Discover How to Become a Mental Health Counselor Online
Mental health counselors have an opportunity to help people and improve lives. And that’s what makes this career so unique. Every time your help someone out of an emotional distress, you feel a sense of fulfillment for having made someone’s life better, and that is worth a thousand times more than the salary you make.
Preparing for a Career in Mental Health Counseling
Candidates for this occupation must have a master’s degree in counseling, as well as be licensed to practice.
Education – the Online Route
The good news is that many accredited colleges and universities are now offering legitimate, top-quality online programs in mental health counseling at the master’s and bachelor’s level. Those who already have a bachelor’s degree can apply for an online master’s program, while those who do not can opt for an online bachelor’s degree in any related field or in mental health counseling first and then progress towards a bachelor’s degree.
Already have a bachelor’s degree ➜ Online Master’s in Mental Health Counseling
No Bachelor’s Degree ➜ Online Bachelor’s in Mental Health Counseling or a related field ➜ Online Master’s in Mental Health Counseling
There are three main licensure requirements:
- Master’s degree
- 2,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience
- Passing the state-recognized licensure exam
Your online education will take care of the first and third requirements both. You can work under the supervision of a practicing, licensed professional to meet the second requirement.
You are also required to complete continuing education classes to renew and maintain your license. Online classes and courses in mental health counseling are again very useful here.
The following are the institutions that can help you with more information on licensure:
- American Association of State Counseling Boards
- National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)
- Commission On Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC)
Earning Potential after the Completion of your Degree and Licensure
Mental health counselors make an average salary of $43,290, which is above the national average for many US occupations. The top earners in this field can make over $66,000 per year, making it quite a lucrative occupation.
Additional Qualities required to become a Successful Mental Health Counselor
While your experience and online degree in this field will take you a long way, there are some intrinsic qualities that these professionals must have. For example, you must have:
- Great listening skills
- Be a peoples person
- Excellent communication skills
- The ability to organize and manage your time
With all these qualities, dedicated studies, the right degree, and practical training under a licensed mental health counselor, you can go very far in this field. So take the big step today and work towards getting your degree as a first step.