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Career and Education Opportunities for Mental Health Counselors in Boise, Idaho

There are many career and education opportunities for mental health counselors in the Boise, Idaho area. There are currently 510 jobs for mental health counselors in Idaho and this is projected to grow by 38% to about 710 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for mental health counselors, which sees this job pool growing by about 24.0% over the next eight years. In general, mental health counselors counsel with emphasis on prevention.

The average wage in the general category of Counseling and Therapy jobs is $20 per hour or $41,426 per year in Idaho, and an average of $20 per hour or $40,620 per year nationwide. Jobs in this field include: case manager, mental health therapist, and counselor.

There are eleven schools of higher education in the Boise area, including one within twenty-five miles of Boise where you can get a degree to start your career as a mental health counselor. Mental health counselors usually hold a Master's degree, so 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 if you have a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER 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.

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 Boise 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.
  • 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

Boise State University - Boise, ID

Boise State University, 1910 University Dr, Boise, ID 83725. Boise State University is a large university located in Boise, Idaho. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 19,667 students and an admission rate of 81%. Boise State University has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated two students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Boise, Idaho

Boise, Idaho
Boise, Idaho photo by Dmharris26

Boise is situated in Ada County, Idaho. It has a population of over 205,314, which has grown by 10.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Boise, 90, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Boise are priced at $245,800 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-three new homes were built in Boise, down from four hundred twenty-six the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Boise are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 33.6% of Boise residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Boise is 9.2%, which is greater than Idaho's average of 8.3%.

The percentage of Boise residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.5%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the LDS (Mormon) Church, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.