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Career and Education Opportunities for Mental Health Counselors in St. Paul, Minnesota

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for mental health counselors in the St. Paul, Minnesota area. There are currently 1,950 jobs for mental health counselors in Minnesota and this is projected to grow by 33% to about 2,600 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%. Mental health counselors generally counsel with emphasis on prevention.

Mental health counselors earn approximately $19 hourly or $41,070 yearly on average in Minnesota. Nationally they average about $17 hourly or $36,810 yearly. Incomes for mental health counselors are not quite as good as in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy in Minnesota, and not quite as good as the overall Counseling and Therapy category nationally. Jobs in this field include: certified alcohol and drug counselor , bereavement counselor, and child care counselor.

There are seventy-seven schools of higher education in the St. Paul area, including eight within twenty-five miles of St. Paul 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 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

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 St. Paul 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

University of St Thomas - Saint Paul, MN

University of St Thomas, 2115 Summit Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105-1078. University of St Thomas is a large university located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,960 students and an admission rate of 81%. University of St Thomas has a bachelor's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated two students in 2008.

Metropolitan State University - Saint Paul, MN

Metropolitan State University, 700 E Seventh St, Saint Paul, MN 55106-5000. Metropolitan State University is a medium sized university located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,909 students and an admission rate of 53%. Metropolitan State University has a bachelor's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated ten students in 2008.

North Central University - Minneapolis, MN

North Central University, 910 Elliot Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404-1391. North Central University is a small university located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,136 students and an admission rate of 29%. North Central University has a bachelor's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling.

Walden University - Minneapolis, MN

Walden University, 155 Fifth Ave S, Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55401. Walden University is a large university located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 34,907 students. Walden University has a master's degree program in Mental Health Counseling/Counselor which graduated twelve students in 2008.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities - Minneapolis, MN

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 100 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0213. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is a large university located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 51,140 students and an admission rate of 53%. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities has 2 areas of study related to Mental Health Counselor. They are:

  • Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling, less than one year and postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated twelve and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties, postbaccalaureate certificate.

Century Community and Technical College - White Bear Lake, MN

Century Community and Technical College, 3300 Century Ave N, White Bear Lake, MN 55110. Century Community and Technical College is a medium sized college located in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,384 students. Century Community and Technical College has an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College - Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis Community and Technical College, 1501 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403-1779. Minneapolis Community and Technical College is a medium sized college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,539 students. Minneapolis Community and Technical College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated one, four, and forty-two students respectively in 2008.

Capella University - Minneapolis, MN

Capella University, 225 South 6th Street, 9th Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55402-3389. Capella University is a large university located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 23,733 students and an admission rate of 100%. Capella University has 2 areas of study related to Mental Health Counselor. They are:

  • Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling, postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated 23 students in 2008.
  • Mental Health Counseling/Counselor, master's degree which graduated 46 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.

LICENSES

Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

Licensing agency: Behavioral Health and Therapy (BBHT), Minnesota Board of
Address: 2829 University Ave SE, Suite 210, Minneapolis, MN 55414

Phone: (651) 201-2758
Website: Behavioral Health and Therapy (BBHT), Minnesota Board of

LOCATION INFORMATION: St. Paul, Minnesota

St. Paul, Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota photo by Gridge

St. Paul is located in Ramsey County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 279,590, which has shrunk by 2.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in St. Paul, 99, is near the national average. New single-family homes in St. Paul are valued at $213,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, thirty new homes were built in St. Paul, down from seventy-four the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in St. Paul are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 32.0% of St. Paul residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Paul is 7.4%, which is greater than Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of St. Paul residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 61.3%, is more than both the national and state average. Zion Church, Convent of the Visitation and Saint Paul Cathedral are some of the churches located in St. Paul. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Baptist General Conference.

St. Paul is home to the Saint Paul Orphange and the Wilder Center as well as Terrace Park and East View Playground.