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
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|
|High School Diploma||9.0%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||6.7%|
This of course varies depending on which mental health services career you choose.
Career Opportunities for Mental Health Services Majors
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|
|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|
|Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists||$85,340|
|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.
Top Ranking Lists for Mental & Social Health Services
Mental & Social Health Services Related Majors
Mental & Social Health Services is one of 30 different types of Health Professions programs to choose from.
Mental Health Services Concentrations
|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|
Majors Similar to Mental Health Services
|Related Major||Annual Graduates|
|Allied Health Professions||49,265|
|Health & Medical Administrative Services||48,523|
|Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions||28,237|
More about our data sources and methodologies.