans with 20 years under their belts enjoy a median income of $48K.

Mental Health Specialist Advice

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

Mental Health Specialist in Columbia:
"I just wish we could get paid more money."
Just love the field of working in it. It requires a lot of patience. There are different days you can't expect the day to be the same. Your responsibilities are to take care of the clients according to the state requirements.

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Experience Affects Mental Health Specialist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 39%

Experienced
up arrow 16%

Mid-Career
up arrow 8%

National Average
$35,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 7%

Skills That Affect Mental Health Specialist Salaries

Group Therapy
up arrow 15%

Case Management
up arrow 4%

Counseling
up arrow 2%

National Average
$35,000

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 51 votes.

Gender

Female
72 %
Male
28 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
45%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 74%
dental benefits
Dental: 66%
medical benefits
Vision: 51%
dental benefits
None: 22%
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