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Summary Report for:
21-1014.00 - 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.

Sample of reported job titles: Behavior Analyst, Behavior Support Specialist (BSS), Case Manager, Clinician, Correctional Counselor, Counselor, Mental Health Counselor, Mental Health Specialist, Mental Health Therapist, Therapist

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • 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.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Blood pressure cuff kits — Sphygmomanometers
Desktop computers
Electronic medical thermometers — Digital medical thermometers
Notebook computers
Scanners — Flatbed scanners

Technology used in this occupation:

Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Outlook
Internet browser software — Microsoft Internet Explorer *; Netscape Navigator; Web browser software
Medical software — Client information database systems; Patient electronic medical record EMR software
Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

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Knowledge

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.
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.
Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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.
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.
Philosophy and Theology — Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
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.

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Skills

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.

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Abilities

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).

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Work Activities

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.

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Work Context

Structured versus Unstructured Work — To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Spend Time Sitting — How much does this job require sitting?
Frequency of Decision Making — How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — How do the decisions an employee makes impact the results of co-workers, clients or the company?

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Job Zone

Title 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).
Related 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.
Job 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.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and controllers.
SVP Range (8.0 and above)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
62   Master's degree
34   Bachelor's degree
  Associate's degree

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses

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Interests

Interest code: SIA

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.

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Work Styles

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.

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Work Values

Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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Related Occupations

19-3031.03 Counseling Psychologists
21-1011.00 Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors Bright Outlook
21-1012.00 Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors
21-1013.00 Marriage and Family Therapists   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook  
21-1021.00 Child, Family, and School Social Workers Bright Outlook
21-1023.00 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers Bright Outlook
25-1066.00 Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2013) $19.51 hourly, $40,580 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 128,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Much faster than average (22% or higher) Much faster than average (22% or higher)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 64,000
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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