Mental Health Counselors

risk level
Based on 275 votes
by year 2032
or $25.82 per hour
as of 2023

Employment data isn't available specifically for this occupation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, so we are using the data from Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors.


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Automation risk

0.0% (Minimal Risk)

Minimal Risk (0-20%): Occupations in this category have a low probability of being automated, as they typically demand complex problem-solving, creativity, strong interpersonal skills, and a high degree of manual dexterity. These jobs often involve intricate hand movements and precise coordination, making it difficult for machines to replicate the required tasks.

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated is available here.

Some very important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Social Perceptiveness

  • Assisting and Caring for Others

Some quite important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Originality

  • Persuasion

  • Negotiation

User poll

26% chance of full automation within the next two decades

Our visitors have voted there's a low chance this occupation will be automated. This assessment is further supported by the calculated automation risk level, which estimates 0.0% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that Mental Health Counselors will be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence within the next 20 years?


The following graph(s) are included wherever there is a substantial amount of votes to render meaningful data. These visual representations display user poll results over time, providing a significant indication of sentiment trends.

Sentiment over time (yearly)


Very fast growth relative to other professions

The number of 'Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors' job openings is expected to rise 22.1% by 2032

Total employment, and estimated job openings

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031
Updated projections are due 09-2023.


Moderately paid relative to other professions

In 2023, the median annual wage for 'Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors' was $53,710, or $25 per hour

'Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors' were paid 11.8% higher than the national median wage, which stood at $48,060

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Significantly greater range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2023 there were 397,880 people employed as 'Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors' within the United States.

This represents around 0.26% of the employed workforce across the country

Put another way, around 1 in 381 people are employed as 'Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors'.

Job description

Counsel and advise individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health, with an emphasis on prevention. May help individuals deal with a broad range of mental health issues, such as those associated with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; or aging.

SOC Code: 21-1014.00


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Leave a comment

Pitha gorus (Highly likely) says
Robots will understand more human mind in the future than such evil therapist who do business only for many and always ask for high costs, AI would have more evidence based answers and solutions to human problems with human like empathy they will understand humans like centuries before internet was just an imagination in 1700.
Apr 24, 2024 at 02:06 AM
anonymous says
In the United States therapists are licensed through the board of behavioral sciences in their state. Humans have to jump through several hoops, education and training, in order to get licensed. I can’t imagine that these requirements will go away for artificial intelligence. Someone has to own the technology being used, they will be liable if something goes wrong. Legal and ethical issues will arise.
May 09, 2023 at 05:13 PM
Zac (Moderate) says
If therapy is primarily a reflective task, it's easy to see how a user could enter prompt text and an LLM could respond to key words to generate open-ended questions for deeper consideration. I think the optimistic view of this is that mental health treatment need not look like it does now with only periodic visits of defined length.
Apr 08, 2023 at 04:58 PM
Hadit (Highly likely) says
Chatgpt has already been better and more empathetic then most therapists. Given how many can botch even simple assessments because they are too lazy to actually work, I cannot wait
Mar 21, 2023 at 07:19 AM
Keeks (Low) says
Human witnessing with each of our senses... eyes, ears, embodied felt sense, plus empathetic responsiveness, have direct impacts on another's nervous system. Maybe one day robots will be able to emulate this (I hope not), but for now I can't see how these integral pieces to therapeutic effectiveness could be replaced by an AI bot.
Mar 20, 2023 at 01:27 PM
Max says
Therapy and counselling is a medical treatment of an illness, just like any other. If you're looking for human connection in your health care, you are looking in the wrong place. That needs to come from your relationships. Therapy is expensive and there are massive wait lists. Not to mention when I finally get in with a counsellor it's like rolling the dice if it will be a good fit. If an AI could provide me with free, unbiased, scientifically backed, cutting edge advice specific to my mental health situation at any time I need it, sign me the heck up.
Mar 08, 2023 at 06:31 PM
Chris (Highly likely) says
The robot's memory could be erased after the session. This makes the client more comfortable telling their "darkest secrets" right away.

The client also has unlimited access to a therapist that never gets fatigued or distracted. Plus, the client can have on-demand access 24/7/365, for 5 minutes or 5 hours.

Sadly, therapists will be rare, but fortunately, society will achieve greater mental health.
Sep 01, 2022 at 10:55 PM
Sarah (No chance) says
Therapy requires a personal, empathetic touch that machines may never be able to provide.
Oct 23, 2021 at 02:37 PM
Stephen Lim (Low) says
Nothing can ever replace human empathy and face-to-face interactions. Bots may give the most politically correct or evidence-based answers, but it can't provide the human touch, or when counsellors say to clients "I'm sorry about what you've gone through. I share your grief and am at a loss of words now."
Jun 07, 2020 at 02:08 PM
Friend says
Why would I pick a human counselor who knows a limited amount little to an AI who has instant access to the breadth of human knowledge. Its hubris for us to think that AI will not pass human intelligence at some point, and then we won't even be able to tell the difference. So yes at some point all jobs are in danger.
Jan 21, 2021 at 02:57 AM
Lindsey (No chance) says
Mental Health Counselling is a job that is about face to face interaction and understanding verbal and nonverbal communication. a robot cannot understand and pick up on these forms of communication the way humans were programmed to do. People have to go through multiple sessions before being able to help the person. You cannot give a robot emotions that humans are born with that are required with this job. Humans have personal experiences hearing, seeing or experiencing that can be used to help people. Robots cannot do any of this and that is why I am so confident that this profession will never be controlled by robots.
Oct 29, 2019 at 06:38 PM
Russell Johnson (No chance) says
counseling is a human experience.
Oct 01, 2019 at 09:46 PM
Sarah (No chance) says
I think expanding mental health counseling would be a good idea. This job shouldn't be leaving anywhere.
Jun 27, 2019 at 06:23 PM
Collyn Wang (No chance) says
Mental Health Councilling requires face to face communication, and robots can not detect emotions and feelings as well as humans can. Psychology is a very difficult major for a robot to be able to understand as we have not been able to properly program sympathy or emotions and creativity in robots. Even if we do, humans would probably rather communicate with other humans or even people who share the same problems as them, not robots.
Apr 25, 2019 at 11:41 AM
Makenna (Low) says
Counselling alone is about communicating to others and i think that if robots replace that job the work wont be done right.
Apr 10, 2019 at 03:50 PM

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