Mental & Social Health Services

2022 Mental & Social Health Services Degree Guide

A degree in Mental and Social Health Services allows you to work closely with both children and adults to help them overcome difficult mental or emotion stress and maintain a healthy and happy life.

Mental and Social Health Services professionals work with patients to diagnose and treat mental illness, manage emotional disorders, deal with life stresses, and change behavioral issues. You will take classes in psychology, social work, substance abuse, public health, counseling, physiology, and human services to gain the skills to work with others and prepare to earn an advanced degree.

Some specific areas of this field that you may be interested in concentrating on are Addiction Counseling, Mental Health Services Technician, Clinical Social Work, Community Health Services, Marriage and Family Counseling, Clinical Pastoral Counseling, Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, and Genetic Counseling, among others.

Mental & Social Health Services Degrees Remain Stable

#49 Most Popular Major
20.7k Degrees Awarded
-0.0% Increase in Graduates

In 2019-2020, mental and social health services was the 49th most popular major nationwide with 20,694 degrees awarded. This represents a small change of only -0.0% from the prior year's total of 20,702 mental health services degrees awarded.

The United States has 763 different schools where you can get a degree in mental and social health services. This year's Best Mental & Social Health Services Schools ranking compares 603 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of mental health services programs later in this article.

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Mental & Social Health Services

A degree in Mental and Social Health Services leads to a career working with others, usually one on one. This places a strong emphasis on interpersonal communication, and listening skills. You must be able to listen to what patients are telling you in order to understand their stressors and help them. You must also be compassionate and understand patients may feel insecure, uncomfortable, or scared. Since you will have access to patient files along with the information they share, it is extremely important to be trustworthy and maintain patient-doctor confidentiality.

Graduates with a degree in this field have full time jobs working in hospitals, schools, doctors' offices, and with social services. Some professionals set their own hours, but keep night and weekend hours to accommodate patients' schedules.

In order to practice in the Mental and Social Health Services field, students must earn at least a master's degree, or in some cases, a Ph.D. or Psy.D. may be required along with state certification.

Getting Accepted Into a Mental & Social Health Services Program

mental and social health services degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. Once you obtain your degree, additional mental health services certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Mental & Social Health Services Degree Types

There are various different levels of mental health services degrees. Mental & Social Health Services programs offered by schools range from a to a , which is the highest mental health services degree you can get. Depending on the mental and social health services degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A master's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to mental health services, with approximately 42.2% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to mental health services tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Master’s Degree 42.6%
Bachelor’s Degree 14.4%
Doctoral Degree 10.1%
High School Diploma 9.0%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 6.7%

65.1% of mental health services workers have at least a master's. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in mental and social health services have obtained.


This of course varies depending on which mental health services career you choose.

Career Opportunities for Mental Health Services Majors

Average Number of Jobs
$36.6k Average Starting Salary
16% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Mental and Social Health Services graduates work in a variety of locations from hospitals and medical clinics to social service offices. Depending on your specialization, you may work with adults, children and families with different types of mental and social disorders or issues. Graduates can find jobs in a multitude of locations, or can open their own practice and have their own patients.

High Growth Projected for Mental Health Services Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your mental health services degree? Mental & Social Health Services careers are expected to grow 15.7% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to mental and social health services.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Clergy 263,800 8.2%
Healthcare Social Workers 212,000 20.1%
Mental Health Counselors 194,200 23.1%
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists 168,500 14.2%
Substance Abuse Social Workers 147,900 19.4%

How Much Money Do Mental Health Services Grads Make?

Mental & Social Health Services graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $36,637 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $14,900 to as high as $65,600. As you might expect, salaries for mental health services graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Mental Health Services Majors

Salaries for mental and social health services graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers mental health services grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Psychology Professors $88,490
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists $85,340
Genetic Counselors $80,860
Social Work Professors $77,520
Healthcare Social Workers $58,470

Getting Your Mental & Social Health Services Degree

With over 1,116 different mental health services degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased mental health services school rankings to help you with this.

Mental & Social Health Services is one of 30 different types of Health Professions programs to choose from.

Mental Health Services Concentrations

Major Annual Graduates
Mental Health Counseling/Counselor 6,458
Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling 3,096
Other Mental and Social Health Services and Allied Professions 2,754
Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling 2,294
Community Health Services/Liaison/Counseling 1,997

View All Mental Health Services Focus Areas >

Majors Similar to Mental Health Services

Related Major Annual Graduates
Nursing 305,208
Allied Health Professions 49,265
Health & Medical Administrative Services 48,523
Public Health 35,375
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions 28,237

View All Mental Health Services Related Majors >


More about our data sources and methodologies.

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