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Mental Health Therapist Salary (United States)

Earnings for Mental Health Therapists in the United States come in at around $41K annually on average. The bottom of the pay range sits near $32K, and the top verges on $62K per year. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by residence, followed by tenure and the individual firm. Most Mental Health Therapists like their work and job satisfaction is high. While between a fifth and a fourth report receiving no health benefits, a strong majority do receive medical coverage, and more than half have dental, as well. There are far more female Mental Health Therapists who answered the questionnaire than men, making up 83 percent. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
Mental Health Therapist Salary (?
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.
)
$31,374 - $56,160
(Median)
31K
41K
48K
56K
MEDIAN: $40,622
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Mental Health Therapist Salary (?
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.
)
$15.67 - $40.78
(Median)
16
23
29
41
MEDIAN: $22.00
10%
50%
75%
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$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$31,374 - $56,160  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,957  
Profit Sharing
$-0.50 - $127,233  
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).
)
$31,789 - $62,421  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,531
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$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$15.67 - $40.78  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $40.08  
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$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,957  
   
Profit Sharing
$-0.50 - $127,233  
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).
)
$31,789 - $62,421  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 524
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Job Description for Mental Health Therapist

The descriptor "mental health therapist" includes a variety of professionals that conduct therapy as part of their daily responsibilities, such as clinical psychologists, marriage and family therapists, school therapists, social workers, and general therapists. Therapy includes the use of psychological methods - such as cognitive behavioral therapy and psychoanalysis - to help patients overcome behavioral and psychological obstacles and problems. Techniques used by mental health therapist include cognitive-behavioral therapy, word association, and a wide variety of psychological tests, among many others. A mental health therapist can work in their own practice or for a particular company or organization. As part of a company, the therapist may focus on employees' problems and how they affect productivity and job performance.
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Mental Health Therapist Tasks
  • Monitor for and intervene in crisis situations.
  • Document and report on interactions, concerns, treatment, and attendance.
  • Interact with clients, provide therapy, and suggest specific services.
  • Write progress notes and coordinate with other care providers.

Common Career Paths for Mental Health Therapist

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Mental Health Therapists may experience if they take an upper-level role like Clinical Director. The position pays an average $70K annually. It is quite typical for Mental Health Therapists to transition into roles as Licensed Clinical Social Workers or Clinical Supervisors, where reported median earnings are $9K and $9K higher per year.

Mental Health Therapist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Mental Health Therapist

Popular Skills for Mental Health Therapist

Mental Health Therapists report using a pretty varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Spanish Language, Substance Abuse, Assessment, and Group Therapy are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 3 percent and 11 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Diagnosis and Treatment Planning, Crisis intervention, and Clinical Supervision. The majority of those who know Case Management also know Clinical Psychology.

Pay by Experience Level for Mental Health Therapist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. The median compensation for relatively untried workers is $40K; in the five-to-10 year group, it's higher at around $44K. Mental Health Therapists who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $49K. Mental Health Therapists with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $51K.

Pay Difference By Location

Baltimore
up arrow 13%
Raleigh
up arrow 11%
Tulsa
up arrow 9%
Atlanta
up arrow 3%
Minneapolis
up arrow 1%
0%
National Average
$42,000
up arrow 3%
Cincinnati
up arrow 3%
Pittsburgh
up arrow 5%
Portland
up arrow 6%
up arrow 9%
Indianapolis
up arrow 11%
Cleveland
up arrow 11%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Mental Health Therapists, busy Los Angeles offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 19 percent above the national average. Mental Health Therapists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Baltimore (+13 percent), Raleigh (+11 percent), Tulsa (+9 percent), and Philadelphia (+4 percent). Falling short of the national average by 11 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Indianapolis. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Cleveland and Denver (11 percent lower and 9 percent lower, respectively).

Mental Health Therapist Reviews

What is it like working as a Mental Health Therapist?
Mental Health Therapist in Littleton:
"Rewarding In Helping People."
Pros: That I get to help others dive into life and live life more fully and abundantly.
Cons: It can be stressful at times.
Mental Health Therapist in Marietta:
"Entry Level Therapist."
Pros: Working with children and their families and being hands on with them. Teaching families how to communicate and work through problems effectively.
Cons: The amount of paperwork can be overwhelming.
Mental Health Therapist in Seattle:
"Work Flexibility."
Pros: Rewarding to help people who are under served and create a difference in clients life.
Cons: Hours of paperwork and travel time to meet the needs of the clients.

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Experience Affects Mental Health Therapist Salaries

National Average
$42,000

Skills That Affect Mental Health Therapist Salaries

Substance Abuse
up arrow 6%
Assessment
up arrow 3%
Clinical Psychology
up arrow 2%
Group Therapy
up arrow 2%
Counseling
0%
National Average
$42,000
Case Management
up arrow 2%
Crisis intervention
up arrow 3%
Clinical Supervision
up arrow 3%
Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 415 votes.

Gender

Female
83%
female alumni
 
Male
17%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
49%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 75% dental benefits Dental: 64%
vision benefits Vision: 47% employee benefits None: 23%