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Career and Education Opportunities for Mental Health Counselors in Midland, Texas

Mental health counselor career and educational opportunities abound in Midland, Texas. There are currently 2,950 working mental health counselors in Texas; this should grow 27% to about 3,760 working mental health counselors in the state 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.

Income for mental health counselors is about $16 per hour or $35,300 yearly on average in Texas. Nationally, their income is about $17 per hour or $36,810 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy, people working as mental health counselors in Texas 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: college mental health counselor, grief counselor, and licensed professional counselor .

There are five schools of higher education in the Midland area, including two within twenty-five miles of Midland 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 Midland 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

Odessa College - Odessa, TX

Odessa College, 201 W University, Odessa, TX 79764. Odessa College is a small college located in Odessa, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,808 students. Odessa College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated zero and nine students respectively in 2008.

Midland College - Midland, TX

Midland College, 3600 N Garfield, Midland, TX 79705. Midland College is a medium sized college located in Midland, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 4,372 students. Midland College has an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated six 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: Midland, Texas

Midland, Texas
Midland, Texas photo by Billy_Hathorn

Midland is situated in Midland County, Texas. It has a population of over 106,561, which has grown by 12.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Midland, 80, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Midland cost $117,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, four hundred eighty-three new homes were built in Midland, down from five hundred fourteen the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Midland are health care, educational services, and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction. For men, it is mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction, construction, and health care. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 27.2% of Midland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Midland is 5.7%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Midland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 61.5%, is more than both the national and state average. Alamo Heights Church, Ellis Chapel North Church and Primera Iglesia Bautista Church are among the churches located in Midland. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Midland is home to the Windmill Number Three and the Ranchland Hills Country Club as well as Tolbert Park and Doug Russell Park. Visitors to Midland can choose from Best Inn & Suites - Harrys Bar & Grill, Bradford Inn and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.