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Personal Career Plan:

1. Mental Health Nurse


a. Job Description: Mental Health Nurses provide support and care to people with
emotional and mental disorders. They observe, assess, and report the patients
conditions to the doctor.
b. Working Conditions: They work around 40 hours a week. Especially if you work in a
hospital, you can be expected to work nights and weekends. The job can be stressful if
patients are uncooperative.
c. Earnings: Mental Health nurses can make between $45,000-$90,000 a year, but up to
$120,000 with a masters degree.
d. Education: Most people on this career path receive a Bachelor of Science degree in
nursing. If you only get a two year degree, you are less likely to get hired.
e. Sample Career Path:
i. Level 1: Staff nurse
1. $45,000 to $55,000 a year
2. Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and state license
3. Counseling patients and their families; planning recreational activities, administering
medication; monitoring patients on an ongoing basis.
ii. Level 2: Experienced Mental Health Nurse
1. $55,000 to $75,000 a year
2. Several years of experience
3. As above, plus some supervisory and administrative responsibilities
iii. Level 3: Clinical Nurse Specialist
1. $75,000 to $95,000 a year
2. Masters degree in psychiatric nursing
3. Providing specialized psychiatric nursing care; overseeing and training other nurses and
staff members.
f. Related Careers
i. Addictions Counselor
ii. Art / Music Therapist
iii. Community Worker
2. Bereavement Counselor
a. Bereavement Counselors help adults and children deal with death of loved ones
through the help of counseling and therapy. They meet with clients one-on-one, once or
twice a week. It is then their job to come up with strategies for their clients to use to help
them deal with their tragedy.
b. Working Conditions: Some Bereavement Counselors have private practices where they
can create their own hours, or some work for counseling centers, social work offices, or
community centers where they work an average of 35 to 40 hours a week. The job can
be very emotionally taxing, but rewarding.
c. Earnings: Between $25,000 and $70,000 a year

d. Education: Most earn a bachelors degree in psychology or social work, and sometimes
a masters degree in counseling psychology
e. Sample Career Path:
i. Level 1: Entry-Level Bereavement Counselor
1. $25,000 to $35,000 a year
2. At least a bachelors degree in social work or a related field, preferably a masters
degree (may be required by some employers or states), some training in bereavement
counseling
3. Working under the supervision of an experienced counselor; working with individuals
and families; keeping case records
ii. Level 2: Experienced Bereavement Counselor
1. $35,000 to $60,000 a year
2. 3 to 5 years of experience
3. Working with individuals and small groups; keeping case records; leading support
groups; providing crisis intervention services; attending professional development
courses or workshops.
iii. Level 3: Self-Employed Bereavement Counselor
1. $40,000 to $70,000 a year or more
2. Many years of experience, possibly certified
3. Advertising your services; seeing several clients a day; keeping case records; billing
clients and managing finances; continuing professional development through courses,
workshops, and reading current research in the field.
f. Related Careers:
i. Genetic Counselor
ii. Marriage and Family Therapist
iii. Psychiatrist
3. Addictions Counselor
a. Job Description: Addictions Counselors help people overcome alcohol, drug, and
gambling addictions. They must meet with patients and come up with a plan to help
them stop using. Being an addictions counselor often entails helping your patients deal
with depression and anxiety, as those often come along with addiction.
b. Working Conditions: Those who work in a private practice will generally work 35-40
days a week, or work shift hours at a detox center. The counseling takes place one-onone, or often in groups. This job has a high burnout rate because it is so emotionally
straining.
c. Earnings: Most people in this field make between $25,000 to $60,000 a year.
d. Education: You must have formal training in addictions counseling. This entails either a
bachelors, masters or associates degree. In many states you must pass a licensing
exam.
e. Sample Career Path:
i. Level 1: Entry-Level Addictions Counselor
1. $25,000 to $37,000 a year

2. At least a high school diploma, preferably post-secondary training in addiction


counseling, some states require licensing
3. Maintaining client records; facilitating group sessions; handling some addictions
counseling cases under supervision.
ii. Level 2: Intermediate Addictions Counselor
1. $29,000 to $47,000 a year
2. 3 to 5 years of experience in addictions counseling
3. Handling addictions cases independently without supervision.
iii. Level 3: Agency Manager
1. $47,000 to $70,000 a year
2. Many years of experience
3. Handling difficult cases; supervising other addictions counselors; some teaching and
client management.
f. Related Careers:
i. Career Counselor
ii. Child and Youth Worker
iii. Credit Counselor