Is a Career in Mental Health Right for Me?

Published On: Oct 24, 2019
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Mental Health has been a hot topic over the past decade and more so over the last few years. Nearly one in five American adults have some form of mental illness.  Awareness has grown, while the stigma associated with mental and behavioral health conditions is starting to decline.  In many areas throughout the country, there is a lack of professionals and resources that are needed to effectively treat those suffering from mental illness.  With a lot of progress still to be made, many are contemplating careers in this field.  This article will touch on some of the things you should consider if mental health is right for you.

What to Consider:

Working in the mental health industry is an admirable decision, however it does take a certain skill set and personality to succeed.  Of course, you need an inherit concern for the well being of others as well as being dependable and honest, but the ability to tolerate stress and exhibit self-control are integral personality traits.

Career Paths:

There are many specific fields and subsets that can be of interest to you.  Here are our top four careers in mental healthcare to explore:

  • Social Worker

  • Counselor

  • Psychiatrist

  • Psychologist


Counseling

Social Worker: 

Assist those with mental or behavioral disorders that affect quality of life and provide treatment through therapy to help manage their conditions.

2018 Average Salary - $56K - $68K

Degree Needed:  Master’s Degree in Social Work – MSW

 

Counselor (Mental Health):

Help those suffering from mental or emotional disorders, including addiction.  They work with individuals, families, or groups.

2018 Average Salary - $55k - $66k

Degree Needed:  A License in your state as well as a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling.

 

Psychiatrist:

These are actual physicians who focus on diagnosing and treating mental (psychiatric) illness and disorders. They can also prescribe medications.

2018 Average Salary - $201K - $252K

Degree Needed:  Bachelor’s, 4-Year Medical, 4-Year Psychiatric Residency, Certification and License from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology or American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry

 

Psychologist:

Also diagnoses and treats those with mental or behavioral disorders as well as injuries.  They are trained in many ways to treat a patient such as behavioral therapy and psychotherapy.

2018 Average Salary - $91K - $114K

Degree Needed: Psy.D. or Ph.D. Degree in Psychology Working in the mental health industry is an admirable decision, however it does take a certain skill set and personality to succeed.