She writes business plans for startups and established companies and teaches marketing and promotional tactics at local workshops. Clinical, counseling and school psychologists made an average of $72,220 annually. All of these tasks usually result in far fewer billable hours until you become firmly established. Wagner's business and marketing articles have appeared in "Home Business Journal," "Nation’s Business," "Emerging Business" and "The Mortgage Press," among others. Burnout can occur in behavioral health professionals as they try to meet both their patients’ and their own needs, and can threaten the therapist’s ability to make a living, which is doubly stressful. This may result in less time for yourself and your family. Determining your estimated tax requires calculating the amount of income you expect to make, and then making contributions every quarter. Building your own practice entails setting up the legal aspects of your business, finding a location, setting up the office, buying office furniture, securing equipment and handling marketing efforts to find new clients. Health care social workers had the highest average salary of the group at $51,460. Some clients may require appointments after work, so a flexible scheduling may be necessary. Social worker Linda Conroy writes in the winter 2013 issue of The New Social Worker that part of her job satisfaction comes from mentoring new social workers as they begin to practice. Disadvantage: Stressful Conditions A mental health care worker's environment is often extremely demanding. Advantages include favorable salaries and job satisfaction, while disadvantages include emotional stress and the potential for physical violence in the workplace. Clients are in intense emotional pain, and the psychologist must often suppress her own emotional reaction to what she hears and sees in order to provide support to her patients. If you work for another company, most of your state and federal taxes come out of your paycheck. Nancy Wagner is a marketing strategist and speaker who started writing in 1998. She holds a B.S. While some counselors rely on their clients to file their own insurance claims, you’ll attract more clients if you take care of the paperwork and accept co-pays. Mental health and substance abuse social workers took home $43,340, while those in the field of child, family and school social work earned $45,300. Some insurance companies offer free online billing systems through their websites. Beth Greenwood is an RN and has been a writer since 2010. Advertising in the local media, building a website and other promotional activities take hours of time. Caring for and working with people who are mentally ill is extremely challenging. Conroy adds that she has learned many things from her patients and coworkers in the course of her practice. Irregular schedules, exposure to unsanitary conditions, and risk of assault are just some of the realities that you confront. Counselors who start their own practices may find the disadvantages seem overwhelming until they become better established and produce more billable hours. Scheduling regular appointments with a counselor or a psychological professional can help you stay on top of your own emotions and feelings. Psychologists, for example, are repeatedly subjected to emotionally trying situations, according to the American Psychological Association. This may come as a nasty shock if you owe thousands of dollars at the end of the year because you did not pay estimated self-employment taxes. If part of your counseling job requires listening to people’s emotional problems day in and day out, the work may take a toll on your own mental state. Disadvantage: Potential for Burnout Mental health counseling is a demanding profession. If you prefer to spend money rather than your time, hire a billing service to handle your insurance paperwork for a percentage of the amount they collect. Good Primary Skills for Being a Pediatrician, Standards of Practice for a Home Health Aide, Salary for a Communication Disorder Therapist, Qualities of a Good Occupational Therapist, Behavioral Health Counseling vs. a Psychiatrist, Center for Growth: Being a Therapist: A Labor of Love, 10 Things Every New Social Worker Needs To Know About People, U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2012 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates United States, American Psychological Association: The Stress-Distress-Impairment Continuum for Psychologists, The New York Times: A Schizophrenic, a Slain Worker, Troubling Questions, The American Psychological Association: Minimizing the Risk of Patient Violence in the Workplace, Clothing Appropriate for Jobs in Psychology. If you take insurance or participate in managed-care programs, you must handle all billing and paperwork if you work on your own. Marriage and family therapists earned $49,270. Can a Psychiatrist Do a Psychologist's Job? Marketing work may involve contacting and building relationships with medical professionals and healthcare providers willing to refer clients to you. You may want to purchase billing software that helps simplify the process. They deal with emotionally unstable patients who may lash out at those around them. The average annual salary for mental health counselors was $43,290 in 2012. She specializes in medical and health topics, as well as career articles about health care professions. These occupations can be stressful, but they are also a satisfying way to make a living. While most counselors offer their services on a regular hourly schedule, you may need to handle emergencies or other client-based issues after hours, on weekends or at night. Greenwood holds an Associate of Science in nursing from Shasta College. What Does a Clinical Counselor With an MS Get Paid? Saffer notes that helping people discover who they really are or heal after various kinds of trauma is gratifying on many levels. Counselors thrive on helping people with personal, mental health, educational and career problems, but the job has its disadvantages, too. Behavioral health workers are at risk for violence and injury in the course of their work. How Long Does It Take to Become a Substance Abuse Counselor? If you own a private practice, you must pay your own taxes. The American Psychological Association brochure, “Minimizing the Risk of Patient Violence in the Workplace,” notes that approximately one-third of practicing psychologists are concerned about the potential for patient violence, and up to 25 percent are at risk of patient assault at some time during their careers. Small Business Administration: Follow These 10 Steps to Starting a Business, Internal Revenue Service: Sole Proprietorships, Counseling Today: Insurance Company Billing, Education Resources Information Center: Personal Counseling for Counselors in Training, Guidelines for Supervisors. What Do I Need to Have for My Exemption of Wages Hearing? Behavioral health encompasses a number of different professions, such as mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, social workers and psychologists. What Kind of Degree Would a Child Counselor Need. Advantages include favorable salaries and job satisfaction, while disadvantages include emotional stress and the potential for physical violence in the workplace. If part of your counseling job requires listening to people’s emotional problems day in and day out, the work may take a toll on your own mental state. Listening to the same sorts of problems all day long may result in counselor fatigue, which is usually characterized by feelings of detachment, dehumanization and exhaustion in dealing with clients, as "Counseling Today" magazine reported in May 2009. Counselors in private practice may also be required to pay local taxes. While the advantages of a career in counseling should outweigh the negative aspects, a realistic view of the potential problems should help you overcome any challenges. A June 2011 article in The New York Times reported that a counselor in a group home was killed by a schizophrenic patient who was off his medications. Mental and behavioral health professionals can make a good living, although earnings vary from one discipline to another and among specialties within the disciplines, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Characteristics of a Good Crisis Counselor. Counselors in training also may experience this problem. from Eastern Illinois University. The Various Types of Work Child Psychologists Do. Working in behavioral health is a labor of love for many therapists, according to Jason Saffer, a marriage and family therapist.