Health Guide USA
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Mental Health Counselor Job Outlook

Employment of substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors is projected to grow 22 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. This equates to approximately 68,000 new positions from 2018 to 2018. Employment growth is expected as people continue to seek addiction and mental health counseling services.

Demand for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors is also expected to increase as states seek treatment and counseling services for drug offenders rather than jail time. In recent years, the criminal justice system has recognized that drug and other substance abuse addicts are less likely to offend again if they get treatment for their addiction. As a result, sentences often require drug offenders to attend treatment and counseling programs. In addition, some research suggests that these programs are more cost effective than incarceration and states may use them as a method to reduce recidivism rates.

In addition, there will be a continued need for counselors to work with military veterans to provide them the appropriate mental health or substance abuse counseling care.

Job prospects are expected to be very good for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, particularly for those with a bachelorís or masterís degree. In addition, many workers leave the field after a few years and need to be replaced. As a result, those interested in entering this field should find favorable prospects.

Job prospects are also expected to be very good for mental health counselors, particularly in rural areas or other communities that are underserved by mental health practitioners.

Source: BLS, USDOL

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