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Career and Education Opportunities for Mental Health Counselors in California

California has a population of 36,961,664, which has grown by 9.12% in the last 10 years. Nicknamed the "Golden State," its capital is Sacramento, though its biggest city is Los Angeles.

Currently, 11,200 people work as mental health counselors in California. This is expected to grow 21% to 13,500 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for mental health counselors are expected to grow by about 24.0%. Mental health counselors generally counsel with emphasis on prevention.

Mental health counselors earn about $19 hourly or $41,280 annually on average in California and about $17 per hour or $36,810 per year on average nationally. Incomes for mental health counselors are not quite as good as in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy in California, and not quite as good as the overall Counseling and Therapy category nationally. Jobs in this field include: correctional caseworker, psychologist, and child care counselor.

In 2008, there were a total of 21,063,338 jobs in California. The average annual income was $43,852 in 2008, up from $43,402 in 2007. The unemployment rate in California was 11.4% in 2009, which has grown by 4.2% since the previous year. Roughly 26.6% of California residents have college degrees, which is higher than the national average.

The top industries in California include other electronic parts merchant wholesalers, payroll services, and wineries. Notable tourist destinations include the Architecture & Design Museum, the American Society of Military History & Museum, and the Blitzstein Museum of Art.

CITIES WITH Mental Health Counselor OPPORTUNITIES IN California


JOB DESCRIPTION: Mental Health Counselor

Mental Health Counselor video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, mental health counselors counsel with emphasis on prevention. They also work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental health.

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.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in California 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.
  • Rehabilitation Counselor. Counsel individuals to maximize the independence and employability of persons coping with personal, social, and vocational difficulties that result from birth defects, illness, or the stress of daily life. Coordinate activities for residents of care and treatment facilities. Assess client needs and design and implement rehabilitation programs that may include personal and vocational counseling, training, and job placement.
  • 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: California

California
California photo by Carpaltnl

California has a population of 36,961,664, which has grown by 9.12% over the past decade. Nicknamed the "Golden State," its capital is Sacramento, though its biggest city is Los Angeles. In 2008, there were a total of 21,063,338 jobs in California. The average annual income was $43,852 in 2008, up from $43,402 in 2007. The unemployment rate in California was 11.4% in 2009, which has grown by 4.2% since the previous year. Roughly 26.6% of California residents have college degrees, which is higher than the national average.

The top industries in California include other electronic parts merchant wholesalers, payroll services, and wineries. Notable tourist destinations include the American Society of Military History & Museum, the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, and the Black Maria Art Gallery.