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Is Marriage and Family Counseling a Lucrative Career?

A person considering a degree in therapy or counseling may want to know if marriage and family counseling a lucrative career. It is a wise to find out the median and average salary for a career because the earnings potential could play a role in whether or not a person thinks they could pay off their student loans, pay their basic living expenses while also saving for the future and having a little money left over for vacations or leisure. Knowing what to expect in terms of earnings, the job outlook and possible raises in earnings could help a person make their decision about which type of counseling or therapy to choose for their specialty.

Annual Earnings Statistics for Marriage and Family Counseling

The median annual salary for a marriage and family counselor or therapist was $50,090 as of May 2018. The lowest 10 percent had an average annual salary of $31,850, and the highest-paid 10 percent earned an average of $82,240 per year. The highest-paying industry of employment for marriage and family counselors in state government, where the average annual salary is $69,900. The runners-up include outpatient clinics, where the average annual salary is $51,270; the offices of other healthcare providers, where the average annual salary is $49,190; and individual and family services practices, where the average annual salary is $44,760.

Salary Based on the Location of Employment

A candidate should also look at the salary and compare it to the cost of living in a place where they get a job offer. The five states with the highest salaries for marriage and family counselors are Hawaii, Maine, Colorado, New Jersey and Utah. Each of these places has an average annual salary in excess of $70,000.

Job Outlook for Marriage and Family Counselors

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for marriage and family counselors are expected to increase by 22 percent between May 2018 and 2028. This rate of growth is much faster than the national average for all occupations, which is 5 percent. About 12,000 new jobs will be available for marriage and family counselors. The growth is expected to be high because insurance companies are more likely to pay for the low-cost therapy sessions compared to the higher cost of seeking counseling from a psychologist or psychiatrist. The use of integrated care, such as combining substance abuse treatment with family counseling, will also help fuel the growth of jobs.

Other Factors That Determine a Marriage and Family Counselor’s Income

Marriage and family counselors may earn more if they have a doctorate degree. Those who offer weekend or evening services in order to accommodate their clients’ work schedules may also be able to earn more. Counselors in private practice may be able to set their fees higher.

Related Resource: 5 Best Online Ph.D. Marriage and Family Counseling Programs

A person thinking of a career in marriage and family counseling should keep in mind that the salary is only part of the benefits of doing this type of work. Counselors may get a considerable level of satisfaction from helping others navigate through challenges and come out of the situation for the better. Knowing whether or not marriage and family counseling is a lucrative career in terms of salary and benefits could make it easier for a person to decide if this is the path that they want their career to take.