Career Attributes

  • $37,848
  • 157,700
  • 3.1
  • 23.1%
  • Master's degree
  • Counseling Psychology
More Attributes

Overview

A master’s degree in counseling is required. A bachelor’s degree in most fields is acceptable to enter a master’s-level program.

Counseling programs prepare students to recognize symptoms of mental and emotional disorders and to use effective counseling strategies. Specific programs, such as marriage and family therapy programs, teach students about how marriages, families, and relationships function and how they affect mental and emotional disorders. Both programs typically require a period of supervised experience, such as an internship.

Mental health counselors must be licensed. Licensure requires a master’s degree and 2,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience.

What are Mental Health Counselors like?

Social

Based on our pool of users, Mental Health Counselors tend to be predominately social people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Mental Health Counselors by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 589 CareerExplorer users

Are Mental Health Counselors happy?

42ndpercentile

Mental Health Counselors rank among the least happy careers. Overall they rank in the 42nd percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Mental Health Counselor Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of Mental Health Counselors

The most common degree held by Mental Health Counselors is Psychology. 53% of Mental Health Counselors had a degree in Psychology before becoming Mental Health Counselors. That is over 8 times the average across all careers. Counseling Psychology graduates are the second most common among Mental Health Counselors, representing 18% of Mental Health Counselors in the CareerExplorer user base, which is 48.8 times the average.

Mental Health Counselor Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Mental Health Counselor, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of Mental Health Counselors % of population Multiple
Psychology 53.3% 7.0% 7.6×
Counseling Psychology 17.5% 0.4% 48.8×
Social Work 11.6% 0.5% 21.8×
English Literature 5.6% 4.9% 1.2×
Sociology 4.9% 2.1% 2.3×
Philosophy And Religious Studies 3.5% 1.6% 2.2×
Community And Public Health 2.8% 0.8% 3.4×
Criminal Justice 2.8% 1.4% 2.0×
Clinical Psychology 2.8% 0.1% 24.2×
Communications 2.5% 3.4% 0.7×
School Student Counseling 2.5% 0.2% 15.4×
Political Science 2.1% 2.9% 0.7×
Business Management And Administration 1.8% 6.5% 0.3×
General Education 1.8% 0.7% 2.7×
Foreign Language Studies 1.8% 1.3% 1.3×
Anthropology And Archeology 1.8% 1.3% 1.4×
Educational Psychology 1.8% 0.1% 13.7×
Fine Arts 1.4% 2.2% 0.6×
Business 1.4% 2.6% 0.5×
Elementary Education 1.4% 0.5% 2.6×
Special Needs Education 1.4% 0.3% 5.0×
Theology And Religious Vocations 1.4% 0.4% 3.5×
History 1.4% 2.3% 0.6×
Drama 1.1% 1.1% 1.0×
Biology 1.1% 3.6% 0.3×
Journalism 1.1% 1.1% 0.9×
Other Foreign Languages 1.1% 0.6% 1.9×
Art History 1.1% 0.7% 1.6×
Industrial And Organizational Psychology 1.1% 0.2% 6.5×
Miscellaneous Psychology 1.1% 0.1% 9.4×
Social Sciences 1.1% 0.5% 2.1×
International Relations 1.1% 1.5% 0.7×

Mental Health Counselor Education Levels

64% of Mental Health Counselors have a master's degree. 34% of Mental Health Counselors have a bachelor's degree.

No education 0%
High school diploma 0%
Associate's degree 1%
Bachelor's degree 34%
Master's degree 64%
Doctorate degree 1%

How to Become a Mental Health Counselor

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Career Attributes

  • $37,848
  • 157,700
  • 3.1
  • 23.1%
  • Master's degree
  • Counseling Psychology
More Attributes