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20 Great Mental Health Jobs to Consider

Mental health jobs can be challenging but also very rewarding. Such careers can include jobs as a psychiatrist, counselor, clinical psychologist, school psychologist, or substance abuse counselor.

Finding the right mental health job involves carefully considering your needs, interests, and personality traits.

Since psychology is such an immense and diverse subject, many different career options can vary considerably in terms of working conditions, job demands, salary, and other characteristics.

Psychology certainly is not a one-size-fits-all profession. Mental health is one of the largest specialty areas within psychology and there are many different career paths from which to choose. This includes a few that you might not have considered.

The following are just a few great mental health jobs that you might want to learn more about.

A List of Mental Health Jobs

There are numerous jobs within the field of mental health that cater to different interests and skill sets. Here are some options:

  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Counselor (e.g., Mental Health Counselor, School Counselor)
  • Social Worker (e.g., Clinical Social Worker)
  • Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Psychiatric Nurse
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Art Therapist
  • Music Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist specializing in mental health
  • Psychiatric Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Behavioral Therapist
  • Child and Adolescent Therapist
  • Geriatric Counselor
  • Forensic Psychologist
  • Crisis Intervention Counselor
  • Psychiatric Technician
  • Peer Support Specialist
  • Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Expressive Arts Therapist

These mental health jobs vary in terms of required education, licensing, and specific roles within the mental health field. Individuals interested in pursuing a career in mental health should consider their own strengths, interests, and professional goals when exploring these options.

A Closer Look at Some Popular Mental Health Jobs

Mental health jobs can vary considerably in the type of education needed. Here’s a closer look at five popular mental health jobs, including what they do, where they work, and the type of training they have.

Child Psychologist

Mental health jobs often involve working with a wide variety of patients and clients. If you enjoy working with kids, you might consider a career as a child psychologist.

Child psychologists study the mental, social, and emotional development of children.

Some of the major topics of interest in this field of psychology include genetics, language development, personality, gender roles, cognitive development, sexual development, and social growth.

Child psychologists may work with a range of clients, including infants, toddlers, children, and teens, or they may specialize in working with a particular age group.

A few of the duties that a child psychologist might perform on a regular basis include:

  • Diagnosing and treating developmental disorders
  • Helping children manage behavior problems
  • Conducting research on various issues related to child development

Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychology is a mental health job that involves assessing, diagnosing, treating, and preventing mental illness. Most clinical psychologists have a doctorate degree in clinical psychology, but opportunities also exist for those with a master’s degree.

Before deciding on a career in clinical psychology, you must consider your future goals. Do you want to work with children, adolescents, or adults? Are you interested in having your own therapy practice? Such factors can play an important role in your choice of a clinical graduate program or area of specialization.

Another important consideration is which type of degree is best suited to your needs. The traditional Ph.D. degree emphasizes the role of research and prepares graduates for careers as clinical practitioners. Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degrees focus on clinical psychology’s professional aspects.


If you have an interested in both medicine and psychology, becoming a psychiatrist might be an excellent career choice for you. A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.

People sometimes assume that the titles psychiatrist and psychologist can be used interchangeably. While there are many similarities between the two professions, there are also many important distinctions.

You need to earn a medical degree in order to become a psychiatrist while you must earn a PhD or PsyD in psychology in order to become a psychologist.

Psychiatrists are often self-employed but frequently work at hospitals, mental health clinics, universities, medical centers, and government offices.

The job outlook for careers in psychiatry is expected to be better than average in the near future. According to a Graduate Medical Education National Advisory Committee report, there is a shortage of qualified psychiatrists to fill the demand. The report also suggests that the specialty areas of child psychiatry and geriatric psychiatry will be in especially high demand in the coming years.

School Psychologist

Mental health jobs often involve working in hospital or outpatient settings, but sometimes these professionals also work in educational settings. Another mental health job choice you might want to consider is the rapidly expanding field of school psychology.

School psychologists work with kids to identify and overcome emotional, social, and academic problems. In addition to working directly with children, school psychologists usually work alongside parents and teachers to foster a healthy learning atmosphere centered on fulfilling the needs of students.

School psychology is a relatively young field of study and practice. In 1968, the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) was established, and the field was formally recognized as a doctoral specialty by the American Psychological Association (APA). B

The U.S. Department of Labor suggests that since many current school psychologists are nearing retirement, there will be an increased demand for trained professionals in the coming years.

A few of the duties that a school psychologist might perform on a regular basis include:

  • Helping students with behavioral problems
  • Evaluating students experiencing academic difficulties
  • Developing academic or behavioral plans for students
  • Aiding students with crisis situations

Social Worker

Working in mental health doesn’t necessarily mean you need a degree in psychology. There are many other degree options out there, many of which lead directly to a career in mental health or social services.

Social work is a great example of a mental health career you may not have considered. Social workers perform a wide range of duties. They provide counseling, advocate for their clients, teach new skills, and connect their clients to available resources in the community.

The minimum requirement to enter this field is a bachelor’s degree in social work, but the Occupational Outlook Handbook suggests that most jobs require a master’s degree.

Is a Mental Health Job the Right Choice for You?

As you can see, there are plenty of different mental health job out there. If you are interested in diagnosing mental disorders and providing psychotherapy, a career in a mental health field might be the perfect choice.

You should spend some time researching your options to choose a career path that is perfect for your needs, talents, and interests. Mental health is a diverse field, so there are many different career paths that you might want to consider.

Working in mental health can have its positives and negatives. On the plus side, you can help make a major difference in the lives of people affected by mental illness. It can be a challenging, stressful, and frustrating line of work, but it can also be an immensely rewarding career path.

Learn more about finding your perfect career in psychology and a few of the amazing things that you can do with a psychology degree.

Outlook for Mental Health Jobs

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for mental health professionals is expected to grow by 3% between 2022 and 2032, which is faster than the average expected for all occupations.

Let’s take a closer look at the projected growth and salary for specific mental health jobs:

OccupationProjected GrowthMedian Annual Salary
Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors18%$49,710
Marriage and family therapists15%$56,570
Community health workers14%$46,190
Clinical and counseling psychologists11%$90,130
Psychiatric technicians and aides9%$37,330
Social and human service assistants9%$38,520
Social workers7%$55,350
Educational, guidance, and careers counselors and advisors5%$60,140
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections


National Alliance on Mental Illness. Types of mental health professionals.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Careers in mental health services.