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"Mental Health Counselor" Makes the List of "100 Best Jobs"
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"Mental Health Counselor" Makes the List of "100 Best Jobs"

By Kathleen McCarthy
The Advocate 

Mental health counseling took the #67 spot in the “Best 100 Jobs” of 2013, and the #18 spot in the “Best Social Services Jobs” of 2013, according to the annual rankings compiled by the U.S. News & World Report.

The occupations that made the top cut “offer a mosaic of employment opportunity, good salary, manageable work-life balance, and job security,” according to the report.

“The jobs U.S. News selected are some of those expected to have the greatest hiring demand from now until the year 2020, as determined by the Labor Department,” U.S. News noted. 

Best Jobs of 2013

Among the other mental-health-related jobs that made the top 100 are:

  • #14: School Psychologist (median salary: $67,880)
  • #27: Substance Abuse Counselor (median salary: $38,560)
  • #33: Marriage & Family Therapist (median salary: $46,240)
  • #59: School Counselors (median salary: $54,130)
  • #63: Clinical Social Worker (median salary $48,620)
  • #67: Mental Health Counselor (median salary: $39,190)

Best Social Services Jobs

Here’s how those same mental health related professions stacked up in the “Best Social Services Jobs” category:

  •  #1: School Psychologist
  •  #3: Substance Abuse Counselor
  •  #6: Marriage & Family Therapist
  • #16: School Counselors
  • #17: Clinical Social Worker, and
  • #18: Mental Health Counselor

Read the descriptions of the top 30 professions in the Best Social Services Jobs.

Mental Health Counseling

AMHCA President Karen Langer, LMHC, was invited by U.S. News to participate in a live, hour-long Twitter chat on Jan. 30 at 1:30 p.m. to widen the discussion about the list of best jobs and to provide insight to those contemplating a career in one or more of the top-ranked fields.
The U.S. News article also mentions AMHCA and quotes AMHCA Executive Director and CEO W. Mark Hamilton, PhD. 

The profession’s growth appears poised to continue, says the U.S. News report. “With psychiatrists and psychologists charging higher rates for therapy, insurance companies are directing patients toward the affordable alternative of mental health counselors. That trend will contribute to employment in the field growing by 36 percent over the next decade. By 2020, 43,600 new positions will need to be filled.”

“While considerable financial improvement is necessary,” Hamilton says, the U.S. News reports that the profession’s mean salary rose from about $30,500 in 2002 to a little over $40,000 in 2010, with a current hourly rate of $32.64. See the salary outlook for mental health counselors. 

The report provided rankings in six industries: business, construction, creative, healthcare, social services, and technology. In addition to the Best 100 Jobs and the Best Social Services Jobs, U.S. News also provided rankings for Best Business Jobs, Best Creative Jobs, and Best Healthcare Jobs.