What is a Family Therapist

Family therapists help couples and families resolve conflicts and learn how to communicate efficiently. They are responsible for treating marital problems and underlying issues that create problematic family dynamics. They conduct therapy sessions and mediate between spouses and family members towards a better understanding of each other.

Working in this position, you might have one-on-one or group sessions with your clients. You will deal with mental and psychological disorders, substance abuse and addiction, emotional and behavioral problems on a daily basis. It will be your job to assess your clients' situation and come up with efficient treatment plans to improve their relationships, self-esteem, and general well-being.

You must be licensed to practice this profession, and a degree in psychology or counseling is also a regular expectation of people filling this role. You must be an excellent communicator and listener, treat your patients with compassion, and have the ability to help them understand themselves and their world better, without judgment. If you succeed, you can earn a comfortable living with annual salaries averaging around $38,000.

What Does a Family Therapist Do

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists help people manage and overcome mental and emotional disorders and problems with their family and other relationships. They listen to clients and ask questions to help the clients understand their problems and develop strategies to improve their lives.

Learn more about what a Family Therapist does

How To Become a Family Therapist

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.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Progressive Jobs (15)
  2. Children's Aid Society Jobs (34)
  3. AMIkids Jobs (14)
  4. Youth Villages Jobs (38)
  5. Community Solutions Jobs (30)
Average Salary
$47,417
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
22%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
46,927
Job Openings
resume document icon

Don't Have A Professional Resume?

0 selections

Family Therapist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Family Therapist

Top Careers After Family Therapist

Family Therapist Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Family Therapist

Family Therapists in America make an average salary of $47,417 per year or $23 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $65,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $34,000 per year.
Average Salary
$47,417
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Family Therapist? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.
See More Salary Information

Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

12 Family Therapist Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Family Therapist Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Family Therapist resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Family Therapist Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Progressive Jobs (15)
  2. Children's Aid Society Jobs (34)
  3. AMIkids Jobs (14)
  4. Youth Villages Jobs (38)
  5. Community Solutions Jobs (30)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Family Therapist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Family Therapist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Family Therapist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Family Therapist Resume
Family Therapist Resume
Family Therapist Resume
Family Therapist Resume
Family Therapist Resume
Family Therapist Resume
Family Therapist Resume
Family Therapist Resume
Family Therapist Resume
Family Therapist Resume
Family Therapist Resume
Family Therapist Resume
Family Therapist Resume
Family Therapist Resume
Family Therapist Resume
Family Therapist Resume

Family Therapist Demographics

Family Therapist Gender Statistics

female

74.2 %

male

25.8 %

Family Therapist Ethnicity Statistics

White

76.6 %

Hispanic or Latino

10.8 %

Black or African American

7.7 %

Family Therapist Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

72.7 %

French

7.2 %

German

3.1 %
Job Openings

Find the best Family Therapist job for you

0 selections
0 selections

Family Therapist Jobs You Might Like

Family Therapist Education

Family Therapist Majors

Family Therapist Degrees

Bachelors

47.0 %

Masters

46.8 %

Associate

3.4 %

Top Colleges for Family Therapists

1. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

2. Hunter College of the City University of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,182
Enrollment
16,205

3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

4. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

5. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

6. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

7. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

8. SUNY at Albany

Albany, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,011
Enrollment
13,434

9. San Jose State University

San Jose, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,796
Enrollment
27,125

10. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216
Job Openings

Find the best Family Therapist job for you

0 selections
0 selections

Family Therapist Jobs You Might Like

Online Courses For Family Therapist That You May Like

CBT: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Therapists & Coaches
udemy
4.5
(1,237)

Comprehensive CBT Therapy Training Cognitive Behavior Therapy Practitioner Level Treat Anxiety, Depression & More...

Professional Cupping Therapy Massage Certificate Course
udemy
4.8
(1,439)

Learn Cupping Therapy Massage Today to Treat Your Own Pains, Your Friends, Family Or Massage Clients Effortlessly!...

Addiction & Mental Health (Dual Diagnosis) Integrative 12hrs
udemy
4.6
(1,203)

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Interventions: Drug & Alcohol Addiction & Mental Health - Integrative Holistic Approach...

Show More Family Therapist Courses
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Family Therapist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 11.8% of Family Therapists listed Treatment Plans on their resume, but soft skills such as Listening skills and Speaking skills are important as well.

Best States For a Family Therapist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Family Therapist. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Family Therapists make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $62,301. Whereas in New York and Rhode Island, they would average $52,588 and $51,994, respectively. While Family Therapists would only make an average of $51,357 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Alaska

Total Family Therapist Jobs:
154
Highest 10% Earn:
$76,000
Location Quotient:
0.92
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New York

Total Family Therapist Jobs:
3,013
Highest 10% Earn:
$78,000
Location Quotient:
1.17
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Massachusetts

Total Family Therapist Jobs:
2,174
Highest 10% Earn:
$76,000
Location Quotient:
1.18
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Family Therapists

How Do Family Therapist Rate Their Jobs?

Working as a Family Therapist? Share your experience anonymously.
Do you work as a Family Therapist?
Rate how you like work as Family Therapist. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.

Top Family Therapist Employers