Actually, sometimes mental health counselors and social workers are two different paths of career choices unless you choose the right courses. For instance an MSW_LPC is a master's in social work with a licensure in professional counseling. You can be a mental health counselor with a master's degree in Social Work or Counseling or Psychology. If you are thinking social worker, are you thinking working with Child Protective Services or a Probation Officer. If you are thinking more in the lines of being a therapist, that would be someone who can have their own private practice or work in a mental health facility. Both career paths are callings and very worth the time and effort, and both can lead to medium incomes to upper medium incomes. If you are a real entrepreneur, the sky is the limit on income but that involves promoting yourself, taking on extra skills of administrative leadership, etc. So ask: what really do I enjoy, and how much money would make me happy? Whichever path you choose, I always recommend not stopping until you get your doctorate.