Career and Education Opportunities for Mental Health Counselors in Elizabeth, New Jersey
Mental health counselor career and educational opportunities abound in Elizabeth, New Jersey. There are currently 3,800 jobs for mental health counselors in New Jersey and this is projected to grow 19% to about 4,500 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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.
A person working as a mental health counselor can expect to earn about $18 hourly or $39,260 per year on average in New Jersey and about $17 per hour or $36,810 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy, people working as mental health counselors in New Jersey earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy nationally. Mental health counselors work in a variety of jobs, including: elder counselor, behavior support specialist , and correctional care and treatment worker.
There are 298 schools of higher education in the Elizabeth area, including eight within twenty-five miles of Elizabeth 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 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 Elizabeth 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.
- 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
Iona College - New Rochelle, NY
Iona College, 715 North Ave, New Rochelle, NY 10801-1890. Iona College is a small college located in New Rochelle, New York. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,375 students and an admission rate of 59%. Iona College has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Mental Health Counseling/Counselor which graduated zero and five students respectively in 2008.
Pace University-New York - New York, NY
Pace University-New York, 1 Pace Plaza, New York, NY 10038-1598. Pace University-New York is a large university located in New York, New York. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,229 students and an admission rate of 78%. Pace University-New York has 2 areas of study related to Mental Health Counselor. They are:
- Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling, master's degree which graduated 17 students in 2008.
- Mental Health Counseling/Counselor, master's degree which graduated 16 students in 2008.
CUNY City College - New York, NY
CUNY City College, 160 Convent Ave, New York, NY 10031-9101. CUNY City College is a large college located in New York, New York. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,022 students and an admission rate of 42%. CUNY City College has a master's degree program in Mental Health Counseling/Counselor which graduated three students in 2008.
Touro College - New York, NY
Touro College, 27-33 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10010. Touro College is a large college located in New York, New York. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,247 students and an admission rate of 57%. Touro College has a master's degree program in Mental Health Counseling/Counselor which graduated sixty-seven students in 2008.
CUNY Brooklyn College - Brooklyn, NY
CUNY Brooklyn College, 2900 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11210-2889. CUNY Brooklyn College is a large college located in Brooklyn, New York. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,575 students and an admission rate of 40%. CUNY Brooklyn College has a master's degree and a post-master's certificate program in Mental Health Counseling/Counselor which graduated eleven and one students respectively in 2008.
Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus - Brooklyn, NY
Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus, University Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11201-5372. Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus is a medium sized university located in Brooklyn, New York. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,459 students and an admission rate of 60%. Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus has a master's degree program in Mental Health Counseling/Counselor which graduated eleven students in 2008.
Seton Hall University - South Orange, NJ
Seton Hall University, 400 S Orange Ave, South Orange, NJ 07079-2697. Seton Hall University is a medium sized university located in South Orange, New Jersey. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,592 students and an admission rate of 73%. Seton Hall University has a post-master's certificate program in Mental Health Counseling/Counselor which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.
CUNY Kingsborough Community College - Brooklyn, NY
CUNY Kingsborough Community College, 2001 Oriental Blvd, Brooklyn, NY 11235-2398. CUNY Kingsborough Community College is a large college located in Brooklyn, New York. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,117 students. CUNY Kingsborough Community College has a one to two year program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated five students 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: Elizabeth, New Jersey
Elizabeth is situated in Union County, New Jersey. It has a population of over 124,755, which has grown by 3.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elizabeth, 140, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Elizabeth are valued at $321,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, eight new homes were constructed in Elizabeth, up from six the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Elizabeth are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and other transportation, and support activities, and couriers. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 12.1% of Elizabeth residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.2%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Elizabeth is 12.4%, which is greater than New Jersey's average of 9.3%.
The percentage of Elizabeth residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 65.5%, is more than both the national and state average. First Pentecostal Church, Christ Episcopal Church and Alliance International Fellowship Church are some of the churches located in Elizabeth. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the American Baptist Churches in the USA.
Elizabeth is home to the North Elizabeth Station and the Julian Station as well as Kellogg Park and Jackson Park. Visitors to Elizabeth can choose from Hampton Inn Newark-Airport, Centro America Express and Hilton Newark Airport for temporary stays in the area.