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Mental Health Counselors

Counsel with emphasis on prevention. Work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. May help individuals deal with issues associated with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging.   (O'Net 21-1014.00)

 
Reported job titles:   Behavior Analyst, Behavior Support Specialist (BSS), Bereavement Counselor, Case Manager, Child Care Counselor, Clinical Mental Health Counselor   (view all job titles)
 
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  • Employment Trends
  • Industries of Employment
  • Tasks
  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Abilities
  • Work Activities
  • Interests
  • Work Styles
  • License Information
  • Education & Training Requirements
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    Wages
    for Mental Health Counselors
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     Location Pay
    Period
    2016
    Percentile Wages Average
    Wage
    10% 25% 50%
    Median
    75% 90%
     Vermont Hourly $ 13.43   $ 15.46   $ 18.10   $ 22.57   $ 29.93   $ 19.79  
    Yearly $27,940   $32,160   $37,660   $46,950   $62,250   $41,160  
     
     Burlington-South Burlington, VT Metropolitan NECTA Hourly $ 15.57   $ 17.29   $ 20.43   $ 25.15   $ 31.77   $ 21.87  
    Yearly $32,390   $35,960   $42,480   $52,320   $66,080   $45,490  
     
     Southern Vermont Balance of State Hourly $ 12.94   $ 14.05   $ 16.09   $ 19.48   $ 31.87   $ 18.72  
    Yearly $26,920   $29,210   $33,460   $40,520   $66,290   $38,930  
     
     Northern Vermont Balance of State Hourly $ 14.37   $ 16.40   $ 18.50   $ 22.27   $ 26.64   $ 19.60  
    Yearly $29,890   $34,120   $38,490   $46,320   $55,400   $40,770  
     
    What are Percentile Wages?
    source: Occupational Employment Statistics, Vermont Labor Market Information, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, released April 2017.
     


    Employment Trends
    for Mental Health Counselors
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    Location Employment Annual % change
    (compounded)
    Annual job openings
    (due to growth and
    net replacements)
    2014 2024
    Vermont 752 838 1.1% 25
    source: Employment Projections, Vermont Economic & Labor Market Information, in cooperation with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, statewide estimates released July 2016.
     


    Industries of Employment
    for Mental Health Counselors
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    Industry Percent of Total
    2014
    Ambulatory healthcare services 27.9%
    Social assistance 22.8%
    Nursing and residential care facilities 16.0%
    Hospitals; state, local, and private 11.4%
    Self-employed workers, all industries 7.6%
    source: Employment Projections, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Employment Matrix, released July 2016.
     


    Tasks
    for Mental Health Counselors
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  • Maintain confidentiality of records relating to clients' treatment.
     
  • Encourage clients to express their feelings and discuss what is happening in their lives, helping them to develop insight into themselves or their relationships.
     
  • Collect information about clients through interviews, observation, or tests.
     
  • Assess patients for risk of suicide attempts.
     
  • Fill out and maintain client-related paperwork, including federal- and state-mandated forms, client diagnostic records, and progress notes.
     
  • Prepare and maintain all required treatment records and reports.
     
  • Counsel clients or patients, individually or in group sessions, to assist in overcoming dependencies, adjusting to life, or making changes.
     
  • Guide clients in the development of skills or strategies for dealing with their problems.
     
  • Perform crisis interventions with clients.
     
  • Develop and implement treatment plans based on clinical experience and knowledge.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Mental Health Counselors  updated July 2013
     


    Knowledge
    for Mental Health Counselors
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  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
     
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
     
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
     
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
     
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
     
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
     
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
     
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
     
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
     
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Mental Health Counselors  updated July 2013
     


    Skills
    for Mental Health Counselors
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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
     
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
     
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
     
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
     
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
     
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
     
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
     
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
     
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
     
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Mental Health Counselors  updated July 2013
     


    Abilities
    for Mental Health Counselors
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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
     
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
     
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
     
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
     
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
     
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
     
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
     
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
     
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
     
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Mental Health Counselors  updated July 2013
     


    Work Activities
    for Mental Health Counselors
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  • Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
     
  • Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
     
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
     
  • Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
     
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
     
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
     
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
     
  • Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
     
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
     
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Mental Health Counselors  updated July 2013
     


    Interests
    for Mental Health Counselors
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  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
     
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
     
  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Mental Health Counselors  updated June 2008
     


    Work Styles
    for Mental Health Counselors
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  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
     
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
     
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
     
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
     
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
     
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
     
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
     
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
     
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
     
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Mental Health Counselors  updated July 2013
     


    State of Vermont License Information
    that may be required for Mental Health Counselors
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    License Name Licensing Agency
    Mental Health Counselor, Clinical Vermont Secretary of State
    Office of Professional Regulation
    Board of Allied Mental Health
    Social Worker, Clinical Vermont Secretary of State
    Office of Professional Regulation
    Clinical Social Worker Licensing
     
    source: Vermont Department of Labor, Licensed & Certified Occupations in Vermont, 2015.
     


    Education and Training Requirements
    for Mental Health Counselors
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  • Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
  •  
  • Education: Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
  •  
  • Training: Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
  •  
  • Experience: Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
  •  
    source: Occupational Information Network: Mental Health Counselors  updated July 2013
     


    Schools
    offering instructional programs related to Mental Health Counselors
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      Related Instructional Programs
     
    • Clinical Pastoral Counseling/Patient Counseling.
     
    • Clinical/Medical Social Work.
     
    • Mental Health Counseling/Counselor.
     
    • Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling.
     
     Search for schools offering these programs at
     
     
     
    source: National Center for Education Statistics 2000 Classification of Instructional Programs .
     


    Other Resources
    for Mental Health Counselors
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  • Labor Exchange Information
  • A source for occupational characteristics, such as age, gender, race, and years of education and an alternative source for occupational wage rates. Limited to people looking for jobs and the jobs advertised through VDOL Vermont Job Link.
  • Look for statewide information over the latest 12 months for Mental Health Counselors.
  •  
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives. Revised every two years, the Handbook describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.
    Go to Occupational Outlook Handbook
    Handbook occupations related to Mental Health Counselors :
  • Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists
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    Related Occupations
    Occupations with skill requirements similar to Mental Health Counselors
    Back to Top
     
     
  • Child, Family, and School Social Workers
  •  
  • Counseling Psychologists
  •  
  • Foreign Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary
  •  
  • Healthcare Social Workers
  •  
  • Instructional Coordinators
  •  
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  •  
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
  •  
  • Special Education Teachers, Middle School
  •  
  • Special Education Teachers, Secondary School
  •  
  • Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors
  •  
    source: Occupational Information Network: Mental Health Counselors 
     

     
     
     
    Vermont.gov State of Vermont Department of Labor