Mental Health Careers And Salaries In The USA

Mental health professionals help people function better by providing resources and guidance based on psychology and neuroscience. They also study the human mind, one of the most complex and exciting structures. For the same reasons, many people want mental health careers but don’t know where to start. Let us begin by looking at the signs that you are suited to be a mental health professional.

Signs That Mental Health Careers Are The Right Fit For You

1. Interpersonal Skills

All mental health careers involve people directly or indirectly. For instance, a mental health researcher’s job requires understanding other people’s emotions and behavior. For instance, the ability to respond to a person’s feelings appropriately and help them heal is vital for therapy and counseling.

Best Mental Health Jobs

2. Active Listening

As mentioned above, a lot of mental health is about understanding the other person. To do this, the first step is listening actively. In a nutshell, it means being observant and receptive to the feelings the other person conveys. Words, of course, but other signs such as body language and vocal tone indicate much about what someone feels.

3. Communication

Miscommunication is the most significant barrier between patients and mental health professionals. Conversely, developing or having good communication skills can help you establish a greater connection with clients. 

4. Empathy

The ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes or understand things from their perspective is known as empathy. While it may seem simple, practicing empathy requires abandoning your biases and trying to see things like another person. A mental health professional needs to consistently be empathetic toward their client to make a difference in their lives.

5. Problem-Solving

As we discussed earlier, the human mind is one of the most complex structures known to us. Solving problems in this structure can require patience, determination, and advanced problem-solving skills. For instance, treatments may require the application of different approaches for dealing with other issues within a person.

6. Self-Awareness

A high degree of self-awareness can guide people with mental health jobs to understand their strengths, weaknesses, and limitations. This understanding can help them better meet client needs and expectations and determine whether they can help a patient and to what extent.

7.  Mental Fortitude

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, 93% of health workers feel stressed out, and 22% suffer from moderate depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD). These statistics also include mental health workers on the frontline, indicating that a high degree of mental fortitude and self-care skills are required to be healthy.

Mental Health Careers

Top 8 Mental Health Careers And Salaries In The USA

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 1 in 5 Americans have a mental illness. A press release published in the American Psychological Association in October 2021 affirms the growing demand for mental health treatment. This data indicates that mental health job opportunities will only rise in due time. Wondering what are the highest-paying jobs in mental health? Don’t worry. We cover all that and more in our list of the top 8 mental health careers and salaries in the USA.

1. Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

Counselors provide various mental health services for daily life, substance abuse, personality disorders, mood disorders, etc. They work with individuals, groups, and families to secure quality care for emotional, behavioral, or mental issues. A master’s degree is required to qualify as a counselor, as they draw wisdom from the disciplines of mental health, psychology, and the social sciences. On average, an LPC makes $78,222 a year in the US.

2. Psychiatric Nurse

Nurses deal with patients who are diagnosed with mental illness. They are trained in behavioral therapy, which focuses on improving mental health through behavior change. The salary for this position varies according to education, training, and experience. On average, they earn up to $122,503 per year.

3. Psychiatrists

Professionals who have been trained in both medical and psychological health are known as psychiatrists. They work primarily with mental health issues but are considered experts in both professions since they understand the interconnectedness of physical and psychological health. According to, an M.D. or O.G. who specializes in mental health or substance abuse disorders is known as a psychiatrist; they earn up to $222,460 annually in the USA. Therefore, this is one of the top-paying mental health jobs.

4. Psychiatric Technician

Technicians in this field observe patient behavior, record issues and concerns, and monitor their condition. They also help admit and discharge patients, provide recreational activities, and give medication. An associate degree or certificate is needed to become a psychiatric technician. People with these mental health jobs earn about $30,000 on average.

5. Psychologist

Becoming a psychologist requires a Ph.D. in psychology. However, this profession includes more than the conventional image of a patient sitting on a chair while a therapist listens to them(psychotherapy). There are various subcategories, which have diverse and emerging fields, such as:

-Clinical Psychology: This branch of psychology focuses on mental health disorders and severe mental issues as diagnosed in the DSM-V. Clinical psychologists earn $82,180 per year on average. 

-Industrial Psychology: Work environment, employee behavior, team dynamics, leadership, and other psychological factors active in the workplace are studied in this category. The median salary for industrial psychologists in the US is $105,310 per year.

-Cognitive Psychology: Working memory, learning, attention span, and thinking are measured within the field of cognitive psychology. On average, they earn up to $54,968 per year.

-Developmental Psychology: The development of an individual’s brain and psyche over a lifetime are studied by this category of psychology. On average, they earn up to $74,070 per year.

-Forensic Psychology: Forensic psychologists work with the legal/criminal system to help understand the psychology of criminals. On average, they earn up to $74,167 per year.

-Neuropsychology: Neuropsychologists work with patients having nervous system disorders with psychological implications. Since this post requires specialized education, it pays up to $93,572 on average.

-And many more: Psychology is still an emerging discipline, with new research, treatments, and theories being developed. Hence, it is one of the most varied mental health careers available.

6. Social Workers

Said workers help individuals and communities to cope with difficulties in functioning. They could do this by providing resources to cope with mental health-related issues, diagnosing illnesses, and administering psychotherapy. A master’s degree in social work, clinical hours, and certification is needed to set up a social work practice. The average annual salary for this profession is $47,000.

7. Mental health Officer

Mental Health Officers work within areas or institutions lacking mental health expertise. For instance, they could be available in prisons, schools, or within legal systems. They can support and advise people suffering from mental health-related issues by providing information regarding means of treatment, coping strategies, etc. On average, they earn up to $45,364 per year.

8. Substance Abuse Counselor

As the name suggests, substance abuse counselors specialize in counseling for alcohol, drug use, and abuse of other substances. The demand for this field is expected to grow by 25%, according to One requires a relevant bachelor’s degree to get started as a counselor. Substance Abuse Counselors earn up to $56,710 annually on average.


There is no better time to invest in mental health careers and salaries than now since the demand for mental health professionals in the US is only growing. Various jobs, such as therapist, counselor, social worker, etc., come at different levels of experience and pay packages. However, one thing these professions have in common is the opportunity to help others and contribute directly and indirectly to society. Not sure you have the financial resources to get the required education for these careers?

Don’t worry. Here is our list of the best mental health treatment scholarships for college students to get you started.
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