Mental health care managers diagnose patients as mental health counselors, but they usually work with more severe cases that require psychiatric treatment. Mental health case managers screen applicants and decide which cases to accept after diagnostic screenings. They also outline proposed treatment plans and procedures while consulting with psychiatrists -- and track the progress of patients. If you want to become a mental health case manager, you can expect to earn an average annual salary between $40,000 and $50,000.
Salaries Above $45,000
The average annual salary for a mental health case was $47,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Simply Hired. To work in this field, you need the minimum of a master's degree in mental health services, social work or marriage and family therapy. Employers may also prefer hiring those with one or more years of experience in mental health case management. Other essential requirements for the job are compassion and listening, speaking, organizational and people skills.
Washington, D.C., Pays the Most
In 2013, average salaries for mental health case managers varied the most within the South region, according to Simply Hired, where they earned the lowest salaries of $37,000 in Mississippi and the highest of $74,000 in Washington, D.C. If you worked as a mental health case manager in South Dakota or Minnesota, you'd earn an average of $37,000 or $50,000, respectively -- the lowest and highest salaries in the Midwest. In the Northeast region, you'd make $42,000 to $57,000 in Maine or Massachusetts, respectively. Mental health case managers in the West made the most in Alaska and California and least in Montana at $53,000 and $38,000, respectively.
Earn More Than Mental Health Counselors
While mental health case managers earned $47,000 as of 2013, according to Simply Hired, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported average annual salaries of $43,340 for mental health and substance abuse social workers as of May 2012. The top 10 percent earned more than $66,880 annually. Social workers earned average salaries of $54,870 in 2012, according to the BLS, while top earners exceed $80,320. Social workers help people in crisis situations cope with challenges such as finding work, getting through divorces or finding support networks for their emotional problems.
Excellent Job Growth
The BLS doesn't forecast jobs for mental health case managers. It projects a 36 percent increase in employment for mental health counselors from 2010 to 2020, which is much faster than the 14 percent national rate for all occupations. More people are expected to seek help for emotional and mental problems in the next decade as the population grows, which should increase jobs for mental health counselors and other mental health workers, including mental health case managers. You will work more with psychiatrists as a mental health case manager. Therefore, you might experience a job growth closer to the 24 percent increase the BLS expects for physicians and surgeons, including psychiatrists.