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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

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to mental health services and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Mental Health Services Majors

Mental Health Services majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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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

When studying mental health services, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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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

Students from other countries are interested in Mental Health Services, too. 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 starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in mental health services was $40,100 per year. These stats come 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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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in mental health services, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

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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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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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 63,380
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions 23,124
Medicine 19,720
Public Health 18,212
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences 16,970
Health & Medical Administrative Services 14,633
Allied Health Professions 11,260
Communication Sciences 9,970
Osteopathic Medicine 6,700
Dentistry 6,403
Veterinary Medicine 3,297
Alternative Medicine & Systems 2,714
Chiropractic 2,608
Dietetics & Clinical Nutrition Services 2,301
Optometry 1,747
Advanced Dentistry & Oral Sciences 1,654
Health Sciences & Services 1,526
Medical Illustration & Informatics 1,418
Other Health Professions 1,292
Health/Medical Prep Programs 1,117
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science 842
Medical Science 809
Podiatry 579
Bioethics/Medical Ethics 553
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 475
Veterinary Biomedical & Clinical Services 455
Alternative Medical Support Services 129
Dental Support Services 83
Movement & Mind-Body Therapies 79
Energy & Biologically Based Therapies 34
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services 19
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 3
Health Aids/Attendants/Orderlies 0

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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