Where are Marriage and Family Counselors Employed?

Marriage and family counselors work closely with families to combat and conquer the issues that affect their households. They might meet with children convicted of shoplifting from a local store, a family affected by a teen pregnancy or a couple trying to recovery after infidelity. Those working in the field must have an undergraduate degree, and some positions require both a graduate degree and a license to practice in the field. If you are considering enrolling in a marriage and family counseling degree program, investigate where you might work after graduation.

Hospitals and Clinics

A large number of counselors work in hospitals, clinics and other medical settings. Doctors and nurses call on counselors for help in cases that involve abuse or neglect. You might find yourself talking to a young child about bruises that the doctor discovered, or you might need to talk with an elderly patient neglected by a loved one. Counselors working for hospitals often give patients referrals to other counselors or offer to meet with those patients at the hospital. You might also arrange for some type of aftercare or call social services for help.

Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofit organizations and charities hire a number of professionals trained in marriage and family topics. Larger churches now offer help and support for people in the surrounding community, and those churches need therapists to meet with and talk to residents. Charities help residents through food pantries, utility payment assistance programs, homeless shelters, domestic abuse shelters and counseling centers. Counselors might work on hotlines that let people call in and get help when they have suicidal thoughts, or they might offer private and group sessions with those going through a divorce or another serious problem.

Local, State and Federal Government

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more marriage and family counselors work for individual and family services for the government than any other industry in the profession. Those working for the government often accept positions as social workers or work directly with those social workers. They arrange for clients to get help quickly. Counselors might recommend that a neglected elderly person receive daily meal delivery and arrange for in-home visits from a social worker. While working for the government, you will spend a large portion of your day in the field and traveling to meet with your clients.

Colleges and Universities

After finishing your marriage and family degree, you might find yourself drawn towards academic positions. With a graduate degree, you can teach at the community college level and help students start on their career paths. Once you have some more experience working with clients and patients, you qualify to work at higher education levels. You might accept an adjunct teaching position at a local college and work part time with clients. Colleges and universities also hire counselors to work in the counseling centers on campus. You can help students recover from the issues they have at home and at school.

Marriage and family counseling is an area of counseling devoted to the family unit. You’ll work with parents and their children, but you might also work with neglected and abused children and adults. Marriage and family counselors work for different organizations, groups and companies, but you’ll likely find most jobs available through the government, hospitals, nonprofit organizations and colleges.