How to Become a Mental Health Counselor


Mental Health Counselors

The growing demand for mental health counselors is expected to reach $6.4 billion by 2020. While these figures represent great growth for mental health counselors who specialize in treating people with behavioral problems or drug addiction issues, those working in residential drug abuse treatment programs or employment opportunities for mental health professionals will also have the greatest opportunities for advancement shortly.

As the number of people suffering from mental illnesses or drug addictions continues to rise, mental health counselors are becoming more common. The need for a professional who can understand these individuals is at an all-time high.

Job Outlook For Mental Health Careers: Mental Health Counselor

A person sitting in a chair

Job Outlook for Mental Health Careers When it comes to a job outlook for mental health care professions, those in this field have better chances of a lucrative career than those focusing solely on the treatment of mental illness. The mental health field will be more competitive and offer greater job security when it comes to employment opportunities and compensation packages.

Qualifications For A Mental Health Counselor: Mental Health Counselor

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The Best Qualifications for a Mental Health Counselor The mental health counselor must possess the knowledge and skills needed to provide counseling services to help. Mental health counselors should be able to interact with their patients and clients effectively. Those certified by the American Association of Clinical Counselors (AACC) possess the necessary training and skills to treat and counsel people.

Educational Requirements: Mental Health Counselor

Educational Requirements for a Mental Health Counselor If you want to work as a mental health counselor, you will need to attend a post-secondary program. The programs typically offer a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. These programs will enable you to obtain a specialized degree specifically designed for mental health counseling professionals.

Certified Mental Health Counselor Licensing To practice as a mental health counselor in all 50 states, a mental health professional must obtain licensing. You must pass all state licensing examinations and be board-certified to practice as a mental health therapist.

The Training to Be a Mental Health Counselor To become a certified mental health counselor, you must complete a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree, and an advanced degree that focuses on mental health counseling to become licensed.

Employment Opportunities

Employment Opportunities for Mental Health Care Programs In addition to higher pay and greater job opportunities, mental health care programs offer the opportunity to become involved in more work that can improve the quality of your life and others’ lives. For those seeking a career in counseling, these programs are ideal for those who want to pursue a career that combines enriching work experience with the ability to provide quality assistance to others.

Mental Health Care Counselors Needed to Be Licensed To practice as a mental health counselor, mental health care professionals must pass a state licensing examinations and obtain certification. Once you have completed the required training, you can apply for a license and become licensed as a mental health counselor. These professionals work closely with psychologists, social workers, and psychiatrists to provide effective treatment and counsel to those who need assistance.

Work Schedule

Work Schedule for Mental Health Counselors To become a mental health counselor, you will need to complete an additional training level to become a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). You will be required to complete the necessary courses to become a Registered Nurse. There are two levels of education required to become a Registered Nurse: Associate and Bachelors.

To become a registered nurse, a candidate needs to have at least a bachelor’s degree and a certain number of credits to become certified. A candidate must take an exam to become a registered nurse. The training for this certification is not the same as that for becoming a mental health counselor. The BSN program requires two years to become a registered nurse, but the two can be completed concurrently in many cases.

Final Words

The Work Schedule for Mental Health Counselors To become a licensed mental health counselor, there is a four-year schedule to become a mental health counselor. As a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), the mental health counselor must have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 500 hours of experience in counseling or therapy to become licensed. During the two-year program in mental health counseling, the student learns advanced psychosocial skills and practical work skills and must learn how to provide psychiatric therapy and other specialized services to the mentally ill patient.

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