The average Mental Health Specialist in the United States earns approximately $14.32 per hour. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is geography, followed by career length and the particular employer. While roughly one in four report receiving no health benefits, a fair number do receive medical coverage, and the larger part have dental, as well. For the most part, Mental Health Specialists enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Female Mental Health Specialists make up most of the survey respondents at 75 percent. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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$29,086 - $56,812
(Median)
$29K
$41K
$57K
MEDIAN: $41,063
10%
50%
90%

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$11.15 - $20.81
(Median)
$11
$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$19K$38K$57K
Salary
$29,086 - $56,812  
   
Bonus
$102.13 - $2,349  
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).
)
$24,784 - $50,908  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 112
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$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$11.15 - $20.81  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00  
Overtime
$13.09 - $40.77  
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$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$102.13 - $2,349  
   
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).
)
$24,784 - $50,908  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 210
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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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While not commonly seen, Mental Health Specialists who transition into a Licensed Clinical Social Worker position may see a rise in pay. The median salary for Licensed Clinical Social Workers is $52K per year. Mental Health Specialists most often move into positions as Mental Health Counselors or MSW Social Workers; those groups report median salaries that are $4K higher and $8K higher, respectively.

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Popular Employer Salaries for Mental Health Specialist


Popular Skills for Mental Health Specialist


Mental Health Specialists report a narrow range of specific skills. Those who have experience with Case Management, Counseling, and Group Therapy can expect to be compensated well for these skills. 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.


Mental Health Specialists with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $32K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $37K. Mental Health Specialists claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $42K. Average wages for folks with more than 20 years of experience come out to around $48K.

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Experience Affects Mental Health Specialist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 43%

Experienced
up arrow 25%

Mid-Career
up arrow 11%

National Average
$34,000


Skills That Affect Mental Health Specialist Salaries


Counseling
up arrow 3%

National Average
$34,000

Group Therapy
up arrow 3%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 35 votes.

Gender

Female
75 %
Male
25 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
48%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
15%
20 years or more
5%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 72%
dental benefits
Dental: 59%
medical benefits
Vision: 45%
dental benefits
None: 25%
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