What Is the Employment Outlook for Marriage Counseling Careers?

As a marriage counselor, you can assist couples in managing issues within the family unit as well as helping to prevent marriages from ending in divorce. Employment growth is expected to be faster-than-average from 2016-2026, and there will be good job prospects. Read on to find out more about the employment outlook and salary for marriage and family therapists. Schools offering Marriage & Family Therapy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Employment Outlook

Marriage counseling, more commonly referred to as marriage and family therapy, is a rapidly growing field with excellent career opportunities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected employment in the field to grow by 23% during the 2016-2026 decade (www.bls.gov). This faster-than-average growth is predicted to result in 9,700 new jobs over that decade. The BLS expects job prospects overall to be good, especially if you're willing to work in a rural area.

Important Facts About This Career

Key SkillsInterpersonal, communication, compassion
On-the-Job TrainingInternship/clinical practicum
Typical Prerequisites Background in psychiatry, psychology, social work, education, pastoral counseling, or nursing
Similar OccupationsSchool counselor, social worker, psychologist

Growth Factors

Increased awareness of the field and the willingness of individuals to seek help for their marital and family problems are two main growth factors for this career, according to the BLS. In addition, insurance policies must now include coverage for therapy, which will enable more people to get services they could not otherwise afford. Population growth will also have an effect on demand for these professionals. These factors will lead to therapist job openings in mental health centers, hospitals and clinics.

Employment Statistics

The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) reports that there are over 50,000 professional therapists counseling couples and families throughout the country (www.aamft.org). Over 1.8 million individuals are using the expertise of marriage and family therapists. In addition, the BLS noted that 41,500 professionals were employed at the marriage and family therapists in 2016, and this number is expected to grow to 51,200 by the year 2026.

In 2016, the BLS noted that most marriage and family therapists worked for individual and family services (28%), offices of other health practitioners (14%), and outpatient care centers (15%). Other places of employment included offices of health practitioners and nursing and residential care facilities, hospitals and colleges.

Average Salary

As of May 2018, the BLS reported that marriage and family therapists in the U.S. earned an average annual salary of $54,150. Salaries for most workers ranged from $31,850-$82,240. The average annual salary for therapists working in individual and family services was $49,790, while those working for outpatient care centers averaged $57,700. State government paid an average wage of $69,080, while local government paid an average wage of $61,100.

Educational Requirements

Marriage counselors must have a mastery of therapy techniques, intervention methods, relationship theory and concepts in human development. The road to becoming a marriage counselor includes a master's degree, doctoral degree and/or a postgraduate training program in marriage and family therapy. Upon completion of an accredited program you will need to complete a 2-year clinical practicum under the supervision of a licensed therapist.

All 50 states regulate the field of marriage and family therapy and require all therapists to be licensed prior to professional practice. Requirements commonly include a state licensing exam or a passing score on the national exam administered by the AAMFT regulatory boards. You are eligible for these exams once you have completed an accredited degree program and clinical practicum experience.

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

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Walden University

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    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

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  • Regent University

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    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Grand Canyon University

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    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

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  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
      • Master - Professional Counseling
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • The Chicago School

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    Popular programs at The Chicago School:

    • Master
    • Certificates

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  • Northcentral University

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