Mental Health Counselor Salary

The Mental Health profession is one that is both tremendously challenging and also incredibly rewarding. Working with people to help them resolve and heal their deep emotional issues and/or break free from addiction to substances is a very intense process. You will want to embody the principles of establishing client rapport, empathy, compassion, active listening, professional boundaries, ethics, creating a safe environment for full emotional expression and skillful recognition and use of appropriate interventions. It is a job full of complexity and subtlety, but for those who have a desire to help others heal their mental and emotional health issues, it is a deeply fulfilling and rewarding career choice.

Having the requisite in-born or learned desire to help you fellow human beings is a critical consideration as this along with self-care is the key to preventing professional burnout from occurring which is common in Mental Health for those who either have limited professional boundaries or do not practice sufficient self-care. For those who are truly pulled to help their fellow human beings there tends to be a greater capacity for resiliency and the ability to flourish even under highly stressful conditions. For those who are able to maintain excellent ethical behavior standards, maintain strong professional boundaries and prioritize self-care, the profession is one that can be deeply fulfilling as well as commanding an excellent salary.

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As a Mental Health Counselor you will be able to diagnose and treat a wide variety of mental and emotional illnesses including substance and other addiction problems. You are able to also recognize appropriate interventions and apply them as necessary. You also will have training around a variety of healing modalities that include interpersonal, cognitive-behavioral, transpersonal and psychodynamic methods of therapy. This all combines to make the Mental Health Counseling profession one that provides potential to be continuously interesting for those who have an inborn desire to help people going through chronic or acute mental health crises.

For Mental Health counselors who have achieved the appropriate educational and licensure requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor in their state or district, you can expect a median salary of $48,250 according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Your salary will of course vary due to a number of factors such as educational level, the organization in which you practice and seniority. You also will see significant differences in salaries between Mental Health Counselors in different states. If you are interested in this occupation you may wish to read more about the Counseling profession in our in-depth article on the career which you can find by clicking here.

2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and employment figures for Mental Health Counselor reflect national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed May 2023.