A Family Counselor treats married couples or family members in order to help them overcome mental or emotional problems. They provide effective treatment measures to help the family members resolve their issues.

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Family Counselor Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real family counselor resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Conduct group check-in and co-lead group psychotherapy sessions to help clients identify and manage problems associate with psychiatric conditions.
  • Assist the clients in completing their DCF case plan, helping to remove any hindrances they may encounter.
  • Counsele and test patients who requesting confidential HIV testing services
  • Collaborate and coordinate patient care with resident/faculty physicians to provide appropriate levels of care to patients.
  • Receive and process referrals from DCF and community-base case managers for individuals suspect as substance abusers.
  • Utilize PowerPoint presentations to facilitate ongoing new student orientation, ensuring students understand rules and regulations.
  • Enable patients to function effectively in professional environments by initiating specialize counseling approaches, strategies, and techniques.
  • Provide information and support to transitioning foster youth during assessment, case planning or other permanency and transition-relate activities.
  • Complete IPOC, progress reviews, assessments and other need documentation to be in compliance with Medicaid standards.
  • Provide accurate, concise documentation for Medicaid and private-funding sources in compliance with local, state, and federal guidelines.
  • Attend court, IEP meetings, and DCS meetings to advocate for the child's best interest.
  • Coordinate with DCS, schools, and mental health facilities in order to provide the most effective treatment to each client.
  • Establish an emotionally supportive, non-judgmental, trusting long-term relationship with at-risk families and co-workers.
  • Utilize age-appropriate and culturally sensitive approaches to conduct HIV education and outreach in the community.
  • Implement all campus activities for college wide events and travele with students for professional development and leadership conferences.

Family Counselor Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a family counselor does, you may be wondering, "should I become a family counselor?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, family counselors have a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 22% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of family counselor opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 12,300.

On average, the family counselor annual salary is $41,510 per year, which translates to $19.96 an hour. Generally speaking, family counselors earn anywhere from $27,000 to $62,000 a year, which means that the top-earning family counselors make $28,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

It's hard work to become a family counselor, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a counselor/art therapist, family specialist, counselor internship, and intensive in-home counselor.

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Family Counselor Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 22% of Family Counselors are proficient in Social Work, Community Resources, and POC. They’re also known for soft skills such as Listening skills, Speaking skills, and Compassion.

We break down the percentage of Family Counselors that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Social Work, 22%

    Consulted and collaborated with other involved professionals such as social workers and psychiatrists.

  • Community Resources, 13%

    Served as primary service provider of comprehensive services to include assessment, family therapy and linkage to community resources.

  • POC, 7%

    Developed a working relationship with the installation/facility POC.

  • Family Support, 5%

    Engaged community organizations and community groups in informational presentations about Family Support Project and The Women's Center.

  • Family Therapy, 5%

    Worked with children and families providing individual and family therapy to families participating in a treatment facility for school aged children.

  • DOD, 4%

    Warned and reported restricted reporting situations according to DoD protocol and staff the cases with Regional Supervisor/Regional Director.

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Some of the skills we found on family counselor resumes included "social work," "community resources," and "poc." We have detailed the most important family counselor responsibilities below.

  • The most important skills for a family counselor to have in this position are listening skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a family counselor resume, you'll understand why: "marriage and family therapists need to give their full attention to their clients to understand their problems, values, and goals." According to resumes we found, listening skills can be used by a family counselor in order to "communicated regularly with regional supervisor and poc and participated in individual and group supervision. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling family counselor duties is speaking skills. According to a family counselor resume, "marriage and family therapists need to be able to communicate with clients effectively." Here's an example of how family counselors are able to utilize speaking skills: "addressed a variety of issues including: domestic violence, substance abuse, and child maltreatment. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among family counselors is compassion. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a family counselor resume: "marriage and family therapists often work with people who are dealing with stressful and difficult situations, so they must be compassionate and empathize with their clients." This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "trained new staff in current unit policies, procedures, and culture of compassion. "
  • In order for certain family counselor responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "interpersonal skills." According to a family counselor resume, "marriage and family therapists work with different types of people" As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "focus on repairing relationships, interpersonal skills, conflict resolution, and problem solving. "
  • As part of the family counselor description, you might find that one of the skills that might be helpful to the job is "organizational skills." A family counselor resume included this snippet: "marriage and family therapists in private practice must keep track of payments and work with insurance companies." This skill could be useful in this scenario: "performed intake assessments and life skills training using organizational and interpersonal communication methodologies. "
  • See the full list of family counselor skills.

    Before becoming a family counselor, 55.9% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 32.4% family counselors went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be impossible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most family counselors have a college degree. But about one out of every nine family counselors didn't attend college at all.

    Those family counselors who do attend college, typically earn either psychology degrees or social work degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for family counselors include school counseling degrees or counseling psychology degrees.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a family counselor. We've found that most family counselor resumes include experience from Magellan Health, Leidos, and Youth Villages. Of recent, Magellan Health had 167 positions open for family counselors. Meanwhile, there are 105 job openings at Leidos and 28 at Youth Villages.

    Since salary is important to some family counselors, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Leidos, and Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan. If you were to take a closer look at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, you'd find that the average family counselor salary is $53,293. Then at Leidos, family counselors receive an average salary of $50,691, while the salary at Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan is $47,163.

    View more details on family counselor salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire family counselors from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include Apple, CampCo, and Private Practice.

    The industries that family counselors fulfill the most roles in are the health care and professional industries. But the highest family counselor annual salary is in the professional industry, averaging $40,967. In the government industry they make $40,422 and average about $40,295 in the health care industry. In conclusion, family counselors who work in the professional industry earn a 2.6% higher salary than family counselors in the pharmaceutical industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious family counselors are:

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    What Counselor/Art Therapists Do

    A counselor/art therapist is responsible for conducting art sessions as part of patients' therapy treatments, letting them express their human nature and emotions through artistic discovery. Counselors/art therapists guide the patients throughout their recovery process, identifying their needs and conditions by analyzing their crafts. A counselor/art therapist coordinates with other medical professionals to deliver quality care services for the patients, monitor their progress, record observations, and instructing patients in art activities to discover their maximum potential.

    In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take counselor/art therapist for example. On average, the counselor/art therapists annual salary is $37,907 higher than what family counselors make on average every year.

    While their salaries may differ, one common ground between family counselors and counselor/art therapists are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like social work, community resources, and family therapy.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A family counselor responsibility is more likely to require skills like "poc," "family support," "dod," and "group supervision." Whereas a counselor/art therapist requires skills like "patients," "diagnosis," "behavioral health," and "patient care." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    On average, counselor/art therapists reach higher levels of education than family counselors. Counselor/art therapists are 12.0% more likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.8% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Family Specialist?

    A Family Specialist performs social work for families in need. They are focused on helping individuals and families to improve their lives.

    The next role we're going to look at is the family specialist profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $1,395 lower salary than family counselors per year.

    While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both family counselors and family specialists are known to have skills such as "social work," "community resources," and "family support. "

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real family counselor resumes. While family counselor responsibilities can utilize skills like "poc," "dod," "group supervision," and "action planning," some family specialists use skills like "foster care," "social services," "provide technical assistance," and "family engagement."

    It's been discovered that family specialists earn lower salaries compared to family counselors, but we wanted to find out where family specialists earned the most pay. The answer? The technology industry. The average salary in the industry is $55,461. Additionally, family counselors earn the highest paychecks in the professional with an average salary of $40,967.

    When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, family specialists tend to reach lower levels of education than family counselors. In fact, they're 14.9% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.8% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Counselor Internship Compares

    When it comes to Counselor Internship, among the primary responsibilities is to assist in dealing with various activities such as preparing and verifying necessary documentation, observing consultations and outreach programs, guide clients and help develop multiple helpful strategies, and provide assessments. Furthermore, one can conduct counseling and consultation only under supervision. It is also essential to track the information gathered and coordinate with assigned personnel to adhere to the company's regulations and policies.

    The third profession we take a look at is counselor internship. On an average scale, these workers bring in higher salaries than family counselors. In fact, they make a $3,990 higher salary per year.

    By looking over several family counselors and counselor interns resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "community resources," "family therapy," and "group supervision." But beyond that the careers look very different.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from family counselor resumes include skills like "social work," "poc," "family support," and "dod," whereas a counselor internship might be skilled in "intake assessments," "substance abuse issues," "group therapy sessions," and "relapse prevention. "

    Counselor interns make a very good living in the finance industry with an average annual salary of $51,629. Whereas family counselors are paid the highest salary in the professional industry with the average being $40,967.

    When it comes to education, counselor interns tend to earn lower education levels than family counselors. In fact, they're 13.0% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.8% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of an Intensive In-Home Counselor

    An Intensive In-Home Counselor conducts individual counseling sessions for parents and deals with delicate issues like sexual addiction. They also prepare progress reports for clients.

    Now, we'll look at intensives in-home counselor, who generally average a higher pay when compared to family counselors annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $9,918 per year.

    According to resumes from both family counselors and intensives in-home counselor, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "community resources," "family therapy," and "group therapy. "

    Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a family counselor might have more use for skills like "social work," "poc," "family support," and "dod." Meanwhile, some intensives in-home counselor might include skills like "out-of-home placements," "medication management," "treatment strategies," and "discharge summaries" on their resume.

    Intensives in-home counselor earn a higher salary in the utilities industry with an average of $56,398. Whereas, family counselors earn the highest salary in the professional industry.

    Intensives in-home counselor reach lower levels of education when compared to family counselors. The difference is that they're 8.7% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 0.7% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.