Career and Education Opportunities for Mental Health Counselors in Oxnard, California
There are many career and education opportunities for mental health counselors in the Oxnard, California area. There are currently 11,200 jobs for mental health counselors in California and this is projected to grow 21% to 13,500 jobs 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.
The income of a mental health counselor is about $19 per hour or $41,280 yearly on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $17 hourly or $36,810 yearly on average. 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. Mental health counselors work in a variety of jobs, including: case manager, family counselor, and behavioral health therapist.
There is one school within twenty-five miles of Oxnard where you can study to be a mental health counselor, among sixteen schools of higher education total in the Oxnard area. Given that the most common education level for mental health counselors is a Master's degree, you can expect to spend about six years training to become 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 Oxnard include:
- Career Advisor. Counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.
- 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.
- 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
Oxnard College - Oxnard, CA
Oxnard College, 4000 S Rose Ave, Oxnard, CA 93033-6699. Oxnard College is a medium sized college located in Oxnard, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,639 students. Oxnard College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated twenty-three, eleven, and zero students respectively 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: Oxnard, California
Oxnard is situated in Ventura County, California. It has a population of over 185,717, which has grown by 9.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Oxnard, 132, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Oxnard are valued at $247,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, seventy-four new homes were built in Oxnard, down from two hundred five the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Oxnard are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, construction, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 13.7% of Oxnard residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.6%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Oxnard is 15.0%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.
The percentage of Oxnard residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.6%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. All Saints Episcopal Church, Park Avenue Church of Christ and Good Shepherd Baptist Church are all churches located in Oxnard. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Oxnard is home to the Silver K Golf Course and the Saint Johns Regional Medical Center Health Sciences Library as well as Plaza Park and Mandalay County Park. Shopping malls in the area include Esplanade Mall Shopping Center, Rose Shopping Center and Fremont Square Shopping Center. Visitors to Oxnard can choose from Best Western Oxnard Inn and Ambassador Motel for temporary stays in the area.