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What's the Employment Outlook for Marriage and Family Therapy Careers?

Employment for marriage and family therapists is expected to increase at a rate that is much faster than average from 2016-2026. This growth is primarily due to the increased number of people who actively seek out these professionals when they suffer through family and marriage issues. Read on to learn more about the employment outlook and salary statistics for this career.

Job Description

A marriage and family therapist is responsible for resolving conflicts within marriages and families, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This type of therapist will use his or her knowledge of family systems theory and other principles and techniques to help assuage any problems. These professionals typically hold an advanced degree and are self-employed. However, a small number work for social services organizations.

Important Facts About Marriage and Family Therapists

On-the-Job Training Internships available
Key Skills Empathy, close listening, critical thinking, problem solving, clear spoken communication, time management, organization
Work Environment Individual and family services; outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers; hospitals
Similar Occupations Psychologists; rehabilitation counselors; school and career counselors; social workers; social and human services assistants

Projected Job Growth

The BLS reports that there were approximately 41,500 marriage and family therapists employed in the United States in 2016, and it also projects jobs for these professionals are expected to increase by 23% over the 2016-2026 decade. This is much faster than the national average for all other jobs and is expected to result in an increase of 9,700 jobs by the year 2026.

Factors of Growth

A major factor affecting growth is that health insurance in the country must now cover mental health counseling services. This might cause more people to request treatment that they could not previously afford. As a result, there will be a need for more therapists at facilities.

Improve Your Prospects

The best prospects for employment are for rural areas of the United States, because of the small number of marriage and family therapists available for consultation. These professionals must hold a license in the state where they practice. A number of certifications are available through the National Board of Certified Counselors. Certification and a license may boost the career prospects for marriage and family therapists.

Salary Information

In May 2018, the BLS reported that marriage and family therapists earned a median salary of $50,090. Annual wages were equal to or less than $31,850 for the bottom 10% of workers and equal to or more than $82,240 for the top 10% of workers. State governments and religious organizations paid the highest average wages of $69,080 and $65,790, respectively.