- Case management
- Mental health services
- Physical health and wellness
- Crisis work
- Art therapy
- Music therapy
- Community relations
- Grant writing
- Federal government, including departments of Health and Human Services, Justice, Veterans Administration (VA Hospitals)
- State government, including departments of Human Services, Mental Health (community mental health centers, state psychiatric hospitals, facilities for mentally impaired), Justice (probation and parole)
- Local government
- Senior citizens' centers
- United Way agencies
- Social service/nonprofit organizations
- Religiously affiliated service organizations
- Hospitals/healthcare providers
- Private psychiatric facilities
- Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
- College and university counseling centers
- Private practice
Information & Strategies
- Obtain essential practical experience through part-time or summer jobs such as camp counselor, tutor, or resident hall advisor.
- Complete an internship for academic credit.
- Gain experience through volunteering with organizations such as crisis hotlines, Big Brother or Sister, Special Olympics, service fraternities or sororities, etc.
- Many entry-level helping positions require one year of related experience. Volunteer experience and internships can typically fulfill this requirement.
- Learn to work well with different types of people.
- Develop strong communication skills.
- Cultivate the desire to help others.
- Become fluent in a foreign language to serve clients who may not speak English.
- Be willing to relocate for increased job opportunities.
- Become familiar with government hiring procedures.
- Acquire knowledge of government and community resources available for those in need.
- Obtain a graduate degree in psychology, counseling, or social work for positions involving substantive counseling or psychotherapy or for advancement into administrative/supervisory positions.
- Many specialties exist at the graduate level, for example school counseling, mental health counseling, counseling psychology, etc. Pursue particular degrees depending upon interests and career goals.
- Maintain an excellent academic record and seek experiences valued by graduate programs.