What Can I do with a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling?

Earning a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling from an accredited institution can be the perfect way to open many professional doors within the counseling profession. Within a marriage and family counseling degree program, you will receive the vital training in counseling theories, psychological assessment, interpersonal communication, human development, family dynamics, abnormal psychology, couples therapy, and cross-cultural counseling intervention that can be beneficial in a number of mental health field areas. After completing the educational and clinical requirements for receiving an accredited graduate degree in marriage and family counseling, the following is a list of possible career paths for putting your expertise into practice.

Available Counseling Career Opportunities

In most cases, students who choose to pursue an on-campus or online master’s degree program in marriage and family counseling go on to earn licensure to practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). Using a variety of counseling techniques, marriage and family therapists are responsible for helping clients overcome problems in their relationships to improve their overall well-being. On a typical day in the life of a marriage and family therapist, these healthcare professionals will diagnose mental or emotional disorders, encourage clients to discuss their emotions, assist clients with adjusting to transitions, guide couples through making decisions, help families develop strategies to improve circumstances, and refer clients to other available community-based resources.

In addition to becoming a marriage and family therapist, individuals with a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling may discover other specialized career opportunities. For instance, some graduates may wish to become substance abuse counselors to provide therapy services to individuals suffering from alcoholism or drug addictions within a familial context. Some individuals with graduate training in marriage and family counseling also decide to become school counselors to work with students and their families in order to overcome social, intellectual, behavioral, or emotional problems that hindering learning. Others may also wish to become a divorce therapist to specifically handle the psychological and emotional aspects of the painful divorce process on couples as well as their children.

Potential Employment Settings After Graduation

Once you have finished a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling and fulfilled licensure requirements to practice, you will have the credentials needed to seek employment in a wide variety of practice settings. In the healthcare industry, marriage and family counselors often practice in clinics, hospice programs, hospitals, outpatient care centers, and nursing homes. Within the mental health field, marriage and family therapists can be found in community-based mental health centers, family service agencies, psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment facilities, group homes, and private practices. Other graduates with a graduate degree in marriage and family counseling decide to work in adoption agencies, family preservation agencies, therapeutic schools, social service departments, universities, schools, and faith-based church organizations.

As more couples and families are expected to seek mental health treatment due to better coverage of counseling services by insurance plans, it is projected that marriage and family counselors will benefit from rapid employment growth of 31% over the next decade. Furthermore, marriage and family therapists will enjoy promising job prospects that provide a mean annual salary of $51,690, with the top 10% bringing home around $78,580 each year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Therefore, it is an excellent time to earn a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling to realize a wide range of rewarding career options.