Certifications to Improve Your Career as a Mental Health Worker
Working in the behavioral health field is your passion. You thrive on helping patients, so you’re always searching for ways to do more. Continuing your education is a great way to improve your career and provide an even better patient experience.
There’s no shortage of certifications for mental health workers. No matter what your specialty or current education level, there’s always room to learn and grow.
Here are four certifications that might interest you.
Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor
Earning your CCMHC designation signals you’re able to provide patients with the highest standard of care in clinical mental health counseling. You’ll need to meet several prerequisites, including being a National Certified Counselor, having at least 60 semester or 90 quarter hours of graduate-level academic credits in counseling from a regionally accredited program, and at least 100 hours of postgraduate clinical supervision.
Additionally, you’ll need an applicable professional endorsement, at least 3,000 hours of postgraduate clinical client work experience, and adhere to the National Board for Certified Counselors’ ethical policies. Finally, you’ll be required to pass the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination.
Certified Addiction Specialist
Offered by the American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders, the Certified Addiction Specialist designation offers specialization in alcohol addiction, drug addiction, eating disorders, gambling disorders, and sex addiction.
Professionals with a master’s or doctorate degree must have three years — 6,000 hours — of supervised experience providing direct addictive disorder healthcare services, rising to five years — 10,000 hours — for professionals with other degrees — among other qualifications.
When you’ve met all requirements and your application is approved, you’ll need to pass an online, proctored examination for certification.
Qualified Clinical Social Worker
If you’re a social worker who practices the treatment and prevention of psychosocial dysfunction, disability, or impairment — including emotional and mental disorders — the QCSW certification might be right for you. This credential signals expertise and experience in the field that can help boost your career.
Sponsored by the National Association of Social Workers, basic eligibility requirements include a master’s degree in social work from an accredited graduate program, 30 contact hours of post-degree continuing professional education specific to clinical work within the past two years, at least three years — 4,500 hours — of relevant paid, supervised post-MSW clinical social work employment, current state clinical social work license, adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics and the NASW Standards for Continuing Professional Education.
Registered Behavior Technician
A paraprofessional certification in behavioral analysis, a Registered Behavior Technician works with an RBT supervisor and/or RBT requirements coordinator to provide behavior analysis services and practice. You’ll need to meet several eligibility requirements to apply, including being at least 18 years old, having a high school diploma, passing a background check, completing a 40-hour training, and completing an initial competency assessment.
After applying, you’ll need to take and pass the RBT exam to become certified. You’ll then maintain your certification by receiving ongoing supervision, adhering to ethics, and renewing your credentials on an annual basis.