Master's Degrees in Counseling in North Carolina


Updated January 24, 2023

Looking for the best Master's Degree in Counseling in North Carolina? You should consider these top-tier graduate programs and jobs in the counseling field. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Master's Degrees in Counseling in North Carolina

Earning a Master's Degree in Counseling in North Carolina

The best degrees in North Carolina for counseling are offered through accredited colleges and universities. By enrolling in a quality program, students can earn the education they need for a successful career. With a master's degree, graduates open doors for employment in diverse fields and are qualified for advanced roles in their fields.

Those who graduate from a master's degree program are more likely to be employed than those who hold a high school diploma alone.

Counseling Master's Programs for You

Working and Living in North Carolina in the Counseling Profession

A counseling degree can provide individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a career in counseling. Common courses in a counseling degree program include human development and psychopathology. Typically jobs for those who hold a master’s in counseling include counselor, therapist, and psychologist.

The state's median annual wage is $38,370, or $18.45 per hour. This statistic includes all of the state's 4,422,020 employees. The BLS reports that the lowest 10% of earners make $22,360 a year, while the highest earners make $99,300 a year. The following provides a comparison of earnings for counselors in North Carolina.


Counselors in North Carolina
Counselors Nationally
All Occupations in North Carolina
All Occupations Nationally

Salaries for Counselors in North Carolina and Nationwide


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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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MERIC ranks North Carolina as number 15 out of 51 states (including Washington, D.C.) on the cost of living index. The cost of living index measures how much it costs for families to live in specific states. Assuming that the U.S. average is 100, all locations in the U.S. are either higher (more expensive) or lower (less expensive). North Carolina's cost of living index is 95, which is 5% lower than the national average. Determine whether North Carolina is the right place for you by reviewing our cost of living comparison.


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Source: Missouri Research and Information Center
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Counselor jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 8.9% over the next decade. The BLS expects the occupation's total employment to change from 54,300 in 2020 to 59,200 in 2030. Entry-level education for these positions generally consists of a master's degree. These are some of the typical job titles within the field:

  • Counselors
  • AIDS Counselor
  • Anger Control Counselor
  • Grief Counselor
  • HIV Counselor
  • Sexual Assault Counselor

Master's Degrees in Counseling in North Carolina

#1 Master’s Degrees in Counseling in North Carolina

Wake Forest University

  • Winston-Salem, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Wake Forest University, located in Winston-Salem, offers a flexible, online counseling graduate program. The program encourages career training throughout its curriculum, preparing graduates for leadership positions. A master's degree helps candidates advance in their current field or pursue a new career path.

The master's curriculum examines the theoretical and practical perspectives of counseling. Learners individualize the course of study by selecting electives and concentrations. Applicants without a background may need to complete prerequisite courses to enroll in the program.

Online enrollees add to their resumes by pursuing internship opportunities at approved locations in their local area. Common facilities and services offered at most universities, like library services or gymnasiums, are accessible to students living on campus. Graduate students also build professional connections by attending networking events.

Wake Forest University at a Glance:

Type of school: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 30%

Total Online Master's Programs: 4

Program name: Counseling Graduate Program

Graduate Tuition In State: $38,650

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $38,650

Average Tuition
Retention Rate
Admission Rate
Students Enrolled
Institution Type
Percent Online Enrollment
86% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Financing a Master's Degree in Counseling

Students can finance college in many ways through financial aid programs and grants. Financial assistance can take the form of scholarships, grants, fellowships, and work-study programs. In order to pay for college, some students qualify for federal and private student loans. There are also some colleges that offer scholarships and financial aid to assist students in their research.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid:

Average Cost of Attending College in North Carolina

There is a wide variation in the cost of education in North Carolina, depending on the college or university you attend. Even so, there are some commonalities that exist among both private and public institutions. For more information on attending a public institution, please take a moment to review the information below.

Public 4-Year School Tuition Rates: North Carolina vs. National Average


North Carolina
National Average


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Source: National Center for Education Statistics
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Would you consider attending a private college or university? Typically, private schools charge a higher rate for tuition. Check out the following graph to learn more about the private colleges in North Carolina.

Private 4-Year School Tuition Rates: North Carolina vs. National Average


North Carolina
National Average


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The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
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Federal Student Loan Information

Would borrowing student loans help you pay for your education? You should consider certain things before taking out a loan.

Here are some data to assist you in determining what students typically borrow.

Undergraduate Federal Loans
Demographic Percent who borrowed Amount borrowed
Total 66.6% $27,400
Female 69.6% $28,100
Male 62.5% $26,500
White, not Hispanic or Latino 66.1% $26,700
Black, not Hispanic or Latino 85.7% $34,800
Hispanic or Latino/a, of any race 67.7% $25,700
Asian, not Hispanic or Latino 43% $22,700
Other or Two or more races, not Hispanic or Latino 70.4% $28,300
Source: NCES

Online vs. On-Campus

Pros and Cons: Online Degrees


  • Cheaper tuition
  • Flexible, asynchronous classwork
  • No on-campus fees for parking, tech, etc.


  • Less structure
  • Minimal peer-to-peer interaction
  • Less facetime with professor
  • No access to on-campus amenities

Pros and Cons: On-Campus Degrees


  • Gym, library, etc. access
  • Smaller class options
  • Face time with peers and professors


  • More expensive
  • Transportation or housing costs
  • Rigid scheduling
The main differences between an online degree and a degree completed on-campus are the cost and class size. Numerous advantages can be gained from online degree programs. Typically, on-campus degrees are more expensive because of student fees, which are typically optional for distance learners. Attending in-person classes does, however, have its benefits.

Top Counseling Degree Options Available by State
State Degree Level
California Bachelors, Masters, phD
Florida Bachelors, Masters, phD
Georgia Bachelors, Masters, phD
Illinois Bachelors, Masters, phD
New York Bachelors, Masters, phD
North Carolina Bachelors, phD
Pennsylvania Bachelors, Masters, phD
Texas Bachelors, Masters, phD
Virginia Bachelors, Masters, phD
Washington Bachelors, Masters, phD

Private vs. Public

Private colleges and public colleges differ in many ways. For example, public colleges tend to offer more affordable tuition than private colleges. The cost of education at public universities is typically reduced by obtaining grants and scholarships. At private colleges, merit-based scholarships may be available to those who demonstrate superior academic performance.

One advantage of attending a private college is the smaller class sizes. The class size provides students with more one-on-one time with their professors, allowing them to explore the possibilities of their chosen field. Here are some pros and cons of attending a private versus a public institution.

Pros and Cons


  • Unique program offerings
  • Cultural or religious options
  • Local prestige
  • Higher costs
  • Less regulatory oversight


  • Government-issued tuition costs
  • Government funding, benefits, and regulation
  • Oftentimes large classrooms

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the wages for counselors in North Carolina?

The mean annual wage for in-state counselors is $64,830.

In today's environment, are counseling majors in high demand?

The total number of counselors is expected to change by 8.9% from 2020 to 2030.

Can you study for a master's in counseling online?

A master's degree in counseling can be earned online. Most schools in today's environment offer a certain amount of online instruction.

How long does it usually take to complete a master's degree?

Typically, a master's degree takes two years for a full-time student to complete. There will be a difference regarding the completion time between part-time and full-time students.

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