What do they do?

Counsel and advise individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health, with an emphasis on prevention. May help individuals deal with a broad range of mental health issues, such as those associated with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; or aging.

Also known as:

Behavior Analyst, Behavior Support Specialist (BSS), Behavioral Health Counselor, Behavioral Health Therapist, Case Manager, Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Clinician, Corrections Caseworker, Counselor, Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Mental Health Clinician, Mental Health Counselor, Mental Health Professional, Mental Health Program Specialist, Mental Health Specialist, Mental Health Therapist, Residential Child Care Counselor

Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Mental Health Counselors is projected to show little or no change from 2020 to 2030.

Projected Employment in KS

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Typical College Majors

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People in this career often have these skills:

  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures, and their history and origins.

People in this career often have talent in:

  • 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 that there is a problem.
  • 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.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • 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).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Counsel clients or patients regarding personal issues.
  • Write reports or evaluations.
  • Complete documentation required by programs or regulations.
  • Counsel clients or patients with substance abuse issues.
  • Teach life skills or strategies to clients or their families.
  • Respond to emergencies to provide assistance.
  • Provide first aid or rescue assistance in emergencies.
  • Intervene in crisis situations to assist clients.
  • Maintain client records.
  • Develop treatment plans for patients or clients.
  • Collect information about clients.
  • Interview clients to gather information about their backgrounds, needs, or progress.
  • Modify treatment plans to accommodate client needs.
  • Evaluate characteristics of individuals to determine needs or eligibility.
  • Provide basic health care services.
  • Develop health assessment methods or programs.
  • Collaborate with other professionals to assess client needs or plan treatments.
  • Advocate for individual or community needs.
  • Monitor clients to evaluate treatment progress.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of counseling or educational programs.
  • Plan programs to address community mental wellness needs.
  • Refer clients to community or social service programs.
  • Counsel family members of clients or patients.
  • Maintain professional social services knowledge.
  • Develop working relationships with others to facilitate program activities.
  • Supervise workers providing client or patient services.
  • Confer with family members to discuss client treatment plans or progress.
  • Collect information about community health needs.
  • Plan programs to address community health issues.
  • Lead classes or community events.
  • Train staff members in social services skills.

This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 28.1 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Logo Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

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