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2023 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.

A Recent Jump in Mental & Social Health Services Degrees

#46 Most Popular Major
29.1k Degrees Awarded
5.3% Increase in Graduates

In 2020-2021, mental and social health services was the 46th most popular major nationwide with 29,053 degrees awarded. This is a difference of 1,537 over the prior year, a growth of 5.3%.

Our 2023 Best Mental & Social Health Services Schools ranking analyzes 573 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for mental and social health services students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of mental health services programs later in this article.

2023 Best Colleges for Mental & Social Health Services
2023 Overall Best Mental & Social Health Services Colleges >

Best Mental & Social Health Services Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Mental & Social Health Services
Bachelor's Degrees in Mental & Social Health Services
Master's Degrees in Mental & Social Health Services
Doctorate Degrees in Mental & Social Health Services

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.

DegreeCredit RequirementsTypical Program Length
Associate Degree60-70 credits2 years
Bachelor’s Degree120 credits4 years
Master’s Degree50-70 credits1-3 years
DoctorateProgram required coursework including thesis or dissertationAt 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 EducationPercentage of Workers
Master’s Degree42.6%
Bachelor’s Degree14.4%
Doctoral Degree10.1%
High School Diploma9.0%
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
$39.1k 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 NameProjected JobsExpected Growth
Healthcare Social Workers212,00020.1%
Mental Health Counselors194,20023.1%
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists168,50014.2%
Substance Abuse Social Workers147,90019.4%

How Much Money Do Mental Health Services Grads Make?

Mental & Social Health Services graduates between 2017-2019 reported earning an average of $39,112 in the 2019-2020 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $14,576 to as high as $79,795. 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 NameMedian 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 1,960 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

MajorAnnual Graduates
Mental Health Counseling/Counselor7,609
Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling5,433
Other Mental and Social Health Services and Allied Professions4,069
Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling3,405
Psychiatric/Mental Health Services Technician2,779

View All Mental Health Services Focus Areas >

Majors Similar to Mental Health Services

Related MajorAnnual Graduates
Health & Medical Administrative Services89,359
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services84,492
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants84,274
Allied Health Professions82,308

View All Mental Health Services Related Majors >


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