Obtaining a behavioral health degree can provide you with a rewarding career with many job prospects that involve helping other people. As healthcare related jobs continue to rise strongly in demand in the next several years, you can anticipate that a behavioral health degree will help you to take advantage.
A behavioral health degree typically educates you on theories of counseling, group dynamics and processes, and the origins of complex human behavior. These skills and knowledge are applicable to many future careers that serve other people.
Earning an undergraduate or graduate degree in behavioral health can lead to these excellent career opportunities:
#1 Mental Health Counselor
Mental health counselors assist people with dealing with many types of mental and emotional problems. The job of mental health counselor requires the minimum of a master’s degree in behavioral health or psychology, with a doctoral degree required for private practice.
Mental health counselors need to be able to listen carefully to the person and to ask them questions that lead to better insights about their condition. In this ongoing counseling process, mental health counselors help the person to have a better understanding of the underlying causes of their mental health issues. They also learn how to come up with effective strategies to improve their lives and well being.
Mental health counselors with a behavioral health background are in substantial demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS reports that job demand will increase by 19% by 2024 in this field. The increase in the numbers of people with health insurance is encouraging more people with mental health disorders to seek the health they need. More military veterans also are obtaining mental counseling assistance, so this also should drive demand in the next decade.
Median pay for mental health counselors is $42,800, and the top 10% with the highest level of education earn $70,000 per year.
All states mandate that mental health counselors possess a license. This involves earning at least a master’s in mental health counseling and behavioral health, and completed a minimum of 2,000 hours of supervised clinical work.
#2 School or Career Counselor
A school and career counselor assists young people to better develop their emotional and social skills. This helps them to experience a higher level of success in their studies, and in life. This type of counselor will help each student to have a better grasp of emotional, social and behavioral problems that they may be experiencing. This can be accomplished through both group and individual counseling. Parents also can be involved in this counseling process.
School and career counselors may work with elementary, middle and high school students. Elementary school counselors often are focused more on behavioral problems and student health and safety. Middle school counselors handle study and social skills most often, and high school counselors assist students with formulating and achieving future goals.
Career counselors assist students and adults to determine the jobs for which they are best qualified. They may utilize aptitude and achievement tests to assist their clients to understand their skills and interests.
Employment in this field is expected to rise by 8% by 2024. In career counseling, more jobs are expected in universities as they open career centers on campus to assist students in preparing for their future careers.
The median salary for school and career counselors is $54,500.
#3 Clinical Social Worker
A clinical social worker is another type of mental health professional who is licensed to diagnose various types of emotional, behavioral and mental health problems. Some of the most common mental health issues they work with are depression and anxiety. Clinical social workers provide therapy to people in groups and families, as well as individuals. Clinical social workers offer clients the tools to help them to better handle their mental health and behavioral challenges.
Many clinical social workers have their own private practice. This man necessitate performing various recordkeeping and administrative tasks. This also includes working with insurance providers to obtain payment for services rendered.
This profession requires a master’s degree in social work, and some social workers also have a behavioral health degree. Many choose to become clinical social workers because of the chance to diagnose and treat mental health conditions, and the corresponding higher salary that comes with that level of responsibility.
Clinical social workers are expected to see a 19% rise in demand by 2024. The median salary is $44,000 per year.
#4 Healthcare Social Worker
Healthcare social workers work with patients to assist them in dealing more effectively with a mental or physical diagnosis. Many healthcare social workers with a behavioral health background help patients to make a smooth transition back to their home after an extended stay in the hospital. You also may offer patients with helpful information about various support groups and home health care that can be useful to manage their illness over the long term.
Healthcare social workers frequently coordinate various types of healthcare services, including home healthcare, renting medical equipment, obtaining transportation to doctors, and other related services. These social workers also may help the patient and family obtain needed educational classes in child care, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and how to live with cancer or stroke.
There are several types of healthcare social worker; these sub specialties are:
- Geriatric social workers: These social workers are responsible for working with the elderly, who most often have many different serious illnesses and health conditions. They are needed to assist these patients with making the necessary adjustments to their lives to deal with these diagnoses.
- Hospice social workers: Help people who are terminally ill to come to grips with their condition and to prepare for the end of life. They also work with family to assist them with end of life challenges for their loved one.
- Medical social workers: Assist a patient and family in the hospital to work through a medical condition or diagnosis and to find needed services, such as assistance with paying medical bills.
Healthcare social workers will also experience a 19% increase in demand by 2024. The median salary is $53,700 per year.
#5 Healthcare Manager or Administrator
A healthcare manager is responsible for the business aspects of healthcare and medical care for various healthcare facilities. A healthcare administrator may provide supervision and leadership for facilities spanning from hospitals to nursing homes. They are usually responsible for budgeting, scheduling and determining the best ways to enhance patient care while remaining within budget.
Healthcare administrators also are responsible for improving the manner in which healthcare services are provided, and creating effective work schedules so that all patients receive the care they need at a manageable price. Healthcare managers and administrators also monitor and prepare healthcare facility budgets, and ensure that the entire operation is working within the allocated budget.
Professionals who want to pursue this career can do well with a health administration degree as well as a behavioral health degree. It is important to take courses in leadership, management, hospital organization and health information systems.
Healthcare managers and administrators will see a 17% increase in job demand in the next several years. This is a very healthy rate of growth that is being caused by the retirement of the baby boom population. As they retire, they want a higher level of healthcare services to enjoy their nonworking life better.
The median salary in this field is $96,500 per year.
- Mental Health Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm
- School and Career Counselors. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/school-and-career-counselors.htm#tab-5
- Medical and Health Services Managers. (2015, Dec. 17). https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-2
- What Does a Healthcare Social Worker Do? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sokanu.com/careers/healthcare-social-worker/
- How to Become a School Counselor. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.innerbody.com/careers-in-health/how-to-become-school-counselor.html