Open Colleges

5 meaningful careers to pursue in Mental Health

by Elizabeth Harmon
Posted: September 02, 2019

  Return to blog home


Are you looking for a diverse and rewarding career? If you enjoy helping others and aren’t afraid of a challenge, then a career in mental health could be a good fit for you.

Careers in Mental Health

There are many different job roles to consider in mental health, from becoming a Counsellor or Social Worker to working as an Alcohol and Drug Support Worker. To give you a taster of what to expect, below are five job roles you may want to consider working in. For each role, you will discover what the job involves, what the general job outlook is and what you can expect to receive as a salary.

1. Mental Health Counsellor 

As a Mental Health Counsellor, you will be required to work with individuals to assess their needs, work through difficult issues and find suitable solutions. You may need to deal with problems such as stress, depression and anxiety which could be as a result of addiction, homelessness and more.

According to Job Outlook, the number of Counsellors in Australia grew rapidly over the last 5 years. This growth is expected to continue, with jobs rising from 25,900 in 2018 to 30,500 by 2023. As a full-time Counsellor, you can expect to be paid around AU$1,584 per week. Your starting salary may be lower, but this can increase as your experience develops over time.

2. Mental Health Social Worker

A Mental Health Social Worker is another very rewarding job and involves assessing the needs of individuals and providing tailored support. You will also be required to work with professionals to ensure individuals receive the specialist help they need.

Job Outlook reports that the number of jobs available is expected to grow from 32,900 in 2018 to 35,500 by 2023. This means there are lots of opportunities available. The average adult salary, for a full-time Social Worker is around AU$1,829 (around AU$95,108 per year), which is high compared to the ‘all job’ weekly average of AU$1,460.

3. Youth Worker

As a Youth Worker, you will work with young people who have a range of problems, including mental health issues. You will need to determine their issues and support them in a way that is appropriate for their needs.

According to Job Outlook, over the last 5 years, the number of Youth Workers increased, which is good news for anyone looking to join this career path. The typical pay you can expect as a Youth Worker is around AU$1,328 per week or AU$69,056 per annum.

4. Aged Care Worker

This role will include a variety of tasks but will generally involve providing friendly support to the elderly and helping them with daily living. Just like young people, the elderly can suffer from mental health issues and therefore having a good understanding of mental health is beneficial. This will allow you to understand their needs and improve their overall happiness and well being.

With an ageing population, the number of jobs in aged care is also growing. Job Outlook predicts that the number of jobs will grow from 175,800 in 2018 to 245,000 by 2023. You can expect to get paid around AU$1,265 per week, which is just below the national ‘all job’ average of AU$1,460. But there is the potential for earnings to increase, as your experience grows.

5. Alcohol and Drug support Worker

Mental health and addiction often go hand in hand and so if you’re looking to work in mental health then you may want to consider a role as an Alcohol and Drug Support Worker. You will need to be able to communicate with people effectively, work with individuals to assess their needs, provide support services to address issues and much more.

In this line of work, you can expect a weekly salary of AU$1,584 per week, or AU$82,368 per annum. This can vary though depending on your level of experience.

Before starting any of these jobs, you will want to consider getting a qualification in a relevant field. At Open Colleges, we have a wide selection of courses covering Counselling, Mental Health, Youth Work, Alcohol and other drugs, Aged Care and more. View Open Colleges’ wide selection of Community Services courses now and you will be on your way to starting a valuable and rewarding career helping others.


Elizabeth Harmon

Elizabethis an experienced Freelance Social Media Consultant based in the south of England. She works with a growing number of clients all around the world, showing businesses how to use social media more effectively and helping them to get the maximum benefit from it.

Interested in online study?

See what it’s like with our 7 day free course trial.

Find out first-hand what it’s like to study with Open Colleges. Experience our world-class learning platform for yourself and discover how online learning can work for you. There are no obligations and no payment details required.

Start Today

Course areas