Most Helpful Guy
An LCPC (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor) bills at about $70-$90 per hour in private practice. The problem is getting paid. Managed care companies---the gate keepers for insurers---make it hell to get your receivables. You will spend as much time collecting your money as you did earning it.
In the end, you will spend 40 hours per week listening to dysfunctional people say things like "I hate my life; I want to kill myself," and then you will try to talk them through it---all for about $20-$30 per hour, since you only get 80% of "usual and customary fees."
Social work is even worse. Most people working for the county or state make less than $40,000.
If you are really set on this career path, one of the best niches is Employee Assistance Programs (EPA). These are departments in larger companies that deal with employee issues as they pertain to work. Your typical client will be dealing with an addiction or grief over loss, maybe a child who is truant. Any of these could cause the person to be ineffective at work or absentee.
Since companies have money to spend and labor is an important production asset, EPA jobs pay pretty well.0