Background | Resources for Employers | Resources for Therapists and Counselors

Why we're launching #PostThePay

#PostThePayToday (January 16, 2018), we're launching our first social media campaign: #PostThePay. We're not trying to sell anything. We're trying to improve the job application process for therapists and counselors, and those who employ them.
On this page, you can find background about this campaign and why we launched it. For graphics you can use and share, language you can use in posting job opportunities or responding to job posts, and additional articles about employment issues in mental health care, please visit our #PostThePay pages for Employers and for Therapists and Counselors.

What happens when pay is unlisted

Lots of job listings for therapists and counselors are vague about how much the positions pay, if they mention pay at all. This is problematic for both applicants and employers.

For applicants, they face the prospect of potentially wasting time applying and interviewing for positions that pay less than the applicant would be willing to accept. If the applicant is offered a position where pay had not been published, there is no way for the applicant to know for sure whether they're being offered less than other applicants, or what the basis for that difference might be. This raises difficult questions about possible wage discrimination, which is a serious concern in a profession where women greatly outnumber men. More generally, when job announcements for mental health professionals don't include pay information, it's part of a broader employment culture in our field that keeps wages low and employees at risk for exploitation (especially when prelicensed).

For employers, they too face the possibility of wasting a great deal of time reviewing applications and even conducting interviews with applicants who would never accept the pay scale the position offers. Employers who do not post the pay for their jobs are also vulnerable to claims of wage discrimination if pay is unequal between people working similar positions and there is not a clear policy explaining that difference.

California law now prohibits employers from asking job applicants about their salary history, and requires them to provide salary ranges when applicants ask. But there is still work to be done to ensure that the employment process for therapists and counselors is fair and truly competitive. #PostThePay is one part of that work.

When employers do #PostThePay, everyone benefits.

Applicants have a clear sense of what job opportunities are worth their time pursuing. Many will still happily apply for positions where the pay is lower, if they can see that they would be working in support of a compelling mission, or there are other benefits of working in that job.

Employers protect themselves against those possible concerns over wage discrimination, and can demonstrate through the wages they offer that they are interested in attracting the best-qualified applicants, rather than those willing to tolerate an underpaid role. They also show their support for wage transparency and equality.

Of course, we understand that many therapist jobs -- especially in nonprofits -- struggle to offer competitive pay. But posting the pay for these jobs ensures that applicants enter into the application process with their eyes open, and also should lead the employer to discuss the other reasons why applicants should choose to work there instead of elsewhere: Great supervision, a compelling mission, or other reasons.

What you can do

You can find #PostThePay on all of our channels -- web site, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We hope you'll get involved by sharing your stories online, and by using the free graphics, copy-paste language, and other resources we're making available on these pages:

#PostThePay resources for Employers
#PostThePay resources for Therapists and Counselors

It's time

We want to make waves with this. It's time for a cultural shift in how therapists and counselors are recruited into their jobs. We think employers stand to benefit from this shift every bit as much as their employees. We hope you'll join us. #PostThePay in support of fair wage and employment practices for counselors and therapists.