Monday, September 24, 2012

Educational Requirements For Mental Health Jobs

Mental health care is a very broad field and offers a wide range of mental health jobs. In general most of these jobs involve counseling clients or patients. Some of the mental health practitioners include psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, clinical social workers, professional counselors. These professionals are mostly responsible for helping patients who are diagnosed with emotional problems and mental illness. There are various professions in mental health field and each of these has a lot of career options.
Professional Counselor - There are several jobs that fall under mental health counselor category and almost all of these involve helping and assisting individuals by providing counseling and helping them attain a healthy mind. Mental health counselors use their skills and knowledge in diagnosing and assessing psychological problems, social problems and behavioral problems. A typical diagnosis is usually based on conversation with the clients, assessment of client's education, family background, work, friends, living conditions and conducting specialized tests on them. Medical health counselors generally come from diverse educational backgrounds but a majority of them are degree holders in nursing, psychology, human services, social work, etc. They generally have to obtain graduation from a high school and then have to complete a four year program in a reputed college in any of the above mentioned disciplines such as psychology, social work, human services, etc. Then they have to complete graduation ranging from one to four years in counseling or psychotherapy or psychology. They have to obtain one of the following degrees to become a professional counselor - MEd (Master of Education), MA (Master of Arts in Psychology), MSW (Master of Social Work). If interested they can even complete a doctorate in Psychology and Education (Phd or Eed). In order to become a licensed professional counselor, an individual has to have either a doctorate or a master's degree along with two years of clinical supervision and must also clear a written examination.
Psychologist - In order to take up a mental health job as a psychiatrist an individual needs to have a doctorate in psychology or can be a psychologist with a doctorate. A doctoral degree usually requires five years of full time graduate studies. A specialist degree or any of its equivalent is mostly required in few of the states in order for an individual to work as school psychologist. Also, in order to obtain a license, they need to pass a certification exam.
Psychiatrist - After completing the MD program, the real psychiatry program begins. An individual trying to secure a job as a psychiatrist has to complete a four year psychiatric residency program and has to even undergo hospital training in psychiatry.
Social Worker - A bachelor's degree in social work (BSW) is a minimum requirement in order to qualify for most of these jobs. A master's degree (MSW) is usually required in order to secure a job in private or public agencies.
With a lot of scope of growth in medical health jobs, it is high time, students notice the career prospects and make a note of the educational requirements needed to secure a job in this sector.