From substance abuse counselors and social workers to behavior technicians and behavior analysts, nearly all types of behavioral health professionals are currently in high demand across the country. If you’re thinking about making a change in your career path, there are many opportunities available, but how do you know which setting is right for you?
Before making a significant change, it is crucial to consider what kind of facility you’d like to work in, the population you’ll serve, and the workplace environment.
Six Workplace Settings for Behavioral Health Professionals
1. Healthcare Facilities
Healthcare facilities can include:
- Inpatient settings such as hospitals and inpatient psychiatric facilities
- Residential settings such as assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities
- Outpatient settings such as outpatient psychiatric facilities
In addition to the variety of settings, these institutions present excellent opportunities for those who enjoy a fast-paced environment and working with both patients and their families.
According to Marlon Leyva, a director of business development at Maxim Staffing, a national leader in healthcare staffing,
“We’re seeing a lot of health systems implement programs that are tailored to behavioral health, and then there is an increased demand for those professionals such as social workers, psychologists, and board-certified behavioral analysts. Plus, healthcare settings tend to offer higher pay than other jobs in the field.”
2. Correctional Facilities
Working in prisons and juvenile detention centers can be intimidating for many entry-level behavioral health professionals. However, there are many benefits to working in this type of setting. There is constant high demand for behavioral health workers in correctional facilities, which means enhanced job security and an easier time finding a job. Also, behavioral health professionals are essential in helping people get back to their everyday lives. Keep in mind that government correctional facilities typically offer less pay than privately-run institutions.
3. Treatment Centers and Rehabilitation Facilities
Treatment centers and rehabilitation facilities give people a safe environment where they can detox from drugs or alcohol and heal from the physical and psychological effects of substance use. “There is a significant need right now for more behavioral health workers in detox facilities,” says Leyva. “Detox facilities need staff members quickly and often do what they can to attract the talent, even increasing the pay.”
4. Community Mental Health Clinics
Also known as in-community support programs, community mental health clinics provide care to people of all ages who might otherwise struggle to access it, such as:
- Senior citizens
- People with severe mental health disorders
- People who have completed inpatient programs
Because these clinics serve the entire community, adaptability is critical for behavioral health professionals in this setting. Working in a mental health clinic is a great way to be hands-on in the community and serve an essential need.
5. Educational Facilities
Many of the available jobs in this setting entail implementing behavior therapy and applied behavior analysis (ABA) in either one-on-one sessions or with groups of adolescent children. “In educational facilities, we have a lot of staff who like to be around the younger population and are passionate about making a difference,” says Leyva.
6. Other Settings
While healthcare, educational, correctional and rehabilitation facilities are some of the most common settings, there are many other options available, such as:
- Private practices
- Group homes
- Medication management clinics
A staffing agency recruiter is a valuable resource that can help behavioral health professionals find the best role for them based on their qualifications, strengths, preferences, and passions.
What’s the Best Workplace Setting for Me?
The truth is that the best workplace for you depends on what you’re passionate about. Marlon Leyva says, “Work wherever your passion lies. There are lots of different types of facilities where you can make a difference. Think about the types of people you want to make an impact with and pursue jobs that get you interacting with that population.”
Also, when choosing your workplace, Leyva says, “Pay attention to the work environment. Everyone is in a stressful spot these days with being understaffed. Look at the turnover rates to help protect yourself from getting into a situation where you’ll be overworked and exhausted at the end of each shift.”
Find the Workplace Setting for You with Maxim Staffing
When you partner with Maxim, your Recruiter can help you identify the best workplace setting. You also have the advantage of being able to try out several different types of job settings and determine what you enjoy the most. Explore available behavioral health positions with Maxim today.