5 Important Mental Health Jobs

Five In-Demand Mental Health Jobs

  • Psychiatrist
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Psychologist
  • Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

If you are thinking of pursuing a career in the wide-ranging fields of psychology, psychiatry or counseling, it’s important to know the types of mental health jobs that may become most important, both now and in the near future. Building and maintaining a career is easier if you know where the job market is headed, which jobs will be most rewarding to you, and what is involved in attaining your goals.

1. Psychiatrist

In order to become a psychiatrist, you must first complete your bachelor’s degree and go on to medical school. After medical school, you will complete a two- to four-residency training, where you’ll practice clinical psychiatry under the guidance of a professional in a hospital or outpatient setting. When your residency is completed, you can take the exams that will earn you board certification to practice psychiatry. The road to a career in psychiatry is long and sometimes arduous, but these very important mental health jobs can be extremely rewarding and offer a generous yearly income.

2. Substance Abuse Counselor

In this mental health job, you counsel those who are struggling with drug or alcohol use. This career entails helping patients understand destructive behaviors and situations that can trigger relapse. If you train to become a substance abuse therapist, your efforts will help those who wish to maintain their sobriety, find work in the community, and overcome a potentially lethal habit. Earning a counseling degree requires a Bachelor’s Degree or earning a degree in a certificate program. If you then go on to obtain a Master’s Degree or a PhD, you can become a licensed counselor.

3. Marriage and Family Therapist

Helping couples and families work out their problems is a very rewarding career goal. A Marriage and Family Therapist eases the way for family members to communicate better and understand each other more clearly. You can help people work through marital stress and conflict at mental health centers or in a private setting. You will need a Master’s Degree in that specific or a related field in order to become licensed in your state.

4. Psychologist

The work that a psychologist does is very important in today’s world. One of the many conditions a psychologist treats is anxiety disorder, one of the most common mental illness diagnosed in the US today. Anxiety affects over 18% of the adult population annually, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. After graduating from college with a BS or BA in psychology, you’ll need a Master’s Degree or doctorate for licensed practice. If you intend to become a school psychologist, you’ll need a Master’s Degree, while most other fields require the PhD degree.

5. Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

A mental health nurse practitioner can diagnose, treat, and prescribe medications to patients who have psychiatric disorders. A mental health nurse practitioner is a well-compensated and emotionally rewarding career. The path to this mental health job requires a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. It’s helpful to have a BS in Nursing prior to admission to this type of Master’s program.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Colleges for a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Informatics

Each of these five important mental health jobs entail helping people in a system that has become increasingly overburdened. If you are compassionate, work well with others, and enjoy building relationships in order to help people, one of these mental health jobs may be the right one for you.