MS in Psychology/Counseling is not enough

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jdawg in Alpharetta, Georgia

49 months ago

Jean Luc Picard in London, United Kingdom said: Well, from the looks of things, I think I need look at working in Canada, as I currently about start my second year doing a bachelors degree in Sociology and Psychology - Joint Honours here in London, UK, I am also working a couple of days a week working with people with drugs and alcohol abuse issues, I have been offered work in Canada, I plan to do my Masters in either Mental Health ,Dual Diagnosis, Psychosocial studies. I plan to work as an outreach work/ counselor working in mental health /addications. Their are opportunties their to work for health authorities in BC, Alberta etc. working inn

I have been considering looking into counseling jobs in UK. What are the licensure requirements? I have a LPC. I have looked on some web sights and the pay looks terrible (17,000 pounds annually)? Is this for a licensed therapist? Thanks

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Pet20000 in Saint Charles, Illinois

49 months ago

Hi all,

I am considering going into counseling in IL and if I understand so far the MA is a degree with limited options whil a PHD or PSY D would open more doors, I definately want to have my own practice down the road and probably teach (this would let me have more job prospects down the road or have more streams of income) my passion would be to help people/couples.

Is it still difficult to get supervised hours in IL after graduating with either a MA or PHD--it sounds like it, that SUCKS since I cant get licensed without it and if I am correct I cant even have my own practice without the supervised hours.

Arent there private practices that would love to have "cheap labor" with newly graduated MA and PHD students to counsel their clients while they make more money by expanding their client list, or duplicating themselves.

Regarding "cheap labor" when can you actually start making money with your degree (MA or PHD) right out of school or none until you are licensed???

Any comments or advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance

Peter

My thought would be to

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saustin1024@*****.*** in Columbia, South Carolina

49 months ago

Dahlia in San Francisco, California said: Hi there,

I'm almost a licensed Marriage, and family Therapist (Masters degree in clinical/ counseling Psychology with 3000 clinical hours of training). My colleague and dear friend has been a licensed Clinical Psychologist for about 13 years. You can make decent money - but you won’t be making more than 70.000-80.000 a year. This seems awfully low after consuming heavy student loans. If I were to do it again - I would go into a traditional medical field, such as being a specialized nurse (psych nurse), medical doctor, or a nurse practitioner. They make much more money and better job security. Additionally, they tend to receive more respect when working at hospitals, than do Psychologists, LCSW's, or MFT's. These programs of study are unfortunately more difficult to get into - but you will be making more money and have better job security.

Good luck and it seems like a smart idea to investigate…

Best,

Dahlia

Good morning,
This is my concern as well. I'm a little off topic but I'm presently considering returning to school to pursue my Masters in Forensic Psychology, which I'm very interested in. However I don't want to make what I feel was a make in receiving my BA in Sociology/ Criminal Justice Administration in 2011, that's not paid for yet and I'm not working the field! And let me toot my own horn to say I graduated with honors Magna Cum Laude.
I've been pursuing law degrees since 1989, with desire to be a Paralegal, which i did, then Family law attorney and ultimately to run for family court judge, got older, family situations changed, and changed and changed....then I decided to become an Crime Scene Investigtor to find out after earning my BA that I was too old.. So I figured Forensic Psychology would provide some of that for me, since the profession collaborates with law enforcement..
I neglected to mention that I will be 50 in September! Suggestions are welcomed!

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drnelson in Wyoming

49 months ago

In sure this will upset people, but I gotta say that there is a lot of whining in this string. Getting a master's degree or even a PhD is no guarantee of success or a job in any field, let alone psychology. You have to work hard, promote yourself and garner a good reputation. But before that, you have to invest in good, nationally-accredited training. Steer clear of for-profit, online programs that claim the same level of success as traditional academic institutions. It's a lie designed to separate you from your money. The APA and other professional organizations have an accrediting process for a reason.

And if you can't find work where you want to live, be prepared to move or commute. There is work out there, there is need out there, but you have to be willing to go to it. And you can be rewarded, especially if you look for the rewards. The NHSC provides loan repayment for those who work in underprivileged areas for only a small service commitment.

I started my psychology career 20 years ago in a similar economy. I collected unemployment, and we lived on food stamps when I was in grad school. I piled up $50k in loans before I finished. My first job as a psychologist paid me $35k a year--not what I expected. I joined the NHSC, and within three years my debt was gone. After six years I left my job and set up private practice where I was and immediately found success because of my reputation and hard work. And I make more than any of the naysayers above say is possible.

Get rid of the victim attitudes, and get to work. Btw--if you think that should happen by your simply clocking in and out every day, then you need to do something else.

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mandy_m in Seattle, Washington

49 months ago

There have been several negative comments on here from people who somehow think it is helpful to disparage other people as "whiners" or "victims" because they have had the audacity to come onto an internet job board to share their personal stories. In my opinion people are here both for advice, and to find a sense of comfort in the fact that other people are also going through tough times just like them - i.e. none of us are alone. It's great to hear positive success stories, and helpful advice (when worded in a non-condescending manner), however it really serves nothing except your own ego to come here and say things like "Well, I was a success, therefore everyone here that's whining and bitter who failed must not be trying hard enough, otherwise they would be able to do it exactly like me!" Everyone's situation is different, the current economic times are different, and not everyone is able to succeed in the same manner, so please try to keep that in mind before writing everyone else off. BTW, the National Health Service Corps is a great way to help pay off student loans by making a commitment to work in under-served areas of the country, HOWEVER one of the requirements is that you must be licensed to practice in the state in which you will serve as a Corps member - therefore this information will become useful only for those who are already licensed.

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drnelson in Wyoming

49 months ago

Kind of expected that response. And yet, what I keep hearing is people having some expectation that they will get an MS and/or an LPC and the skies will open up and all their dreams will come true. That kind of magical thinking doesn't work for clients, and it won't work for you. If you want to commiserate, then that's fine--I'll leave you to it. If you want something useful to consider, I'm happy to oblige as well.

Good luck!

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mandy_m in Seattle, Washington

49 months ago

You're definitely right, magical thinking doesn't help anyone accomplish anything. However, in my opinion there is nothing wrong with listening respectfully to people's stories, sharing your own if you want, and then offering helpful advice without being negative or kicking people while they're down. In any case, arguing on a forum doesn't help anyone either, so I'm done.

To put my money where my mouth is, here's a few more ideas for people who need help looking for places to get hours: look on all of your local city and state government job boards, and sign up for any email lists they have. You can often find counseling or mental health casework jobs there, and sometimes school counseling jobs if your state allows interns to counsel within schools. If you haven't already, you should sign up on the APA website (www.apa.org) as an associate member, which gives you access to their job boards.

Worst case scenario and the debt collectors are knocking at the door, and you haven't been able to find work in months...maybe it's time for plan B (or C or D...whichever plan you've gotten to at this point). My local community college has a return-to-work program for in-demand careers like nursing and tech, with tuition completely covered through various types of grants and funding - guess what I'm doing in the fall? Explore all of your local community resources to see what's available - you may be able to get additional certificates to make you more marketable, or change career paths entirely if that's what you finally decide to do. Cheers!

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Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida

49 months ago

Dr. Nelson....
Bravo!
As the R.N. following the comments on this site, your comments are right on target.
I've sat here and questioned how so many of these folks came up with all these debts......they had to do all these programs from private, for-profit institutions.
I've also wondered about the counselors in their schools on what type of information was given to them before deciding which avenue to pursue.
No one walks out of any school for any profession and start out with "big" money and why they thought they would is beyond me.
And just because you get out of school, doesn't mean that there are not other things you must do to be considered proficient and able to move on.
I know too many social workers and psychologists and don't hear these kind of stories from them. And my friend who is a PhD in psychology with his own practice told me that he found his Masters wasn't really going to get him any where...he needed that PhD and he went for it. His schooling came from Purdue/Uof Mass./and JMH-UofMiami and he didn't walk away with all this type of debt.
There is more to these stories then we are hearing.

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Deidra47 in Hollywood, Florida

49 months ago

So Mandy....when you can't get something you want you will fall back into something else like nursing that you obvious weren't interested in the first time around.
Nursing is hard and it is a "calling" not something you choose when nothing else is working out for you.
And right now with the economic situation being what it is.....the nursing grads are not having an easy time finding jobs. Many have been hitting the pavement for months looking for a job.
And if you think starting salary is "big" money, you are deluded.

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mandy_m in Seattle, Washington

49 months ago

Ok, some of you are still stuck on the "large salary" issue for some reason, which if you'd like to go back and read some of my earlier posts, I've never mentioned as a motivation for going into ANY career, let alone counseling or nursing, so I'm not sure why this is even being discussed. I sincerely doubt anyone going into the mental health profession (unless they're delusional) would have chosen that field if they had aspirations towards making the big bucks; this is a helping profession, where even licensed professionals who have been in the business for years aren't going to be zooming down the street in Jaguars. As the title of the thread itself suggests, a Master's degree alone is clearly not enough for anyone fresh out of college to head straight out into the workforce and immediately get a great job. I doubt anyone here was expecting for that to happen. But unless you yourself have recently gone through the licensing process and have obtained your hours after receiving your Master's degree (or PhD, or PsyD or what-have-you), then you actually don't have any personal idea what you're talking about on this topic.

Personally I'm not going to sit on a high horse and judge everyone around me if I think they made the wrong choices in their lives. I'll take responsibility for my own life, and make practical, realistic decisions and try to learn and move forward from past mistakes. Perhaps counseling wasn't the right path for me. If you believe there are "callings" for people, and that no one has the ability to shape their own reality according to practical necessity and acquire new interests and passions over time, hey - that's your belief system, and you are free to think whatever you like. Nursing is also a "helping" profession, albeit within the medical field rather than psychological - if you fail to see the similarities and how one might be able to transition from one to the other, there's nothing I can do to change your mind.

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drnelson in Wyoming

49 months ago

Again, same refrain. "It's different for us".

Honestly, I blame the for-profit "universities" who promise a new, exciting and profitable career in counseling. As a supervisor of psychotherapists myself, I can tell you that it's a huge risk to take responsibility for someone else's work, and there's no way in hell I'd take on a newly-minted counselor from Argosy or Phoenix. My license and livelihood are on the line with every new client that person takes on. What if that person screws up and their client kills him or herself or someone else? What if that therapist sexually exploits that client? Then my ass is on the line.

There is clearly a glut of counselors out there, so if you're not prepared for it to be hard, do something else.

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Squids in Jackson, Mississippi

49 months ago

Allow me to comment on big debt and universities. I received my undergrad without benefit of grants (ex made too much gross to qualify but not enough net to help and I had two youngsters at home and battled breast cancer. Still, I came out alright. Some debt but I had plans to work for the Feds or in a public facility and have it forgiven after I earned my masters. There was only one school available here that offered a mental health masters. My undergrad's social work program was falling apart with no sign of support from the main campus. I decided to get a masters in counseling at the only other school that offered anything in mental health post Katrina. They offered me an assistantship so no real debt there. I broke even at first in gas traveling 3 hours round trip. At first. At nearly the end of my 2nd semester, with three to go, suddenly assistantships were cut from 9 down to 2 and tuition skyrocketed 17%. Most of us were sunk if we didn't finish - half a masters is worse than none. We kept on. I was so lucky that I worked at two sites for my internship, one of which paid me. Tuition went up again by another 8% the following semester and 7 the semester after.

This was a public state university. Most ost secondary institutions have raised their rates by 115-125% over the past decade. When did you think that would happen, those of you who have made comments linking rising debt to fiscal irresponsibility? Before anyone started their programs? Or maybe after they graduated? They happened while they were going and the next cohort worked even harder to hang on to diminishing returns in order to see some future for themselves in 20 years.

While I would love to say that what I've expressed here is simply anecdotal, research and statistics support my experiences and those of my cohort. I now work two jobs in mental health to earn my hours for licensure and I'm damn lucky. Pay isn't much but I'm working.

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tas305 in Miami Beach, Florida

48 months ago

This is absolutely great insight. I've done hours of research and learned so much in regards to the area/s of concentration and dual tracks. These posts have added to that knowledge. I'm applying to graduate school in Florida. Fortunately, the program does lead to licensure in the state. I've only read the first three posts, but one important thing to note is to make sure the program you apply to is CACREP accredited; most employers and states expect or require it. I would like to focus on Mental Health/Rehabilitation and Marriage and Family/Relationship counseling. My goal is to some day open my own practice and possibly teach at the post-secondary level. I was considering going to Nova Southeastern University here in Florida. I read the program descriptions very closely. The program does not have CACREP accreditation and it's extremely expensive-private school- and it does not lead to licensure. Needless to say, I have selected another school that is far less expensive and has all accreditation and leads to licensure.

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FormerLawyer in Palo Alto, California

48 months ago

Hi all. I live in California. Any advice is greatly appreciated. I worked as a lawyer for five years, then took time to have two kids (2 and 5 years old). I want to do something else. In an ideal world, I could be some sort of counselor -- really to anyone -- couples, addicts, etc. I want to help people. I want to make in the range of $70-80k, at least eventually if not at first. Ideally, I would be able to work until 5 each day, then come home. If this is possible, what degree would make it possible? Can I go the partially evening, partially online route, or do I have to go the most prestigious, time consuming and costly route possible? I should mention I'm still in $100,000 of student loan debt. Someone, please point me in the right direction/degree.

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FormerLawyer in Palo Alto, California

48 months ago

Also - I don't speak a word of Spanish.

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drnelson in Wyoming

48 months ago

Ready to add another $100 K?

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pinetree in Phoenix, Arizona

48 months ago

It is very unfortunate that mental health care is placed in such low regard. If you want to make a living and own a house and be able to make a car payment, you should not choose psychology as a major. Even whith a doctorate degree the median pay is $69,000 a year (half make less), which is about what people make with a four year degree starting out in something else. That may seem like a lot of money to someone making $10-15/hr with their undergraduate degree in psychology, but when you factor in the student loan payment that you will have for all that education, you actually make about minimum wage. If you want to get into a doctorate program you probably already have to have at least a masters degree and some experience, which means you are starting doctorate degree with about $100,000 or more in debt already. Then the doctorate will take between 5 and 7 years to finish at about $60,000 a year increase in your student loans, which means you may have over $400,000 in student loan debt when you finish. It comes out to be about $40,000 or more a year in student loans. Median income $69,000-$40,000 = $29,000, which is about $15 an hour. While you are in school for those 10-12 years you will be dirt poor and may be hungry from time to time. You won't have enough to buy new shoes and will struggle all the time to stay afloat and keep your electricity on. The older psychologists were able to make it because their student loans were minimal. With two incomes they could afford a small house, car, and raise a family. The cost of education has increased over a 1000% in the last 30 years to the point where that is no longer possible.

A four year computer science degree will cost a fraction of the cost of becoming a psychologist and you can expect to make more than a psychologist in a few years after graduating with an entry level job. When you factor in the student loan repayment you will actually make a lot more than a psychologist with an entry level job.

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drnelson in Wyoming

48 months ago

Right! Don't become a psychologist, counselor or social worker!

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camillemcdaniel in Atlanta, Georgia

48 months ago

I will say, when considering a masters degree in counseling you need to consider your life goals and the reality of your needs to take care of your life responsibilities. I love being a licensed professional counselor, I entered this field in 2003 and got fully licensed in 2007.

You can certainly make it in this field but the term "make it" means something different to everyone. For some, starting out at $30,000 is not sufficient. For others, starting at $60,000 is not sufficient. This is a crawl before you walk, walk before you run, run before you sprint type of field and anyone joining this field must evaluate whether their life will allow them the time needed to build themselves up.

When I first started in this field I had a BA in psychology and I worked at a children's shelter. I stayed there for 3 years while I worked through my masters program. I was making just shy of $30,000. When I completed my masters I studied for the licensing exam right away because I knew that was a large key to more opportunity in this field. I passed the exam and became an associate license and I also was able to teach classes at the school I graduated from. I then found a job working with the state at a community mental health center. So now I am obviously making a good $10,000 more between the 2 jobs. I stayed with the state for 4 years and then decided to leave to open my own private practice www.healingpsychotherapyga.com. Make sure you have money saved before starting you own business because you don't always get to pay yourself initially. I still teach and now I mentor other counselors through the other side of my business www.camillemcdaniel.com.

Did you see the crawl before you walk in my story? It's been rewarding, challenging, exhausting, liberating, and exactly what I always wanted to do.

All the best to you in making your decision!

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Aprvllo in Williamsburg, Virginia

48 months ago

Camille...I like the term "crawl" which discouraged me from becoming a counselor at age 54. I interviewed an LPC who owned a practice. He explained that the jobs where I would receive my internship were hours away (Washington, DC). In our area we have a 16% unemployment rate. He actually encouraged me to teach because I had taught elementary school previously.

I changed my major to General Psychology and received my masters in February 2013. I felt so lost and not motivated to teach. Nor did I want to find case manager jobs. I considered helping career college students choose their majors. However, I could not get a job...lack of experience in that area.

I took time to consider what I really wanted to do. Should I use the knowledge I gained while attaining my Masters? I found that my nurturing personality would be suited for care of the elderly. I applied for jobs in that area. Within a week, I decided to apply for care of young children in the home instead of the elderly. I was interviewed by a family and hired within 6 days. I cannot tell you how happy I am!

I "crawled" through a maze of decision making. I am thrilled to have my masters in Gen. Psych. I am delighted to have found a caring family and have decided to follow them to their new home about 50 mins away at their request.

I know I'm getting away from the subject of counseling. I "crawled" in a different direction due to my true desire to work with young children.

You have found great success in counseling. It was meant to be. Your happiness must lie there and you followed your heart. I admire how you stuck with your educational goals and attained a practice of your own. I think that each of us must go with the current. Seeking their heart's true desire for a counseling profession or perhaps something entirely unrelated is what life is about.

Thank you for the chance to reply.

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camillemcdaniel in Atlanta, Georgia

48 months ago

I wholeheartedly agree, we must seek our true desires and purpose. I am happy for you that you found that which makes you most happy. There is nothing like waking up to a career you are purposed for.

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Aprvllo in Williamsburg, Virginia

48 months ago

How perfectly beautiful!!!

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ldrmdt in Spirit Lake, Iowa

48 months ago

I have a Masters in Human Services for Mental Health Counseling.

My practicum and internship eneded June 2012 and it is now Spet 2013 and I have NOT found any job. I live in a SMALL town in the heartland. The current job market all over the US wants Bachelors, PhDs, or Masters with expereince. Where can Masters get the eperience they need to get their license to get a JOB!

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ldrmdt in Spirit Lake, Iowa

48 months ago

Camille McDaniel in Atlanta, Georgia said: I will say, when considering a masters degree in counseling you need to consider your life goals and the reality of your needs to take care of your life responsibilities. I love being a licensed professional counselor, I entered this field in 2003 and got fully licensed in 2007.

You can certainly make it in this field but the term "make it" means something different to everyone. For some, starting out at $30,000 is not sufficient. For others, starting at $60,000 is not sufficient. This is a crawl before you walk, walk before you run, run before you sprint type of field and anyone joining this field must evaluate whether their life will allow them the time needed to build themselves up.

When I first started in this field I had a BA in psychology and I worked at a children's shelter. I stayed there for 3 years while I worked through my masters program. I was making just shy of $30,000. When I completed my masters I studied for the licensing exam right away because I knew that was a large key to more opportunity in this field. I passed the exam and became an associate license and I also was able to teach classes at the school I graduated from. I then found a job working with the state at a community mental health center. So now I am obviously making a good $10,000 more between the 2 jobs. I stayed with the state for 4 years and then decided to leave to open my own private practice www.healingpsychotherapyga.com . Make sure you have money saved before starting you own business because you don't always get to pay yourself initially. I still teach and now I mentor other counselors through the other side of my business www.camillemcdaniel.com .

Did you see the crawl before you walk in my story? It's been rewarding, challenging, exhausting, liberating, and exactly what I always wanted to do.

All the best to you in making your decision!

Do you supervise therapists in your office?

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ldrmdt in Spirit Lake, Iowa

48 months ago

tas305 in Miami Beach, Florida said: This is absolutely great insight. I've done hours of research and learned so much in regards to the area/s of concentration and dual tracks. These posts have added to that knowledge. I'm applying to graduate school in Florida. Fortunately, the program does lead to licensure in the state. I've only read the first three posts, but one important thing to note is to make sure the program you apply to is CACREP accredited; most employers and states expect or require it. I would like to focus on Mental Health /Rehabilitation and Marriage and Family/Relationship counseling . My goal is to some day open my own practice and possibly teach at the post-secondary level. I was considering going to Nova Southeastern University here in Florida. I read the program descriptions very closely. The program does not have CACREP accreditation and it's extremely expensive-private school- and it does not lead to licensure. Needless to say, I have selected another school that is far less expensive and has all accreditation and leads to licensure.

CACREP accredited - Capella University is the best online! But still no jobs

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findjob in North Carolina

48 months ago

Can you be a high school counselor with just a bachelor degree in social work?

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camillemcdaniel in Atlanta, Georgia

48 months ago

ldrmdt in Spirit Lake, Iowa said: Do you supervise therapists in your office?

Hello, yes I do.

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camillemcdaniel in Atlanta, Georgia

48 months ago

ldrmdt in Spirit Lake, Iowa said: I have a Masters in Human Services for Mental Health Counseling.

My practicum and internship eneded June 2012 and it is now Spet 2013 and I have NOT found any job. I live in a SMALL town in the heartland. The current job market all over the US wants Bachelors, PhDs, or Masters with expereince. Where can Masters get the eperience they need to get their license to get a JOB!

Hi there, I answered in a posting I wrote a while back and I hope it helps you.
www.camillemcdaniel.com/masters-in-counseling-job/

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catfish503 in portland, Oregon

48 months ago

findjob in North Carolina said: Can you be a high school counselor with just a bachelor degree in social work?

In Oregon you have to have at least a Master Degree. I think each state is different. :)

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camillemcdaniel in Atlanta, Georgia

48 months ago

findjob in North Carolina said: Can you be a high school counselor with just a bachelor degree in social work?

You can check the career site for the county you want to work in but usually these positions do require a minimum of a masters degree.

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ldrmdt in Spirit Lake, Iowa

48 months ago

Do you have an opening in your office?

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camillemcdaniel in Atlanta, Georgia

48 months ago

ldrmdt in Spirit Lake, Iowa said: Do you have an opening in your office?

I don't have an opening at my office but I know therapists who do. Are you still in Iowa because I am in Georgia.

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findjob in North Carolina

48 months ago

ldrmdt in Spirit Lake, Iowa said: Do you have an opening in your office?

No actually I am interviewing for a high school counselor pos. The minimum degree required is a bachelor degree. But I thought most counselor had to have a master's.

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ldrmdt in Spirit Lake, Iowa

48 months ago

I currently live in Iowa. I will have to relocate no matter where I work. :)

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camillemcdaniel in Atlanta, Georgia

48 months ago

ldrmdt in Spirit Lake, Iowa said: I currently live in Iowa. I will have to relocate no matter where I work. :)

I hear ya! :-) If you want local online networking forums and job sites for therapists in Georgia let me know.

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shellesis in Seattle, Washington

48 months ago

I have seen this same issue they want someone with experence but no one wants to give you expereince. In our state its also you need to have at least an agency sponsered license but you have to find an agency who will not only give you the experince but be willing to sponser you to get a license.

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feliciamelody in South Lake Tahoe, California

47 months ago

I have a Master's in clinical psychology, and have completed my 3,000 hours toward licensure. I sat for the first written exam last April, but failed by one point. I'm beginning to review to re-sit the exam, but have been having a very hard time with landing a job in the county mental health system in California. A friend suggested to switch over to social work. I am wondering whether I will have to get a separate MSW, and go through another 3200 hours (I think that is the required amount)to do this. My heart is in wellness, and I'd love to be able to integrate wellness/fitness with counseling. Would an LPCC be a better path? I do not have the means to start my own wellness practice at this time. I am willing to relocate to either Portland, Seattle, or Bellingham. If anyone has ideas, I'm open. I've been unemployed for five months, and it's really wearing on me. Thank you.

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ldrmdt in Spirit Lake, Iowa

47 months ago

I can't help out with that one. I only need 1000 here in Iowa for my permanent licnese. I have looking for 15 months and there is need for Bachelors which won't hire Masters, need for Masters with experience, or need of PhDs. I have recently come across an opportunity to go to Missouri but it requires 3000 hours and their only supervior is for LSW so I would get that but would have to pay out of pocket if I wanted an LPC supervisor to get my LPC. AHHHHHHH

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feliciamelody in California

47 months ago

From what you are saying, it appears that California is not the only state where it is difficult to make headway in the behavioral health field. It's sad because there is such a need. In my previous positions, we were perpetually understaffed and overworked (if 63 is considered large for a caseload, that is). Let's hope that the employment outlook will improve. I attended a couple of workshops this week, one on LinkedIn. It appears that an online presence is just part of the requirements of remaining relevant in the employment search.

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ldrmdt in Spirit Lake, Iowa

47 months ago

Since you are understaffed, where do you work? Is there funding for additional employees? I will relocate!!

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shellesis in Seattle, Washington

47 months ago

feliciamelody in South Lake Tahoe, California said: I have a Master's in clinical psychology, and have completed my 3,000 hours toward licensure. I sat for the first written exam last April, but failed by one point. I'm beginning to review to re-sit the exam, but have been having a very hard time with landing a job in the county mental health system in California. A friend suggested to switch over to social work. I am wondering whether I will have to get a separate MSW, and go through another 3200 hours (I think that is the required amount)to do this. My heart is in wellness, and I'd love to be able to integrate wellness/ fitness with counseling . Would an LPCC be a better path? I do not have the means to start my own wellness practice at this time. I am willing to relocate to either Portland, Seattle, or Bellingham. If anyone has ideas, I'm open. I've been unemployed for five months, and it's really wearing on me. Thank you.

I have been looking for jobs in many areas close to where I live in this felid many do ask for a degree in Social work but most also state or a degree in behavoral science felid with 2 years experience. So you maybe able to find one without having to get an MSW espically since you have your hours already

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feliciamelody in California

47 months ago

Thank you, that's good to know. I was speaking with someone yesterday, who suggested that if I were to go back to school it would be more worth my time to go for a PsyD. In California, social workers are required to complete, if I recall, 200 more clinical hours than MFT interns. I'm finding that here, I've been passed over for positions that were offered to a friend in social work, who has only half her hours. I've completed everything except for the written exams. I understand that Washington has one exam, but also requires 36 post graduate C.E.U.s - I'm sure I have this, although I may not have written proof. Would you recommend AATBS as a good company to go with as per preparation for the exam in Washington? Thanks again for your input/Felicia

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feliciamelody in California

47 months ago

ldrmdt in Spirit Lake, Iowa said: Since you are understaffed, where do you work? Is there funding for additional employees? I will relocate!!

Every county I've worked for has been ridiculously understaffed due to budget cuts, but no one is willing to open up more positions. I've been trying for five months. At my last job, our documentation time was cut in half, and yet we had to have reports completed within 48 hours. I regularly put in at least 10 hours per day, getting paid for only 8. Some people went in on weekends for no pay to get caught up. At one point I had 63 clients on my caseload. Our supervisor asked each therapist to determine how many clients were being underserved, or not served at all...and yet, whenever therapists would quit, the positions would go unfilled for months, while the remaining staff continued to see their caseloads grow. I personally would not recommend a move to California. In my experience, the wages do not keep up with the cost of living. I'm finding few opportunities in Northern California, and pretty much nothing in the counties near where I live (El Dorado, Placer, Nevada, and Sierra). I have to wonder how so many counties' funds have been this mis-managed, but I pray that it gets better. In the meantime, I'm continuing to look in Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

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feliciamelody in California

47 months ago

I did forget one important thing: you might have more opportunities if you speak fluent Spanish. In metropolitan areas, such as Sacramento and (I assume) Los Angeles or the Bay Area, other languages (Hmong, Vietnamese, Farsi) may also come in handy. I wish I'd stuck with Spanish!

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ldrmdt in Spirit Lake, Iowa

47 months ago

thanks for your input. much appreciated :) I guess I will just keep looking and applying and praying

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feliciamelody in California

47 months ago

I just got an email that I ranked a "1" or 98% on a recruitment for a county near the Bay Area. I won't know for another week whether that will qualify me for an interview. It's a bit more hopeful, and I'd check the county websites for open recruitments. Just keep in mind that California has, from what I last heard, the third highest rate of unemployment in the country. Along with the high cost of living, it's a tough market to crack. Another thought is to check out cast manager positions. The pay is often less than that of a therapist at level 1 (MFTI) but could be a foot in the door. Sometimes rural counties will have a lot of turnover, so they might be worth looking into (just don't expect the California you see on television or cinema...lol).

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feliciamelody in California

47 months ago

Sorry...that was case manager! I hope you find something soon...prayer and support help ;-)

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ldrmdt in Spirit Lake, Iowa

47 months ago

At this point, I would be happy with a good job, no matter what the state.

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clpolsfuss in Lakeville, Minnesota

47 months ago

I have posted previously on this topic here and in a similar conversation with social workers, since I am both a psychologist and clinical social worker (now emeritus) and left my 30-year clinical practice for many of the reasons stated on this forum. You can contact me at craigp(at)higherbrainliving.com for information about a self-employment personal healing/transformation practice that is free from third-party entanglements, produces consistently amazing and sustainable results, and can generate a very strong income part-time. It offer new hope for our profession and for individuals like you who still care and want to make a difference, but are facing these roadblocks.

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camillemcdaniel in Atlanta, Georgia

47 months ago

If anyone is in need of or knows a counseling student or professional in need of mentoring, employment, licensure, supervision, private practice, and several other categories, please feel free to share this online mentoring program for counselor www.camillemcdaniel.com/online-mentoring/

I was doing it live but turned this into an automated program so that anyone from anywhere could join at anytime and still get support when they wanted by joining the LinkedIn group that goes with this program. www.camillemcdaniel.com/mentoring-counselors/

If you have any questions at all please don't hesitate to ask. Thank you.

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