Mental Health Careers That Pay The Most
Mental health careers offer many different roles and pathways to pursue. Mental Health professionals work long hours to assist and provide support for those greatly affected by mental health issues. Despite the workload, jobs in this field provide a rewarding opportunity for anyone dedicated to improving the wellbeing of others. With the demand for mental health workers expected to increase in the next five years, the sector is not only getting bigger but so are career opportunities.
Today’s blog explores some of the most rewarding jobs available in the mental health sector, what their role is, and a brief look at average salaries. We will also be outlining the qualifications needed for each pathway. Bear in mind, not every job listed can be practiced with just a Certificate or Diploma. Specific occupations (i.e. psychology and nursing) require additional academic studies/ work experience before becoming registered in the field (i.e. Bachelors/ Masters). Nonetheless, this post is aimed at readers who are interested in beginning a career towards improving the lives of others but are unsure of where to start.
7 Highest Paying Mental Health Careers:
Mental Health Nurse
Mental Health Support Worker
Avg. Salary: Registered :$100k/ year, Clinical: $110k/year (Seek)
Psychologists work in a wide variety of fields and settings related to mental and allied health. Whether you are a clinical or registered psychologist, you can be expected to provide counselling, therapy, and other psychological services to assist people with mental health problems. They do this by analysing the client’s behaviours and development to properly diagnose mental disorders and generally help clients cope with their issues.
Clinical Psychologists support people who require immediate assistance with clinical mental health problems and emotional disorders. They build trust in their clients by consistently communicating with them and applying their practice to better diagnose their mental health issues. Due to the high-end nature of their profession and clients, Clinical Psychologists usually end up earning more than registered psychologists (as estimated above in Avg. Salary).
Pursuing a career in psychology involves many years of hard work and study. Clinical Psychologists usually do some additional years of study than what is required for registered psychologists. Whilst it usually takes a total of 6 years to qualify as a registered psychologist (Bachelors to Postgraduate to Master’s Degree/Ph.D.), clinical psychologists do an additional 2 years of doctorate studying/ professional training to become qualified.
2. Mental Health Nurse
Avg. Salary: $90-100k/ year (Seek)
Mental Health Nurses have the benefit of working within a wide range of health services. They are specialised nurses within hospitals and community health centres, providing support (both medical and psychological) for clients affected by mental health issues. Mental Health Nurses perform this by assessing their client’s behaviours, which helps them provide the right care for individuals and families. Overall, they primarily focus on the mental wellbeing of patients within a clinical setting.
Most Mental Health Nurses become qualified by earning a Bachelors Degree in Nursing. All registered nurses must undergo at least 2-3 years of practical work experience and postgraduate study (i.e. a Graduate Nursing Diploma), under the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Board. This can help them to eventually register as a Mental Health Nurse. The best way to kickstart a career in Mental Health Nursing is usually by obtaining a qualified Certificate IV in Mental Health, which can then lead towards studying a Bachelor of Science (Nursing) later on.
3. Social Worker
Avg. Salary: $80-95k/ year (Seek/ JobOutlook)
Social Workers engage with the various social needs of individuals, families, and groups within disadvantaged communities. They are responsible for supporting people to enhance their wellbeing in life, as well as providing them with access to community/ support services to assist them. The keyword in all this is ‘support’. Social Workers support their clients with mental health issues, by acting as a facilitator between clients within services and helping them with resolving their issues through counselling and emotional support.
The need for Social Workers within the Mental Health sector is expected to grow within the next five-six years. This position is well suited for those who are patient, open-minded, and dedicated to helping people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Becoming a qualified Social Worker usually involves completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. This is then followed up by a two-year Masters Degree, as well as registering with the Australian Association of Social Workers. This, combined with practical work experience, will overall help build the skills and approval needed to qualify as a Social Worker in Australia.
4. Outreach Officer
Avg. Salary: $70-85k/ year (Seek)
Outreach Officers work within many different groups and organisations within a community. You can find them in churches, schools, government organisations, and businesses, with the sole job of educating the public about issues within the community (i.e. Mental Health Issues). They do this by communicating with various organisations about certain issues (such as mental health, youth, domestic violence, and alcohol and drug abuse), whilst also creating bonds between people and groups in the community. They can ultimately help provide support programs and community resources which can help individuals in need.
Studying a Certificate IV and/ or Diploma in either Mental Health or Community Services is usually the best place to start for those who want to become an Outreach Officer. TrainSmart Australia also offers the Diploma of Youth Work for those who want to specialise as a Youth Outreach Officer, to work with children and young adults within schools and other community education services.
5. Case Manager
Avg. Salary: $80k/ year (Seek)
Case Managers support individuals and groups experiencing mental health issues, homelessness, alcohol abuse/ substance addiction, and domestic violence. They can often be seen managing hefty caseloads, with clients who require immediate attention and support. Case Managers do this by assessing the client’s needs from a variety of standpoints and providing them with human services that can help them. This job requires an agile, scheduled mindset who enjoys problem-solving and helping people reach their goals.
Qualifying as a Case Manager in Australia is thankfully a lot more straightforward than some of the other jobs listed in the blog. One can obtain a Diploma of Community Services or Counselling to become a qualified Case Manager. TrainSmart Australia offers both these courses as well as the Diploma of Community Services (Case Management), a course specially created in response to the growing demand for case managers in Australia.
6. Intake Worker
Avg. Salary: $70-80k/ year (Seek)
Intake Workers are essential for providing holistic care to clients. They work as part of multidisciplinary teams including general practitioners, allied health professionals (i.e. nurses), and mental healthcare workers within the health/ social services sector. Intake Workers can often be seen interviewing patients and keeping records of their mental health needs, whilst providing them with support and services best suited to their needs.
A Diploma of Community Services is often the best place to start on the path to becoming qualified as an Intake Worker. This Diploma can then be used for additional education with a bachelor’s degree within a similar field.
7. Mental Health Support Worker
Avg. Salary: $70k/ year (Seek)
Mental Health Support Workers are usually described within the same area as social workers and nurses. Despite the similarities, Support Workers provide treatment and services for clients affected by anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They do this as part of their daily tasks, by providing counselling to clients and referring them to support services to suit their needs. Mental Health Support Workers also keep extensive records of their clients to assist them long-term and update their treatment plan over time.
Becoming a Mental Health Support Worker requires completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. Completing a Certificate IV in Mental health with TrainSmart Australia is a fantastic start for those looking to study further and work in the field.