25 Mental Health Careers Without a Degree

Requirements: You generally need a doctoral degree to be a counseling psychologist, but you can work on a limited basis with a master’s degree. This would require you to be supervised by another psychologist. You also must complete one or two years of supervised experience and pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.

A clinical psychologist assesses, diagnoses, and treats mental health and emotional disorders. Clinical psychologists assist people to work through their problems, which can range from shorter term personal problems to longer term chronic psychological problems. Clinical psychologists tend to work on the more serious types of mental health problems, whereas counseling psychologists work more on less serious mental health problems.

Mental Health Jobs That Don’t Require A College Degree Or Student Loans(HighPaying)

13 mental health careers without a degree

If you are interested in joining professionals in the mental health field but dont have a degree, consider these 13 positions, organized by average salary, to help you decide which may be a career path for you:

Primary duties: A teaching assistant often works with disabled students or those who have mental health conditions, whether in special education settings, public schools or private facilities. They help teachers, parents, students and other school staff with student development and individual progress. Teaching assistants organize the classroom, answer questions and help keep students orderly. Many teaching assistants have yet to earn a degree, though many go on to.

Primary duties: A health educator works to educate those in the community about health, wellness and behaviors, including elements of mental health. They develop programs, organize events, establish connections, link patients to appropriate services and advocate for individuals and communities. Health educators may fundraise for their cause or organization and they often promote a variety of overall healthcare practices and information. They may specialize in certain aspects of mental health awareness, like eating disorders, PTSD or ADHD, or work with a broad scope of conditions and illnesses.

Primary duties: A home health aide visits a persons private residence to assist them with practical and daily tasks, like bathing, eating and housekeeping responsibilities. Many home health aides work with patients who have mental health conditions, and some get directly employed with mental health, substance abuse and rehabilitation organizations. Home health aides may work with a patient in the short or long term.

Primary duties: A community health worker connects individuals and groups of people in a community to various services and organizations through outreach and educational programs. They establish contacts, provide referrals and issue social support to those who have mental health issues or are dealing with it amongst their family or friends. For example, community health workers may help a client sign up for and receive health care services, food stamps or transportation to and from appointments.

Primary duties: A counseling intern leads and interacts in a supervised group or individual counseling sessions, including consultation, outreach and crisis intervention. They often perform assessments and intake exams to make referrals or to help create a counseling plan. As mental health counseling interns, they typically report to professional staff, including licensed psychologists. While counseling interns rarely have a degree, many end up attaining one.

Primary duties: A mental health case manager designs patient care plans, often centered on achieving specific life and wellness goals. They collaborate and coordinate with other mental health professionals, including doctors, nurses and counselors, to create and approve patient plans. A mental health case manager may work with a patient for a brief period, or for long-term mental health needs. They also respond to and handle crisis situations when needed.

Primary duties: A peer support specialist helps those recovering from various addictions or supporting those with mental illness. Often, peer support specialists have personal life experience in handling related issues, offering information, tools and tips to cope in certain situations or challenging life moments. Some peer specialists are still in recovery themselves and a majority of these positions require only a high school diploma and training.

Primary duties: An administrative assistant is responsible for answering phones, scheduling appointments, handling invoicing, billing and payment collection, staffing the reception desk and more. In the mental health field, administrative assistants may work in residential facilities, clinics, community health centers or nonprofit and government organizations.

Primary duties: A substance abuse counselor handles aspects of addiction and recovery for clients, whether alcohol or drug-related. They work with patients voluntarily or those who are court-ordered to receive treatment and also help families and friends navigate supporting someone in recovery. While substance abuse counselors often have various levels of education, many start their careers without a degree. They often work in hospitals, detention centers, schools, social service facilities and rehabilitation centers.

Primary duties: A caseworker, or social worker, helps disadvantaged families and patients along their journey to wellness. With mental health concerns, caseworkers often collaborate with other professionals in the healthcare field to ensure patients get assessed and treated correctly and receive support from various services. Caseworkers work with all ages, from children to the elderly, and frequently get hired by healthcare, government and nonprofit agencies.

Primary duties: A social services assistant is responsible for helping clients know about and access services meant to meet their medical, mental health and practical needs. They research and organize support groups, housing options, financial services, medication services and other useful connections to help those experiencing mental health circumstances manage their condition or situation. Social services assistants provide information and help rather than diagnose patients or provide treatment. They also support other mental health professionals, like social workers, psychologists and counselors.

Primary duties: A medical secretary in the mental health field often handles the daily operations of a mental health medical office, scheduling appointments, hiring and training staff, ordering supplies, preparing emails and correspondence, working with medical staff and operating office technology. Medical secretaries can often gain employment with a certification or go on to higher education options.

Primary duties: A psychiatric technician, or mental health technician, is responsible for the health and safety of patients and staff at various facilities, like hospitals and treatment centers. They assist social workers, counselors and others in individual and group therapy sessions and aid in restraining patients who show violent behavior or outbursts. Psychiatric technicians often monitor patients, help administer treatment and medication and assist patients with daily tasks. The position often requires enrolling in a certificate or vocational program.

What are mental health careers?

Mental health careers are professional positions for those who work with individuals and groups of all ages in dealing with various life stresses, issues, challenges or problems, including but not limited to:

The mental health field has a wide range of professions and some positions require advanced degrees and special training, while other roles do not. Mental health roles often work in hospitals, clinics, schools, government agencies, research facilities and private practices. Starting a career in mental health without a degree can often serve as an entry-level job with many opportunities for Professional Development and advancement through experience and additional education.

12 additional positions in the mental health career

Consider exploring these 12 other roles in the mental health care field for those without a degree:


How can I help someone with mental illness without a degree?

13 mental health careers without a degree
  1. Teaching assistant.
  2. Health educator.
  3. Home health aide.
  4. Community health worker.
  5. Counseling intern.
  6. Mental health case manager.
  7. Peer support specialist.
  8. Administrative assistant.

What type of counselor does not need a degree?

How Do You Become a Therapist without a Degree?
  • Peer support counselors.
  • Career counselors.
  • Substance abuse counselors.
  • Life skills counselors.
  • Youth workers.
  • Community outreach workers.

How do I start working in the mental health field?

Career Spotlight: How to Become a Mental Health Counselor
  1. Get the proper education. Though a bachelor’s degree is suitable for some mental health professions, a master’s degree is often required. …
  2. Gain volunteer experience. …
  3. Complete an internship or residency. …
  4. Get licensed. …
  5. Get the job. …
  6. Keep learning. …
  7. Latest Posts.

What are three careers in mental health?

Mental Health Careers
  • Clinical or Counseling Psychologist.
  • Marriage and Family Therapist.
  • Clinical Social Worker.
  • Psychiatric Registered Nurse.
  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.
  • Psychiatrist.
  • Mental Health Counselor.

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