What Can I Do with a Doctorate (PhD) in Counseling?

Graduates with a Ph.D. in Counseling can apply their expertise in a variety of professional settings. Keep reading to learn what you can do with a doctorate in counseling. Schools offering Mental Health Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview

Graduates of a Ph.D. program in Counseling are able to work in three main areas: academia, administration, and clinical practice. Which area you choose to enter depends on your interests and your skill set.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Postsecondary Psychology TeacherPostsecondary Education AdministratorMental Health Counselors
Median Pay (in 2014)$68,690$88,390$40,850
Job Outlook (2012-2022)14% (faster than average)15% (faster than average)29% (much faster than average)
Licensing/CertificationTypically is voluntary, may be required for some positionsNone neededLicense necessary in most cases
Key SkillsCommunication, writing, resourcefulness, critical thinkingProblem solving, interpersonal skills, organized, good with computersCompassion, interpersonal skills, listening, speaking

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Academia

As a graduate of a doctoral program in counseling, you could teach at a public or private college or university on the undergraduate or graduate level. In addition to leading classes, you might help develop curricula for various certificate and degree programs, evaluate counseling programs and serve as a mentor for aspiring counselors. You also might write textbooks and/or engage in original research.

Administration

With a Ph.D. in Counseling, you could become a clinical supervisor in a hospital or other medical setting. You also might take a position as a director or coordinator with a mental health agency or rehabilitation facility.

Outside of the healthcare arena, you could find work as a director of career counseling with a college or university. You also might oversee family counseling services for a nonprofit or social service agency, such as a division of child and family services, or for a corrections facility or religious institution.

Clinical Practice

With a Ph.D. in Counseling, you could work in public or private practice as a licensed professional counselor. Depending on your area of specialization, you might work in mental health counseling, pastoral counseling, substance abuse counseling, family and marriage counseling, or school and career counseling. Potential employers include health care facilities, churches, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, elementary and secondary schools, and postsecondary institutions. Other prospective employers include employee outplacement or assistance programs and human resources departments.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Lesley University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Cambridge
  • Walden University

    Online Programs Available

  • Stanford University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Stanford
  • Harvard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Cambridge
  • University of Pennsylvania

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
  • Duke University

    Campus Locations:

    • North Carolina: Durham
  • University of Toledo

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Toledo
  • University of Notre Dame

    Campus Locations:

    • Indiana: Notre Dame