With a mental health degree, you can establish varied careers in an incredibly wide field. Aside from the level of education, there are so many specialties that you can choose from. Thus, if you’re interested in making a mark in this field, start by figuring what it is that you actually want to do. Then match it with a degree that improves your academic capabilities and also keeps you interested in passionate about your job!
Below, we look at some of the professions that you can end up in and the degrees that will open the path leading to them:
Mental Health Degree in Nursing to Become a Psychiatric Nurse
As one, expect to play a pivotal role in taking care of your patients. Some of them will require your expertise after a diagnosis of a mental illness. Others will need it because they suffer from severe mental trauma. Psychiatric nurses can help people suffering from psychosis, schizophrenia, or similar conditions. Aside from behavioral therapy – which you will perform under the guidance of licensed psychiatrists – you will also be offering them support.
To get here, complete your nursing degree, then knock off the 2000 hours by working in the psychiatric mental health field. After that, you can obtain your certification.
Substance Abuse Counselor
Your mental health degree can also see you set up as a substance abuse counselor. Such disorders don’t afflict a certain demographics but rather people from all walks of life. But the good news is the treatability of these conditions. With your help, people could get the habit of abuse of drugs or alcohol under control and even overcome it. Your responsibilities will include running medical and behavioral therapy programs.
While many positions will be open to you with an associate’s degree, we’d recommend completing a master’s degree in psychology. The former will be good enough to get you in, but the latter is much better. Additionally, also get your certification in substance abuse counseling to earn a top salary.
Licensed School Psychologist with a Mental Health Degree in School Psychology
By applying your learnings from a mental health degree to education-related problems, school psychologists can solve a myriad of issues. Your focus would be students who struggle with social, academic, or psychological problems. You may even be able to assist them with substance abuse disorders – or anything else that prevents them from completing their education. Therefore, you’ll also collaborate with parents and other educational professionals to find the most suitable solutions.
Even though the word school is a part of the occupation, your role won’t be limited to a school setting. You may also become a part of any of the state agencies, hospitals, or private clinics.
And while state-mandated requirements can vary, usually, a master’s degree in school psychology is enough. You may also opt for a specialist degree in the subject. Both types typically take two to three years to complete. When done, you could draw a salary of $76,990 in a school setting.
Various Mental Health Degree Options for Becoming a Creative Arts Therapist
Through the utilization of creativity and arts, these professional mental health clinicians can treat psychological disorders and mental distress. Thus, there are almost as many specializations in this field as there are types of arts. For instance, you can become a drama therapist, but you may also find art, dance, or music therapy of interest. In all cases, the objective of such an expert would be to encourage the overall well-being of their patients. This type of therapy also promotes self-awareness and can act as a great communication aid.
Of course, the area you choose will determine the hours of training and requirements that you must complete. For example, a master’s mental health degree is a must for a dance/movement therapist before they practice. Moreover, they must also complete 3640 clinical hours under supervision prior to working in private practice. But things could be different for therapists learning other forms of art. Therefore, confirm the requirements before you take the plunge.
The same is true for your salary, which will also be affected by your experience, location, and training. Even so, PayScale mentions art therapists draw $44,740 per year. Determine the pay scale for the area you pick.
Complete your bachelor’s in social work to get started. But don’t forget the need for an appropriate state-issued licensure, which you will also require. A clinical social worker, though, must have a master’s mental health degree.
Your studies will include a mixture of the following topics that you must master:
- Research methods
- Social work ethics
- Social policy
- Laws and regulations
- Human policy
- Substance abuse
Mental Health Counselor
To provide such counseling services, the least you will need is a master’s degree in either counseling or a related field. And for that to take place, you must complete your bachelor’s. We’d suggest picking the same field or one closely related to counseling initially, as well.
But once you’re done with the program and supervised work hours, you can apply for licensure. Your under- and graduate degree programs will focus on the following areas:
- Human behavior
- Professional ethics
- Advanced psychology
- Advanced research methods
- Counseling psychology
Family Therapist with a Masters Mental Health Degree
Finally, this is another great career option, which allows you to gain expertise in marriage and family services. To get in, you can begin with a master’s degree. But this time, you must choose family therapy and not just counseling or therapy. Graduates with expertise in the latter subjects won’t have the skills that you would. Therefore, places looking to fill a family therapist role will prefer candidates with the right degree, i.e., a master’s in family therapy.
Before finalizing a career choice or starting your mental health degree, spend time looking at other options. We’d advise asking professionals in the field or visiting and volunteering at local mental health facilities. You may also apply to local mental health associations for advice. And, of course, we’re always happy to impart guidance here!