Family counselors help clients overcome mental health problems like anxiety or depression, or behavioral problems such as anger. Family counselors work with clients one-on-one, or work with families in groups, helping to plan treatment and resolve issues, dealing with everything from unemployment to drug abuse to financial issues.
Annual salaries for family counselors will vary depending on your experience, education level, and expertise. In 2012, the average annual salary for family counselors working in the U.S. was $51,690 per year.
For more information on what parts of the country have the most opportunity for family counselors, click through to our Best Places to Work tab for information on the number of people employed and the average salary in each state.
California is number one in the United States for employment in family counseling, where 5,690 practitioners are currently serving, and earning an average salary of $54,470 annually. New Jersey is second in the nation, with 4,170 family counselors presently occupying positions statewide, and making an annual mean wage of $71,250.
The metro areas employing the most family counselors are:
The metro areas employing the highest concentration of family counselors are:
The metro areas employing the best-paid family counselors are:
Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career as a family counselor. The associated information has been gathered from Bureau of Labor statistics, representing data collected in 2012.
Counseling can make a great difference to individuals’ or families’ lives. There are plenty of good reasons to want to become a family counselor in particular:
Family counselors need all a counselor’s skills—the ability to identify a problem, prepare a plan of therapy or treatment, and work sensitively with a client to resolve the problem. They also need to understand family dynamics and be comfortable working with groups in conflict. A working knowledge of these skill sets will help to set you apart from other candidates.
Feel like you’ve got a lot to learn? Get more information about family counseling careers, degrees, and applicable courses from one of the schools below.
Generally, those in this field will have a master’s degree in psychology, social work, counseling, marriage and family therapy, or similar field. Family counselors will also need to show familiarity with the culture they intend to specialize in, either through experience or study. Students with a bachelor’s degree in most disciplines will be eligible to go on to a master’s in one of those disciplines.
Most states will also require family counselors to become licensed prior to being able to practice in the field, which often requires counselors to earn a master’s degree and complete between 2,000 and 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience. Afterward, family counselors who need to obtain their license must pass a state-recognized exam, as well as maintaining their license through yearly continuing education classes.