Career and Education Opportunities for Mental Health Counselors in Scottsdale, Arizona
If you want to be a mental health counselor, the Scottsdale, Arizona area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 1,280 jobs for mental health counselors in Arizona and this is projected to grow by 41% to about 1,800 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for mental health counselors are expected to grow by about 24.0%. In general, mental health counselors counsel with emphasis on prevention.
A person working as a mental health counselor can expect to earn about $18 per hour or $38,990 annually on average in Arizona and about $17 hourly or $36,810 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for mental health counselors are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Counseling and Therapy in Arizona and not quite as good as general Counseling and Therapy category earnings nationally. People working as mental health counselors can fill a number of jobs, such as: direct care counselor, elder counselor, and residential child care counselor.
There are seventy-six schools of higher education in the Scottsdale area, including seven within twenty-five miles of Scottsdale where you can get a degree to start your career as a mental health counselor. Given that the most common education level for mental health counselors is a Master's degree, it will take about six years to learn to be a mental health counselor if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with a Bachelor's degree.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Mental Health Counselor
In general, mental health counselors counsel with emphasis on prevention. They also work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental health.
Mental health counselors maintain confidentiality of records relating to clients' treatment. They also encourage clients to express their feelings and consider what is happening in their lives, and help them to evolve insight into themselves and their relationships. Equally important, mental health counselors have to collect data related to clients through interviews and tests. They are often called upon to guide clients in the development of skills and strategies for dealing with their problems. They are expected to modify treatment efforts and approaches as needed to comply with changes in clients' status. Finally, mental health counselors formulate, organize and lead structured programs of counseling, work, study, recreation and social activities for clients.
Every day, mental health counselors are expected to be able to piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.
It is important for mental health counselors to monitor clients' use of medications. They are often called upon to formulate and conduct programs to stop substance abuse or improve community health and counseling services. They also supervise other counselors, social service staff and graduate students. They are sometimes expected to schedule and direct employee workshops and training about mental health issues. Somewhat less frequently, mental health counselors are also expected to guide clients in the development of skills and strategies for dealing with their problems.
Mental health counselors sometimes are asked to design and implement treatment plans on the basis of clinical experience and knowledge. They also have to be able to ready and maintain all required treatment records and reports And finally, they sometimes have to learn about new developments in their field by reading professional literature, attending courses and seminars, and establishing and maintaining contact with other social service agencies.
Like many other jobs, mental health counselors must have strong self control in the face of challenging situations and have a strong concern for others.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Scottsdale include:
- Career Advisor. Counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.
- Child and Family Services Worker. Provide social services and assistance to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families and to maximize the family well-being and the academic functioning of children. May assist single parents, arrange adoptions, and find foster homes for abandoned or abused children. In schools, they address such problems as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior, and truancy. May also advise teachers on how to deal with problem children.
- Health Education Specialist. Promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health by assisting individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors. Collect and analyze data to identify community needs prior to planning, implementing, and evaluating programs designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, policies and environments. May also serve as a resource to assist individuals, other professionals, or the community, and may administer fiscal resources for health education programs.
- Marriage and Family Therapist. Diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems. Apply psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of professional services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating such diagnosed nervous and mental disorders.
- Social Services Assistant. Assist professionals from a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, to provide client services, as well as support for families. May assist clients in identifying available benefits and social and community services and help clients obtain them. May assist social workers with developing, organizing, and conducting programs to prevent and resolve problems relevant to substance abuse, human relationships, or adult daycare.
- Substance Abuse Specialist. Counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders. May counsel individuals, families, or groups or engage in prevention programs.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Mental Health Counselor Training
Rio Salado College - Tempe, AZ
Rio Salado College, 2323 W 14th St, Tempe, AZ 85281. Rio Salado College is a large college located in Tempe, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,186 students. Rio Salado College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated forty-seven, thirty-two, and thirty-two students respectively in 2008.
Glendale Community College - Glendale, AZ
Glendale Community College, 6000 W Olive Ave, Glendale, AZ 85302. Glendale Community College is a large college located in Glendale, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 18,228 students. Glendale Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties which graduated seven and one students respectively in 2008.
University of Phoenix-Phoenix-Hohokam Campus - Phoenix, AZ
University of Phoenix-Phoenix-Hohokam Campus, 4635 East Elwood Street, Phoenix, AZ 85040-1958. University of Phoenix-Phoenix-Hohokam Campus is a medium sized university located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 4,768 students. University of Phoenix-Phoenix-Hohokam Campus has a master's degree program in Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.
University of Phoenix-Online Campus - Phoenix, AZ
University of Phoenix-Online Campus, 3157 E. Elwood Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034-7209. University of Phoenix-Online Campus is a large university located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 181,146 students. University of Phoenix-Online Campus has a master's degree program in Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties which graduated two students in 2008.
Ottawa University-Phoenix - Phoenix, AZ
Ottawa University-Phoenix, 10020 North 25th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021. Ottawa University-Phoenix is a small university located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,329 students. Ottawa University-Phoenix has postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and post-master's certificate programs in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated five, five, and zero students respectively in 2008.
Chandler/Gilbert Community College - Chandler, AZ
Chandler/Gilbert Community College, 2626 E Pecos Rd, Chandler, AZ 85225-2499. Chandler/Gilbert Community College is a large college located in Chandler, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,409 students. Chandler/Gilbert Community College has a less than one year program in Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties.
Argosy University-Phoenix - Phoenix, AZ
Argosy University-Phoenix, 2233 West Dunlap Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021. Argosy University-Phoenix is a small university located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 773 students and an admission rate of 74%. Argosy University-Phoenix has a master's degree program in Mental Health Counseling/Counselor which graduated one student in 2008.
Certified In Thanatology: Certification in Thanatology (CT) is a foundation certification that enhances the professional designation established by the academic discipline of each certificate holder.
For more information, see the Association for Death Education and Counseling website.
Distance Credentialed counselor: A Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC) will be nationally recognized as a professional with training in best practices in Distance Counseling.
For more information, see the Center for Credentialing & Education, Inc. website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Scottsdale, Arizona
Scottsdale is located in Maricopa County, Arizona. It has a population of over 235,371, which has grown by 16.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Scottsdale, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Scottsdale are priced at $633,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, two hundred thirty-three new homes were constructed in Scottsdale, down from six hundred eighty-nine the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Scottsdale are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 44.1% of Scottsdale residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.7%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Scottsdale is 6.4%, which is less than Arizona's average of 9.3%.
The percentage of Scottsdale residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.
Scottsdale is home to the Arabian Library and the McCormick Ranch Golf Course as well as Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt and McCormick Railroad Park. Shopping centers in the area include Los Arcos Mall, Park Scottsdale Shopping Center and Papago Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Scottsdale can choose from Hyatt Regency & Resorts - Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort, Doubletree Paradise Valley and Innsuites Hotel-Scottsdale for temporary stays in the area.