Counseling is an important profession that ensures that individuals’ mental health needs are being addressed. This article will highlight the need for counselors, address the job market for counseling and persuade students that now is the time to pursue an advanced degree in that field.
For those considering an advanced degree in the mental health field, pursuing a degree in counseling is a worthwhile option. Throughout the past few years especially, counseling has become an important profession that helps to ensure that an individual’s and communities’ mental health needs are being addressed. In addition to https://counseling.online.wfu.edu/resources/articles/health-and-wellness-counselors-make-positive-impacts-on-their-communities/helping people and communities, those who choose to pursue counseling as a profession have the advantage of finding a career path with significant potential for job growth and compensation, the ability to work with a number of demographics, and the unique opportunity to use their expertise to help their communities thrive.
Today, more than ever before, counselors are in demand in the job market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook of school and career counselors alone is expected to grow by 11 percent.1 For mental health counselors, the rate is even higher, with an expected growth rate of 20 percent over the next 10 years — a rate which is growing much faster than the national average.2
The job prospects in the mental health sector are even more promising for those who have advanced training. For people who have earned a master’s degree, the BLS reports that “demand for substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors is expected to increase as states seek treatment and counseling services for drug offenders rather than jail time.”2 The BLS goes on to say that mental health counselors will experience vast career opportunities in helping to care for those who are returning from military service, dealing with an array of mental health disorders, managing their interpersonal relationships or simply need a person to talk to about their goals moving forward in life.2
Not only are the job prospect percentages growing at a rate that far outpaces overall job growth in the U.S., but the wages are as well. While the median salary of all occupations in the U.S. lingers at around $37,040, as of May 2016 the average salary for counselors and other community and social service workers rests at $43,020. And as the demand increases, it’s far more likely that salaries will rise as well.2
If you’re hoping to break into the world of mental health counseling, it’s clear that there is no better time. Wages are increasing, and demand for qualified mental health professionals is on the rise. For those hoping to work in a clinical mental health setting or in the role of a school counselor, earning an advanced degree might be the necessary next step to achieving your goals.
Most clinical mental health counselors and school counseling positions require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, but depending on your state of residence, a master’s degree may be necessary. Regardless of where you live, however, a master’s degree makes you a more competitive candidate and also allows you to provide more and better tailored services to the clients and populations that you serve.2
So what are you waiting for? If you are a compassionate person with superior interpersonal and listening skills hoping to use your talents to contribute to the greater good, find more information about Wake Forest University’s online Master of Arts in Counseling today.