Career and Education Opportunities for Mental Health Counselors in Greensboro, North Carolina
For those living in the Greensboro, North Carolina area, there are many career and education opportunities for mental health counselors. There are currently 2,050 jobs for mental health counselors in North Carolina and this is projected to grow by 53% to about 3,130 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%. In general, mental health counselors counsel with emphasis on prevention.
Mental health counselors earn about $18 per hour or $37,710 annually on average in North Carolina and about $17 hourly or $36,810 yearly on average nationally. Incomes for mental health counselors are not quite as good as in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy in North Carolina, and not quite as good as the overall Counseling and Therapy category nationally. People working as mental health counselors can fill a number of jobs, such as: chemical dependency therapist, family counselor, and treatment coordinator.
There is one school within twenty-five miles of Greensboro where you can study to be a mental health counselor, among thirty schools of higher education total in the Greensboro area. The most common level of education for mental health counselors is a Master's degree. You can expect to spend about six years studying 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
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 Greensboro 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
Guilford Technical Community College - Jamestown, NC
Guilford Technical Community College, 601 High Point Rd, Jamestown, NC 27282. Guilford Technical Community College is a large college located in Jamestown, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,289 students. Guilford Technical Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated two and eight 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: Greensboro, North Carolina
Greensboro is situated in Guilford County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 250,642, which has grown by 11.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Greensboro, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Greensboro are priced at $140,500 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, seven hundred fifty-three new homes were built in Greensboro, down from 1,516 the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Greensboro are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 33.9% of Greensboro residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.8%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Greensboro is 10.5%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.
The percentage of Greensboro residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Muirs Chapel, Mount Tabor Church and Bass Chapel are all churches located in Greensboro. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Greensboro is home to the Holden Plaza and the English Market as well as Shannon Woods Park and Lake Daniel Park. Shopping centers in the area include Greenbriar Mall, Golden Gate Shopping Center and Carolina Circle Shopping Mall. Visitors to Greensboro can choose from Greensboro Days Inn, Execustay by Marriot and Biltmore Hotel for temporary stays in the area.