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.
Top Online Masters in Counseling Degrees
While the training and education requirements to become a counselor vary by state and specialty, a master's degree is typically required to become licensed. Counseling specialties available for study at the master's level include addiction counseling, career counseling, mental health counseling, school counseling, professional counseling, and more. The schools below all offer accredited online programs in these subjects.
MS in Addiction Counseling
MS in Career Counseling
MS in Counseling Studies
MS in Mental Counseling
||Capella University › The online counseling programs at Capella University in School Counseling, Career Counseling, Marriage & Family Counseling, Mental Health Counseling, and Counseling Studies feature diverse curriculums that include online coursework, residencies, and field experiences to prepare students to be eligible for state licensure.
MS in Forensic Counseling
MS in Mental Counseling
||Walden University › Walden University offers both an MS degree in Mental Health Counseling and an MS degree in in Forensic Counseling. These curriculums are designed to prepare graduates to enter the workforce immediately, where they incorporate there skills throughout the fields of healthcare and forensics.
M.Ed. in School Counseling
MA in Professional Counseling
MA in Pastoral Counseling
||Liberty University › Liberty University's online M.Ed. in school counseling, MA in professional counseling, and MA in pastoral counseling programs prepare students for state licensure and national certification, and ultimately for careers in mental health agencies and private practices. The curriculums integrate faith and counseling, theories and skills, and legal issues.
MS in Psychology
MS in General Psychology
MS in Addictions Psychology
MS in Behavioral Psychology
||Kaplan University › Kaplan University, one of the nation's largest online universities, has a variety of Masters in Counseling degrees available through accredited, online programs. These programs deal with psychology and the interaction of various forms of treatment on the human mind, building upon the groundwork for students seeking careers in counseling. Students can find specializations in Psychology, General Studies, Addictions Psychology, and Behavioral Psychology.
MA in Career Counseling
||University of the Rockies › The University of the Rockies Master's program in Psychology with a Career Counseling specialization offers students the ability to learn how psychological research influences job seeking and career decisions. The curriculum empowers graduates to assess the performances of job candidates, and use group dynamics to build driven teams.
MS in Addiction Counseling
MS in Professional Counseling
||Grand Canyon University › The Grand Canyon University MS programs in Professional Counseling and Addiction Counseling allow students to meet the requirements for licensure in Arizona. For those do not live in Arizona, they will be prepared to begin the process of certification in their respective states.
Ed.D. in Counseling Psychology
MA in Forensic Psychology
MA in I/O Psychology
MA in Sport Psychology
||Argosy University › Argosy University offers professional education in business, education, and psychology. The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in counseling psychology enhances the counseling expertise of those seeking leadership or teaching positions within the field. Other psychology-related online programs include the MA in forensic psychology, MA in industrial/organizational psychology, and MA in sport-exercise psychology.