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Mental & Social Health Services Major

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Mental & Social Health Services

13,041 Master's Degrees Annually
283 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#15 in Popularity (Master's)
$54,150 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Mental & Social Health Services Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many mental and social health services graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 13,051
Graduate Certificate 988
Doctor’s Degree 283

What Mental & Social Health Services Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, mental health services majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Mental Health Services Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in mental health services should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Skills for Mental Health Services Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to mental health services:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Abilities for Mental Health Services Majors

A major in mental health services will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

What Can You Do With a Mental & Social Health Services Major?

People with a mental health services degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Clergy 8.2% $48,990
Community Health Workers 17.9% $39,540
Counseling Psychologists 14.2% $76,990
Counselors 14.2% $42,130
Genetic Counselors 29.0% $80,370
Health Educators 14.6% $54,220
Healthcare Social Workers 20.1% $56,200
Marriage and Family Therapists 23.4% $50,090
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers 19.4% $44,840
Mental Health Counselors 23.1% NA
Psychiatric Technicians 5.9% $32,870
Psychology Professors 15.1% $76,710
Social Work Professors 9.4% $68,300
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors 23.2% NA

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Mental & Social Health Services?

13,051 Master's Degrees Annually
83% Percent Women
39% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is one of the most frequently chosen graduate majors. It is the 15th most popular in the country with 13,041 students graduating with a master’s in mental health services in 2019. This major is dominated by women with about 83% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of mental health services majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Mental Health Services Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 350
Black or African American 2,350
Hispanic or Latino 1,871
White 6,743
International Students 253
Other Races/Ethnicities 1,484

Geographic Diversity

Mental Health Services appeals to people across the globe. About 1.9% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • Canada
  • China
  • Saudi Arabia
  • India
  • South Korea

How Much Do Mental & Social Health Services Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The median early-career salary of mental and social health services students with a master’s degree is $40,100 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $37,150 (25th percentile) and $42,475 (75th percentile).

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We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to mental health services so take that into consideration.

Salaries According to BLS

Mental Health Services majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $47,740 to $77,520 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Mental & Social Health Services Major  ( 47740 to 77520 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with mental health services may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for mental health services careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 0.1%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 9.0%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 0.9%
Some College Courses 2.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 6.7%
Bachelor’s Degree 14.4%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 2.2%
Master’s Degree 42.6%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 4.1%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 2.3%
Doctoral Degree 10.1%
Post-Doctoral Training 5.6%

Online Mental & Social Health Services Programs

In 2018-2019, 882 schools offered a mental health services program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 281 35
Certificate (1-2 years) 221 24
Certificate (2-4 Years) 5 0
Associate’s Degree 376 46
Bachelor’s Degree 115 32
Post-Baccalaureate 281 35
Master’s Degree 484 78
Post-Master’s 89 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 49 9
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 12 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Mental & Social Health Services Worth It?

The median salary for a mental health services grad is $54,150 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 36% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $285,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to mental health services.

Major Number of Grads
Nursing 305,309
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 99,641
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 93,192
Allied Health Professions 86,697
Health & Medical Administrative Services 82,868
Public Health 36,569
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions 28,559
Dental Support Services 26,183
Health Sciences & Services 25,948
Communication Sciences 21,606
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences 19,767
Medicine 19,720
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science 19,354
Health/Medical Prep Programs 11,279
Other Health Professions 8,168
Osteopathic Medicine 6,700
Dentistry 6,403
Dietetics & Clinical Nutrition Services 5,877
Alternative Medicine & Systems 3,576
Veterinary Medicine 3,297
Health Aids/Attendants/Orderlies 3,251
Chiropractic 2,608
Optometry 1,747
Advanced Dentistry & Oral Sciences 1,685
Medical Illustration & Informatics 1,624
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services 1,044
Medical Science 809
Veterinary Biomedical & Clinical Services 782
Bioethics/Medical Ethics 597
Podiatry 579
Movement & Mind-Body Therapies 444
Alternative Medical Support Services 191
Energy & Biologically Based Therapies 73

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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