Behavioral Health Clinician Job Description

Behavioral Health Clinician Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a behavioral health clinician. You can use our job description template in this article to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a behavioral health clinician.


Who is a Behavioral Health Clinician?

A behavioral health clinician is an individual who is responsible for counseling patients and he or she deals with mental illnesses such as emotional disorders, anxiety, and depression. A behavioral health clinician is a licensed psychiatrist or licensed psychologist who is registered with a specialization in mental health.

A behavioral health clinician is a professional who assists people with mental health issues or substance abuse problems. They may also help people that are passing through chronic pain, developmental disabilities, and other physical or emotional conditions. A behavioral clinician uses diverse techniques to treat all these conditions and also they conduct therapy sessions, group therapy sessions, medication management, and also many more.


Behavioral Health Clinician Job Description

Below are the behavioral health clinician job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The following are the duties and responsibilities of a behavioral health clinician:

  • Interviewing clients to analyze their mental health needs and developing treatment plans based on this assessment
  • Administering individual or group therapy sessions with patients to help them learn new coping skills or behavior
  • Establishing and implementing behavior modification plans that are designed  to help patients overcome their specific disorders or issues
  • Discussing with clients’ families or other caregivers to help them manage their loved one’s disorder or illness
  • Partaking in team meetings with doctors and other members of the healthcare team to discuss patient’s progress and treatment options
  • Performing assessments of patients’ physical and mental health status to determine appropriate treatment methods and goals
  • Following up with patients to ensure that they are embracing treatment plans and continuing to make progress
  • Disseminating with other clinicians and medical staff regarding patients’ progress or any concerns about their care.
  • Giving support and guidance to patients and families during difficult times
  • Assessing children’s mental health and identifying any behavioral problems that require attention
  • Conducting psychological treatment, such as administering medication, or performing therapy sessions with the patient
  • Referring patients to other specialists when crucial, such as when a patient is having trouble sleeping or has an eating disorder
  • Recognizing patterns in a patient’s behavior and thought process  to determine the underlying cause of the patient’s condition
  • Performing intake evaluations to assess patients’ needs and determine the appropriate  treatment plans
  • Equipping patients with coping skills, stress  techniques, relaxation methods, and other strategies to enhance their well-being
  • Conducting psychological tests such as personality and aptitude tests to determine patient health status.



Education: A Behavioral Health Clinician need to have a master’s degree in psychology, behavioral science, or any related field. He or she must first acquire a bachelor’s degree before enrolling for a master’s degree. These programs typically include relevant coursework such as human development, statistics, assessment, treatment, research methods, and ethics.

Training & Experience: Most Behavioral health clinicians need to receive job training through voluntary or paid internships in other for them to have a successful career. This job training will last for a duration of a few weeks and it includes shadowing current behavioral clinicians and also performing other duties until they are comfortable enough to accomplish their tasks.

Certifications & Licenses: behavioral health clinicians need to meet up with the basic required licensing requirements based on their location. The requirement may not be the same in all states, behavioral clinicians must check the requirements in their area to be sure that they are qualified to practice their skill.  The basic requirements to obtain certification can also be 2000-4000 hours of supervised clinical experience and also a state-issued license.


Essential Skills

  1. Active Listening: Active listening entails a behavioral health clinician paying rapt attention to the needs of the speaker. Behavioral clinicians need to pay attention to their patients to comprehend their needs and concerns. This can help them to come up with treatment plans that can administer the patients’ needs and improve their quality of life. It is also paramount to listen to their patient’s families and also loved ones to comprehend their needs and also how they can be of great support to the patient.
  2. Empathy:  this has to do with the ability to comprehend someone’s feelings and also share the feelings of that person. As a behavioral clinician, empathy can help you to connect with patients and also comprehend their needs. This can also help you to come up with treatment plans that can address the patients’ needs directly and enhance their quality of life.
  3. Communication: Behavioral clinicians must be able to communicate with their patients and other medical personnel. They must be able to interpret complex treatment plans and goals for their patient and other patient families. They must also be able to interpret a patient’s progress to their supervisors. This demands that they possess strong written and communications skills for them to achieve this.
  4. Problem-solving Skills: Behavioral clinicians use their problem-solving skills to formulate treatment plans for their patients. They can also use this skill to help patients overcome challenges in the course of their treatment which can be changes in behavior or overcoming setbacks. They can also use their problem-solving skills to help patients for solutions to personal issues they are facing which can be getting a new job or trying to cope with a divorce.
  5. Critical thinking: critical thinking has to do with the ability to evaluate situations and also make crucial decisions based on the information that you have. Behavioral clinicians use critical thinking to come up with treatment plans for their patients. These treatment plans address the needs of their patient or the situations they are facing. They also need critical thinking to assess their patient’s progress and also to make necessary adjustment plans when necessary.


How to Become a Behavioral Health Clinician

  • Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

The first step to becoming a behavioral health clinician is to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology and behavioral health clinician or a similar field. Most students make psychology their focus.  A bachelor’s degree in psychology may cover topics such as health psychology, social psychology, personality theories, and human behavior. These courses can equip a student to be well-prepared for a master’s degree program. To get experience as a student, volunteer in a mental health facility to get first-hand experience working with patients. These experiences can also boost your chances while applying for a master’s degree program.

  • Earn a Master’s Degree

Behavioral mental clinicians are demanded to hold a master’s degree in counseling, behavioral health, psychology, or a similar field. For instance, a master’s degree in counseling includes courses such s assessment techniques, behavioral disorders, and foundations of group counseling. This course will equip a student to have excellent clinical experience and also help them to hone the skills a behavioral health technician need to possess in the field. Enroll in an internship in the course of your master’s degree program. You can get real-world experience by enrolling in an internship.

  • Get the Required Clinical Experience

To obtain licensure, behavioral health clinicians must complete the required 2000-4000 hours of supervised clinical experience although this depends on the state they find their selves. According to the American Mental Health Counselors  (AMHCA), clinical experience is usually obtained 2 years after your master’s degree program under the supervision of a licensed behavioral health clinician. In addition, you need to also pass the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE).

  • Get a License

A license gives you the ability to legally practice your career in your state. Behavioral health clinicians are demanded to obtain a state license in their state of practice or residence. After they have completed their clinical experience, behavioral health clinicians must pass.

  • Further Your Education

Behavioral health clinicians must also pursue further education so that they can renew their licensure or maintain the current one. In some states, it is done annually to maintain your license. Continuing education can come in different formats which can be attending conferences, participating in online seminars, or completing online courses. Furthering your education can also enable you to keep abreast with the latest trends in your field of expertise.

In addition, joining a professional body can is also another way of continuing education. For instance, the AMHCA offers online courses and webinars to update professionals in the field and to keep abreast with the latest findings.

  • Keeping Abreast with the Latest Trends In the Filed

There are three basic latest trends to keep abreast with and they are:

    • The need for more diversity in the workplace: the need for people to diversify their workplace is becoming more crucial to increasing productivity in Behavioral health clinicians can play an important role to create a workplace that is diversified by providing training on the services they offer to both managers and employees. They can also assist in creating a culture of acceptance and understanding which is very paramount for creating a better environment.
    • More focus on Prevention

As behavioral health is becoming more popular, there is a very crucial need for prevention. Behavioral health clinicians need to interact with patients to detect their issues early and also intern quickly. Detecting an issue early is very easy to treat compared to when it has done a lot of havoc to the patient health. They need to work closely with families and communities to identify the signs early and to prevent the issue from developing. They can also provide support and advise those who are struggling for them to get the required assistance that they need.

  • The need for more Collaboration with other health professionals

There is a need for behavioral health clinicians to collaborate with other experts in the field especially when they are handling complex issues. There can be a complex situation that a health clinician cannot handle alone and he needs to work with another team of experts to approach the situation correctly. In recent times, patients demand personalized care and this can only be provided if they work closely or collaborate with other health professionals.


Where to Work as a Behavioral Health Clinician

A behavioral health clinician can work in a hospital, mental health facility, outpatient care, and many more health outlets. Their work environment is an office setting although some can travel to give personalized treatments to patients in their homes. They work more than 40 hours per week which includes evenings and weekends to meet up with clients or to also attend conferences, seminars, and workshops. The work can be very tedious, clients can exhibit difficult or dangerous habits. They must be able to show confidentiality and professionalism in the course of their carrying out their responsibilities.


Behavioral Health Clinician Salary Scale

The salary of a behavioral health clinician varies across different countries and below are some countries:

  • In the United States, The average behavioral health clinician salary in the USA is $67,376 per year or $34.55 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at $56,000 per year while most experienced workers make up to $96,368 per year. The average behavioral health clinician salary in California is $76,781 per year or $39.38 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at $67,304 per year while most competent workers make up to $97,403 per year. The average behavioral health clinician salary in Virginia is $85,535 per year or $43.86 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at $73,262 per year while most competent workers make up to $100,461 per year.
  • In the United Kingdom, The average Behavioral Health clinician salary in the United Kingdom is £42,327 per year or £21.71 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at £34,628 per year while most competent workers make up to £62,745 per year.
  • In Canada, The average Behavioral health clinician salary in Canada is $78,205 per year or $40.11 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at $72,121 per year, while most competent workers make up to $87,316 per year.
  • In Australia, The average Behavioral health clinician salary in Australia is $93,955 per year or $48.18 per hour. Entry-level positions start their career at $83,414 per year, while most competent workers make up to $110,497 per year.
  • In Saudi Arabia, The average pay for a Behavioral Health Clinician Consultant is SAR 150,167 a year and SAR 72 an hour. The average salary range for a Behavioral Health Clinician Consultant is between SAR 105,868 and SAR 182,153.

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