Has this site encouraged you to be interested in a career in behavioral health care?

Exploring some options is a great way to realize what careers are available for you to pursue. Talk to your academic advisor, a faculty member or career counseling center to learn more about undergraduate and graduate school educational requirements, internship and work/study opportunities and  state licensing requirements.

Clinical Psychologist

Overview: Diagnose or evaluate mental and emotional disorders of individuals through observation, interview, and psychological tests, and formulate and administer programs of treatment.
Venues: Private practices, hospitals, community health centers, school districts.
Education: Most of these occupations require a four – year bachelor’s degree

Counseling Psychologist

Overview: Assess and evaluate individuals’ problems through the use of case history, interview, and observation and provide individual or group counseling services to assist individuals in achieving more effective personal, social, educational, and vocational development and adjustment.
Venues: Private practices, hospitals, community health centers, school districts.
Education: A bachelor’s degree is the minimum formal education required for these occupations. However, many also require graduate school. For example, they may require a master’s degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D.

Critical Care Nurse

Overview: Critical care nurses care for acutely and critically ill patients of all ages and diagnoses. Care involves complex assessment and high intensity interventions, often involving sophisticated technology. Critical care nurses also attend to the psychosocial and emotional needs of patients, their families and significant others.
Venues: Primarily in hospitals in intensive care units, cardiac care units, emergency departments and recovery rooms; critical care nurses are also moving into home health care and outpatient surgery centers.
Education: Active RN license

Emergency Medical Technicians

Overview: EMTs and paramedics provide this vital service as they care for and transport the sick or injured to a medical facility.In an emergency, EMTs and paramedics are typically dispatched by a 911 operator to the scene, where they often work with police and firemen. Once they arrive, EMTs and paramedics assess the nature of the patient’s condition while trying to determine whether the patient has any pre-existing medical conditions. Following medical protocols and guidelines, they provide appropriate emergency care and, when necessary, transport the patient.
Venues: EMTs and paramedics employed by fire departments work about 50 hours a week. Those employed by hospitals frequently work between 45 and 60 hours a week, and those in private ambulance services, between 45 and 50 hours.
Education: All 50 States require certification for each of the EMT levels.

Emergency 911 Telecommunications Specialist

Overview: Receives information requiring law enforcement, fire and/or medical responses and transforms information via radio/or phone to proper emergency or non-emergency services
Venues: State wide districts, counties
Education: Comprehensive knowledge of communications policies, principles, procedures and related local, state and federal rules and regulations. Comprehensive knowledge of the functions and operations of the Communications Center and its related equipment and capabilities.

Forensic Science Technicians

Overview: Technicians sometimes collect physical evidence at crime scenes. Often evidence is collected by crime scene investigators and brought to the crime lab where technicians do much of their work. Forensic science technicians interpret lab findings to identify the physical evidence. They often confer with experts or other technicians.
Venues: Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies
Education: A bachelor’s degree in science or a science-related technology; and have a good eye for detail.

Health Educator

Overview: Promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health by helping people and communities adopt healthy behaviors. Collect and analyze data to identify community needs before planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating programs designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, policies, and environments.
Venues: Community health education, school health education, health promotion
Education: Bachelor’s degree in health education. Health educators may choose to become a Certified Health Education Specialist, a credential offered by the National Commission of Health Education Credentialing, Inc.

Health Information Technician

Overview: Medical records and health information technicians organize and evaluate patient records for observations, medical or surgical interventions, and treatment outcomes. medical history, the results of examinations, reports of x rays and laboratory tests, diagnoses, and treatment plans for completeness and accuracy.
Venues: Hospitals, doctor’s offices, medical centers
Education: An associate degree from a community or junior college. Many employers favor technicians who have become Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT).

Social and Human Services Assistant

Overview: Social and human service assistants help social workers, health care workers, and other professionals to provide services to people. Social and human service assistant is a generic term for workers with a wide array of job titles, including human service worker, case management aide, social work assistant, community support worker, mental health aide, community outreach worker, life skills counselor, or gerontology aide.
Venues: The health care and social assistance industries. State and local governments, primarily in public welfare agencies and facilities for mentally disabled and developmentally challenged individuals.
Education: A bachelor’s degree is not required for most jobs in this occupation, but employers increasingly seek individuals with relevant work experience or education beyond high school.

Licensed Practical Nurse

Overview: Licensed practical nurses (LPNs), or licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), care for people who are sick, injured, convalescent, or disabled under the direction of physicians and registered nurses.
Venues: Hospitals, nursing care facilities, offices of physicians, home health care services; employment services; residential care facilities; community care facilities for the elderly; outpatient care centers; and Federal, State, and local government agencies.
Education: Most training programs, lasting about 1 year, are offered by vocational or technical schools or community or junior colleges. LPNs must be licensed to practice. Successful completion of a practical nurse program and passing an examination are required to become licensed.

Medical Assistant

Overview: Medical assistants perform administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other health practitioners running smoothly.
Venues: Offices of physicians, public and private hospitals, including inpatient and outpatient facilities, offices of other health practitioners, such as chiropractors, optometrists, and podiatrists, other health care industries such as outpatient care centers and nursing and residential care facilities
Education: Postsecondary medical assisting programs are offered in vocational-technical high schools, postsecondary vocational schools, and community and junior colleges. Programs usually last either 1 year and result in a certificate or diploma, or 2 years and result in an associate degree.

Medical Writer

Overview: Medical writers, often called health writers and editors, analyze and interpret complex medical issues in order to present them in understandable and concise publications such as newspaper health columns, journal articles, brochures, radio and television scripts, and instruction manuals.
Venues: Newsletters and journals or writing scripts for television or radio advertisements or assisting with medical textbooks and educational courses. Medical writers work for publishing companies, hospitals, academic institutions, government agencies, pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment companies, advertising agencies, and radio and television stations.
Education: Many employers prefer hiring a medical writer who has at least a bachelor’s degree in any type of science, but are willing to hire a graduate with a degree in journalism or English who has a minor in the science field or has taken several science courses.

Mental Health Counselor

Overview: Counsel with emphasis on prevention. Work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental health. May help individuals deal with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; suicide; stress management; problems with self-esteem; and issues associated with aging and mental and emotional health.
Venues: Community mental health centers, hospitals, residential treatment centers, substance abuse treatment facilities, college and university counseling centers, government agencies, elder care facilities, and faith communities.
Education: A bachelor’s degree is the minimum formal education required for these occupations. However, many also require graduate school. For example, they may require a master’s degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Preventive Medicine

Overview: A preventive medicine specialist focuses on the health of individuals and defined populations in order to protect, promote, and maintain health and well-being, and to prevent disease, disability, and premature death. A preventive medicine physician may be a specialist in general preventive medicine, public health, occupational medicine or aerospace medicine.
Venues: Hospitals, nursing care facilities, offices of physicians, home health care services; employment services; residential care facilities; community care facilities for the elderly; outpatient care centers
Education: The residency training program for preventive medicine is three years. Additional training from 1-2 years is required to be certified in the subspecialty areas.

Psychiatric Technicians

Overview: Care for mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed individuals, following physician instructions and hospital procedures. Monitor patients’ physical and emotional well-being and report to medical staff. May participate in rehabilitation and treatment programs, help with personal hygiene, and administer oral medications and hypodermic injections.
Venues: State and county hospitals, correctional facilities, private institutions, developmental service centers, community psychiatric or addiction treatment centers.
Education: Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree. Some may require a bachelor’s degree

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Work

Overview: Assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs. Activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, case management, client advocacy, prevention, and education.
Venues: Health care and social assistance industries, State and local government agencies, primarily in departments of health and human services in cities or suburbs, some work in rural areas.
Education: A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for entry into the occupation, but many positions require an advanced degree. All States and the District of Columbia have some licensure, certification, or registration requirement, but the regulations vary.

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor

Overview: Counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, drug, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders. May counsel individuals, families, or groups or engage in prevention programs.
Venues: Mental health agencies, hospitals, correctional institutions, therapeutic communities, de-toxification centers, private practice, and addiction treatment centers.
Education: Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor’s degree.

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