Believe it or not, there are many ways one can pursue a career in mental health and helping others. From counseling to therapy, however, each career requires a different level of education, skills, and type of personality.

If you have ever taken a personality assessment or classify yourself as a social, investigative, artistic, or enterprising type, a career in mental health may be for you.

From just a bachelor’s education to doctoral studies, one can pursue a career in counseling, psychology, therapy, psychiatry or social work.

1. Counseling

Most counseling careers require a graduate degree, with the exception of entry-level work as a substance abuse counselor. All of these careers value relationships and achievement.

While Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC) combine psychotherapy and a problem-solving approach to assessment and therapy, School Counselors provide culturally relevant, academic, career and social/emotional support to students.

2. Psychology

A career as a psychologist will require a doctorate degree to become fully licensed and practicing. These careers share the same values as counselors – who would’ve thought!

Individuals who are investigative and social may perform well in these positions. Clinical Psychologists work in a variety of settings providing mental and behavioral health services and also conducting research.

School Psychologists address the developmental needs of students through promotion of positive behaviors, creating a supportive school climate, and improving school-wide assessment.

3. Marriage and Family Therapy

Also sharing similar values, marriage and family therapists become licensed after completing a master’s degree. These licensed mental health professionals address concerns from depression to parent-child conflict by incorporating the role of an individual, holistically within their relationships.

4. Psychiatry

A psychiatrist is a doctorate level educated professional that approach mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders through a medical perspective. They also complete a residency in a hospital addressing medical illnesses before approaching mental treatments.

5. Social Work

Social workers value relationships, achievement, and independence in their work and are graduate level licensed professionals found in many different settings working with individuals, families, and groups to increase social functioning and to advocate for positive community conditions.

If you think that you have these skills and traits, a career in mental health may be right for you. Compare your next career in our infographic below.

Written By
Syrenna Kononovitch is a certified school counselor and managing editor for She creates and organizes supporitve content related to and professional counseling and other mental health careers and graduate educational pathways.

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