Mental Health Specialist Salary

The average Mental Health Specialist in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $14.44 per hour. Lower pay rates hover around $10.02 per hour, and the higher rates verge on $21.90. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Work is enjoyable for Mental Health Specialists, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Mental Health Specialists making up 70 percent. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — between a fifth and a fourth lack coverage. On the flip side, a strong majority have medical insurance and a majority receive dental plans. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$28,908 - $59,562
(Median)
$29K
$41K
$60K
MEDIAN: $41,154
10%
50%
90%

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$10.02 - $21.90
(Median)
$10
$14
$22
MEDIAN: $14.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$20K$40K$60K
Salary
$28,908 - $59,562  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,542  
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).
)
$22,674 - $53,367  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 132
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$11$22$33
Hourly Rate
$10.02 - $21.90  
   
Overtime
$14.83 - $32.00  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$22K$44K$66K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,542  
   
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).
)
$22,674 - $53,367  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 199
United States (change)

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United States (change)


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Job Description for Mental Health Specialist

  • 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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There are some Mental Health Specialists — though it's uncommon — that transition into Licensed Clinical Social Workers, where earnings are an average $51K annually. A common career progression for a Mental Health Specialist is to become a Mental Health Counselor or a MSW Social Worker. Compared to Mental Health Specialists, the first group earns $2K more on average, and the second group earns $6K more.

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Mental Health Specialists who responded to the survey report just a handful of professional skills. Those who have experience with Group Therapy, Case Management, and Counseling can expect to be compensated well for these skills. Counseling is a skill commonly found among those who know Case Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Mental Health Specialist

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


For many Mental Health Specialists, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $32K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $39K. Mental Health Specialists who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $42K. Ultimately, more time spent in the workforce does seem to translate to bigger paychecks; seasoned veterans with more than 20 years of experience report a median income of $48K.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Mental Health Specialist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 37%

Experienced
up arrow 19%

Mid-Career
up arrow 11%

National Average
$35,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 8%

Skills That Affect Mental Health Specialist Salaries

Group Therapy
up arrow 19%

Case Management
up arrow 2%

Counseling
up arrow 1%

National Average
$35,000

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 53 votes.

Gender

Female
70 %
Male
30 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
46%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
5%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 75% dental benefits Dental: 68%
vision benefits Vision: 52% employee benefits None: 22%
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