Also known as Case Manager, Clinical Social Worker, Clinical Therapist, Clinician, Counselor, Mental Health Therapist, Psychotherapist, Social Worker, Substance Abuse Counselor, Therapist
Also known as Case Manager, Clinical Social Worker, Clinical Therapist
Mental Health Social Workers assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs.
In addition, Mental Health Social Workers activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, case management, client advocacy, prevention, and education.
Mental Health Social Workers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:
The above responsibilities are specific to Mental Health Social Workers. More generally, Mental Health Social Workers are involved in several broader types of activities:
The median salary for a Mental Health Social Worker is $48,720, and the average salary is $54,540. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Mental Health Social Worker salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.
Many Mental Health Social Workers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Mental Health Social Workers earn less than $30,770 per year, 25% earn less than $37,220, 75% earn less than $65,210, and 90% earn less than $87,420.
Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Mental Health Social Workers is expected to change by 14.9%, and there should be roughly 14,000 open positions for Mental Health Social Workers every year.
Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.
Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Mental Health Social Worker are usually higher in their Social, Investigative, and Artistic interests.
Mental Health Social Workers typically have very strong Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Also, Mental Health Social Workers typically have moderate Investigative interests. 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.
Lastly, Mental Health Social Workers typically have moderate Artistic interests. 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.
People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.
Compared to most people, those working as a Mental Health Social Worker tend to value Achievement, Relationships, and Independence.
Most importantly, Mental Health Social Workers very strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Second, Mental Health Social Workers very strongly value 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.
Lastly, Mental Health Social Workers strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.
Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.
In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Mental Health Social Workers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as concern for others, integrity, and self-control.
Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Mental Health Social Workers, ranked by importance:
Many Mental Health Social Workers have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..
Mental Health Social Workers may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
Mental Health Social Workers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as therapy and counseling, psychology, or customer and personal service knowledge.
The list below shows several areas in which most Mental Health Social Workers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.
Mental Health Social Workers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.
For example, Mental Health Social Workers need abilities such as oral comprehension, oral expression, and written comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Mental Health Social Workers, ranked by their relative importance.
Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.
Mental Health Social Workers frequently use skills like social perceptiveness, active listening, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Mental Health Social Workers, ranked by their relative importance.
The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.
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