Average Salary for Graduates with a Master in Counseling Degree
With a degree in counseling, you’ll have a wide range for job opportunities open to you after you graduate. No matter what career path you choose, you can earn more money as a counselor if you go back to school to earn your master’s degree in the field. But just how much can you expect to earn? Let’s look at salary information for the different counseling positions you could consider.
Salary by Position
The world of counseling provides students with a wide range of job opportunities upon graduation, and the position you take will have a huge effect on the salary you can expect when working in this career. Here are some of your options, along with the salary you can expect, according to reports:
- Rehabilitation Counselor: $36,547
- Mental Health Counselor: $39,450
- Clinical Therapist: $40,259
- Chemical Dependency Counselor: $40,540
- Marriage and Family Counselor: $45,580
- School and Career Counselor: $52,050
Overall, with your master’s degree, you can expect to earn above average. As of 2008, those with master’s degrees in counseling (or a related field) made an average of $64,140.
Counseling Salary by Location
Another major factor in the salary you can expect as a counselor is location. In some states, where need is greater, you can expect to earn thousands of more dollars per year than you can in other states. As a school or career counselor, for example, the top states in terms of average salary are New Jersey, Alaska, and Maryland. Marriage/family therapists make the most in Hawaii and Georgia, while counselors at rehab clinics make the most in Michigan and mental health counselors make the most in Maine. Keep in mind that you can also usually make more money as any kind of counselor if you’re willing to live in work in a metropolitan area, though cost of living in cites is also higher.
Earning More as a Counselor
Getting your master’s degree and moving to a high-paying location are just two of the ways you can earn more money as a counselor. If you’re interested in a higher salary, you should also do your research in terms of the types of employers that hire counselors. Government organizations and private care facilities often pay their counselors most, and you can also make more money by taking on private clients, rather than working with groups in a school, rehab, or hospital setting.