Mental Health Specialist Salary

Mental Health Specialists in the United States take home approximately $14.46 per hour on average. Pay generally varies between $10.10 per hour and $21.43. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Female Mental Health Specialists make up most of the survey respondents at 72 percent. The majority of Mental Health Specialists claim high levels of job satisfaction. Although a strong majority have medical coverage and a majority have dental coverage, between a fifth and a fourth claim no health benefits at all. This overview is based on answers to 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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It's not very common for Mental Health Specialists to move on to become Licensed Clinical Social Workers. Average pay for a Licensed Clinical Social Worker is $51K annually. The most common next step for a Mental Health Specialist is to become a Mental Health Counselor or a MSW Social Worker. The former position pays an additional $3K per year on average, and the latter position pays $7K more per year.

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Popular Skills for Mental Health Specialist


Survey takers who work as 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. Employees educated in Case Management are typically practiced in Counseling, too.

Pay by Experience Level for Mental Health Specialist

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


Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Mental Health Specialists. Folks with fewer than five years of experience take home $32K on average, and those who have worked for five to 10 years see a bigger median salary of $38K. Mental Health Specialists see a median salary of $40K after reaching one to two decades on the job. More than 20 years of experience seem related to solid financial gains; veterans in this group report earning a median 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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