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Old 06-01-2011, 12:51 AM
12 posts, read 21,470 times
Reputation: 21


I'd like to return to my home state of Oregon, and don't really care which area I live in. However, I have one of the less appealing degrees, Liberal Studies, and about one year of experience in the mental health field as Mental Health Para-professional (MHPP in Arkansas is equivalent to Oregon's QMHA). My job title is case manager, and I do the usual case manager duties: connect client's with resources, arrange for and provide transportation, teach social skills, assist in journaling, workbooks, etc.

I work with a diverse population, with diagnoses such as bipolar, borderline personality disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, major depression, etc. My question is this: is the competition for this type of job in this field fierce? I love what I do, and I want to keep doing it. In Arkansas, there is little competition for this type of job, and my liberal studies degree does not detract from my experience and skills base.

My plan is to transfer my graduate level MSW courses to PSU's MSW program - but I can't do that if I can't get a job.

What are your thoughts, folks? I want to come home, but I also need to know what I am up against. I'd even get a second bachelor's degree in psychology if that is what it takes to get a job in case management to get me through the two years that it will take to get my MSW. I'd also be happy to take a case management role in a releated field, such as at DHS.

My questions are: is the competition for these types of jobs in this field ore related fields fierce?

What is the pay for these types of jobs (mental health case mangers in Arkansas make $25.00 per billable hour, but typically only bill 4 hours per day. Salaried, non billable per hour jobs are about $12.50 per hour). I work for a mental health counseling agency.

Are these jobs advertised, or does each company generally just pull from recently submitted applications and resumes? I don't see a lot of advertised jobs as a QMHA.

Thanks so much for reading!

Last edited by pavs; 06-01-2011 at 02:05 AM.. Reason: Clarity
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Old 10-01-2011, 01:32 PM
1 posts, read 3,612 times
Reputation: 16

I am sorry to say, but the job/employment prospects are few and far between here in Oregon in general, including/especially QMHA opportunities. We have a horrendous unemployment rate. Furthermore, you'd need to have 3 years of experience not just one to be considered a QMHA in Oregon since you don't have a Bachelors in Psychology or related. If you are "lucky" enough to work here in Oregon as a QMHA, you'll only be looking at $10-$12/hr. 24/hr shift work. So, if I were you, I'd stay in AK!!! You'd be taking a HUGE risk moving back here!!! Also, could the weather be worse?!?! It is dark and rainy at least 10 months out of the year here LOL. I WISH I could move!!! My husband and I are stuck here in Oregon though b/c we have a home

In order to have a chance at a counseling/case manager position (or anything related) you'll really need a Master's Degree, not just a Bachelors. Oregon is a very well educated state and therefore, you'll be completing with a lot of cherries ripe for the pickin.'

I TRULY hope this HELPS you. It would be VERY sad if you moved here and things didn't work out b/c on one took the time to tell you what the reality is here in Oregon. I am sorry, I wish I could paint you a rosy picture, but like I said, hopefully you'll appreciate the truth.
Good luck to you!

Last edited by wonderingabout2011; 10-01-2011 at 01:42 PM..
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