Where do you want to work?
Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists are typically required to have a master’s degree and a license to practice.Education
To become a mental health counselor or a marriage and family therapist, applicants typically need a master’s degree in psychology, clinical mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, or a related mental health field. A bachelor’s degree in most fields is acceptable to enter a master’s program.
Counseling programs prepare students to recognize symptoms of mental and emotional disorders and to use effective counseling strategies. Marriage and family therapy programs teach students about how marriages, families, and relationships function and how these relationships can affect mental and emotional disorders.
Many employers prefer to hire counselors who have graduated from programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs.Training
Candidates gain hands-on experience through postdegree supervised clinical work, sometimes referred to as an internship or residency. In training, they learn to provide family therapy, group therapy, psychotherapy, and other therapeutic interventions, under the supervision of a licensed counselor.Licenses
All states require mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists to be licensed in the state in which they practice. Licensure requires a master’s degree and 2,000 to 4,000 hours of postdegree supervised clinical experience, sometimes referred to as an internship or residency. In addition, counselors and therapists must pass a state-recognized exam and complete annual continuing education classes.
Contact information for state boards regulating mental health counselors is available through the National Board for Certified Counselors.
Contact and licensing information for marriage and family therapists is available through the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards.Important Qualities
Compassion. Counselors and therapists often work with people who are dealing with stressful and difficult situations, so they must be compassionate and empathize with their clients.
Interpersonal skills. Being able to work with different types of people is essential for counselors and therapists. They spend most of their time working directly with clients and other professionals and must be able to encourage good relationships.
Listening skills. Good listening skills are essential for mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists, both of whom need to give their full attention to their clients to understand their problems, values, and goals.
Organizational skills. Good organizational skills are especially important for counselors and therapists in private practice, who must keep track of payments and work with insurance companies.
Speaking skills. Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists need to be able to communicate with clients effectively. They must express ideas and information in a way that clients can understand easily.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Counselor
Top Careers After Counselor
Hispanic or Latino10.8%
Black or African American0.6%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
University of Phoenix12.3%
Grand Canyon University6.0%
Florida State University4.9%
Virginia Commonwealth University4.1%
Texas A&M University3.7%
University of Central Florida3.4%
University of Alabama3.2%
Florida International University3.2%
Pennsylvania State University3.2%
New York University3.1%
University of Memphis3.1%
Nova Southeastern University2.8%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Counselor||Phil Art Studio & Sci Toefl In Ny||New York, NY||Oct 01, 2015||$95,313|
|Counselor B||Trustees of The University of Pennsylvania||Philadelphia, PA||Sep 02, 2015||$65,900|
|Tourist Business Counselor||America Asia Travel Center Inc.||Monterey Park, CA||Sep 28, 2013||$65,720|
|Business Counselor||Wealth Ocean Inc.||Irvine, CA||Oct 01, 2013||$65,000|
|Counselor||Sathya LLC||Cedar Park, TX||Jun 01, 2016||$62,800|
|Counselor||Weill Cornell Medical College||New York, NY||Jan 10, 2016||$61,466|
|Counselor||Weill Cornell Medical College||New York, NY||Oct 01, 2016||$61,466|
|Counselor||Weill Cornell Medical College||New York, NY||Oct 01, 2015||$59,676|
|Animal Behavior Counselor||The Pet Wellness Center, P.C.||Plainview, NY||Nov 01, 2013||$59,250|
|Counselor||Safe Harbor Retreat LLC||East Hampton, NY||Jun 15, 2016||$58,436|
|Counselor||Safe Harbor Retreat LLC||East Hampton, NY||Jun 22, 2016||$58,436|
|Business Counselor||Wealth Ocean Inc.||Irvine, CA||Oct 01, 2013||$58,427|
|Business Counselor||Pacific Asian Consortium In Employment||Los Angeles, CA||Jan 10, 2014||$44,000|
|Counselor||State University of New York College at Plattsburg||Plattsburgh, NY||Aug 30, 2014||$43,907|
|Counselors, All Other||Misericordia Home||Chicago, IL||Jul 01, 2014||$43,827|
|Counselor||KEIO Academy of New York||NY||Jun 17, 2014||$43,700|
|Mfpa Counselor||MFPA Inc.||Atlanta, GA||Sep 30, 2015||$43,250|
|Counselor||Search To Involve Pilipino Americans||Los Angeles, CA||Mar 29, 2016||$43,000|
|Counselor Advocate (Chinese-Speaking)||New York Asian Women's Center||New York, NY||Sep 11, 2013||$43,000|
|Rehab Counselor III (Direct Care Professional)||The Devereux Foundation||Holden, MA||Oct 27, 2015||$37,918 -
|Counselor||Lone Star Community Health Center, Inc.||Conroe, TX||Mar 02, 2015||$37,752 -
|Counselor||First In Quality Care LLC||Waldorf, MD||Sep 04, 2015||$37,566|
|Counselor||Search To Involve Pilipino Americans||Los Angeles, CA||Mar 29, 2013||$37,566|
|Counselor||First In Quality Care LLC||Waldorf, MD||Sep 12, 2014||$37,566|
|Counselor||Search To Involve Pilipino Americans||Los Angeles, CA||Jul 01, 2013||$37,440|
|Counselor||Search To Involve Pilipino Americans||Los Angeles, CA||May 29, 2015||$37,440|
|Counselor||Middle Georgia State College||Warner Robins, GA||May 09, 2013||$37,000|
To get more results, try adjusting your search by changing your filters.
Social Services Counselor, Career Video from drkit.org
A Counselor provides Parenting Advice for Parents of High School Students from drkit.org
A Day in the Life of a School Counselor