Master's Degrees in Counseling in Washington

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Updated January 24, 2023

Looking for the best Master's Degree in Counseling in Washington? You should consider these top-tier graduate programs and jobs in the counseling field.

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Master's Degrees in Counseling in Washington

Earning a Master's Degree in Counseling in Washington

Get the best degrees in Washington for counseling and improve your career prospects. Master's degrees are suitable for diverse career paths. With a master's degree, graduates possess the skills needed to move forward.

Counseling Master's Programs for You

Working and Living in Washington in the Counseling Profession

A counseling degree can be a great way to help people in your community and make a difference in their lives. There are many different types of counseling degrees available, and the courses you take depend on the type of degree you choose. However, there are some common courses that are covered in most counseling programs. These include courses on human development, counseling theories and techniques, assessment and diagnosis, and research methods. Once you have completed your counseling degree, you will be qualified for a variety of jobs. Some of the most common jobs for those with counseling degrees include working as a school counselor, a mental health counselor, a substance abuse counselor, and a family counselor.

Washington's median salary for all occupations is $24.25 per hour or $50,450 per year. All 3,205,930 employees in Washington conform to this statistic. On average, the lowest earners in the state receive $30,460 per year, while the highest earners receive $127,470 a year. See below for an analysis of incomes for Washington's counselors.

Key

Counselors in Washington
Counselors Nationally
All Occupations in Washington
All Occupations Nationally

Salaries for Counselors in Washington and Nationwide

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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According to MERIC, Washington ranks number 40 out of 51 states (including Washington, D.C.) in terms of the cost of living index. The cost of living index measures the average cost of living in specific states against the cost of living nationwide. In the U.S. the average is calculated as 100, and all locations are either above (more expensive) or below (less expensive). In comparison with the national average, Washington's cost of living index is 113.9, which is 13.9% higher. In the table below, you will find a comparison of Washington's grocery costs, housing costs, utility costs, and more against those in the U.S.

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Source: Missouri Research and Information Center
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Jobs for counselors are projected to grow by 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. For these positions, you need a master's degree.

Master's Degrees in Counseling in Washington

#1 Master’s Degrees in Counseling in Washington

Bastyr University

  • Kenmore, WA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

The master of arts in counseling psychology at Bastyr University, located in Kenmore, uses a flexible distance learning format. The program emphasizes specialized skills, preparing enrollees for increased responsibilities and a higher earning potential. Earning a master's degree helps graduates move into a new career path or advance in their current field.

The curriculum emphasizes the best practices in counseling psychology. Learners choose electives or a specialization to gain focused career training. The program recommends a background in counseling or a related field when applying.

Online enrollees participate in internship programs at approved locations in their local area. Those who attend on campus can enjoy the common amenities and facilities available at most institutions, such as the library or gym. Graduate students expand their professional network through internships and online events.

Bastyr University at a Glance:

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

Admission Rate: Data not available

Total Online Master's Programs: Data not available

Program Name: Master of arts in counseling psychology

Graduate Tuition In State: $30,900

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $30,900

Average Tuition
In-state
$26,820
Out-of-state
$26,820
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
904
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
7% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#2 Master’s Degrees in Counseling in Washington

Central Washington University

  • Ellensburg, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Ellensburg, Central Washington University enrolls master's students in its top-ranked online master's in mental health counseling program. The rigorous curriculum prepares learners for leadership responsibilities. A master's degree also helps graduates pursue new career paths.

The curriculum emphasizes both practical and theoretical approaches to mental health counseling. Learners individualize the course of study by selecting electives and concentrations. The program recommends that applicants bring a background in counseling or a related field.

Online enrollees complement the classroom experience with local internships. Common facilities and services offered at most universities, like the library or gymnasium, are accessible to students living on campus. Degree candidates can also participate in networking events to expand their professional connections.

Central Washington University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 85%

Total Online Master's Programs: 17

Program Name: Master's in mental health counseling

Graduate Tuition In State: $9,582

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $22,449

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,475
Out-of-state
$22,551
Retention Rate
70%
Admission Rate
86%
Students Enrolled
11,174
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
97% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#3 Master’s Degrees in Counseling in Washington

City University of Seattle

  • Seattle, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its campus in Seattle, City University of Seattle hosts a top-ranked master of arts in counseling. The program strengthens specialized skills, preparing enrollees for leadership roles with a higher earning potential. A master's degree can also prepare graduates for opportunities in new fields.

The curriculum explores advanced methodologies and research in counseling. Learners take electives and other specialized courses to gain career-specific training. Applicants without a degree in counseling or a related field may need to meet prerequisite requirements.

Online enrollees participate in internship programs at approved locations in their local area. Campus students can access the library and gymnasium, as well as other equipment and facilities available at most institutions. Internships and other networking events help degree-seekers expand their professional network.

City University of Seattle at a Glance:

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

Admission Rate: Data not available

Total Online Master's Programs: 16

Program Name: Master of arts in counseling

Graduate Tuition In State: $11,430

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $11,430

Average Tuition
In-state
$13,658
Out-of-state
$13,658
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,052
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
83% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#4 Master’s Degrees in Counseling in Washington

Eastern Washington University

  • Cheney, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online master of science in counseling at Eastern Washington University ranks as a top program. The program encourages career training throughout its curriculum, preparing learners for leadership positions. A master's degree also trains graduates for roles in new industries.

The curriculum explores theoretical and practical perspectives in the field. Learners individualize the program to prepare for focused careers. The master's program recommends a background in counseling before applying to the program.

Online enrollees complete internships in their local community to gain real-world experience. On-campus students benefit from the library and gym facilities provided by many institutions. Internships and other practicum activities build both hands-on experience and professional connections.

Eastern Washington University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 96%

Total Online Master's Programs: 16

Program Name: Master of science in counseling

Graduate Tuition In State: $11,721

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $27,214

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,707
Out-of-state
$24,676
Retention Rate
71%
Admission Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
12,349
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
93% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#5 Master’s Degrees in Counseling in Washington

Northwest University

  • Kirkland, WA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

The online master of arts in clinical mental health counseling, offered by Northwest University from its Kirkland campus, ranks as a top program. The program emphasizes industry-relevant knowledge and skills, preparing enrollees for decision-making responsibilities. After completing a master's degree, graduates can pursue career advancement in their current field or a new one.

The curriculum covers theoretical and practical approaches to clinical mental health counseling. Learners prepare for the job market by choosing a specialty through electives. The program builds on undergraduate training or professional experience in counseling.

Online enrollees complete internship requirements at approved sites in their own community. Students who attend on campus can access the library and gym, as well as other amenities and facilities available at most institutions. Internships and other practicum activities build both hands-on experience and professional connections.

Northwest University at a Glance:

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

Admission Rate: 93%

Total Online Master's Programs: Data not available

Program Name: Master of arts in clinical mental health counseling

Graduate Tuition In State: $19,101

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $19,101

Average Tuition
In-state
$33,500
Out-of-state
$33,500
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
93%
Students Enrolled
1,184
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Financing a Master's Degree in Counseling

You may be able to receive financial aid to help pay for college. In addition to scholarships and grants, work-study programs are available as well. The federal government as well as private lenders offer student loan programs to some students. Many colleges offer scholarships and financial aid to students.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid

Average Cost of Attending College in Washington

The cost of attending college in Washington varies from institution to institution. There are some commonalities that exist among institutions of all sizes, however. You can determine whether attending a public institution is right for you by reviewing the information below.

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

Key

Washington
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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Have you ever considered attending a college or university that's private? As a general rule, private schools charge higher tuition fees. You can learn more about private colleges by looking at the following graph.

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

Key

Washington
National Average

Chart

Bar chart with 5 bars.
The chart has 1 X axis displaying salary types.
The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
End of interactive chart.

Federal Student Loan Information

In order to pay for your education, have you considered applying for student loans? When considering a loan, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Find out what students typically borrow by reviewing the following data.

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

Pros and Cons: On-Campus Degrees

Pros

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

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Transportation or housing costs
  • Rigid scheduling
The cost and size of the class are two of the main differences between online and on-campus programs. An online program offers numerous advantages, including flexibility, affordability, and convenience. As a result of student fees, on-campus programs tend to cost more than online programs. However, attending classes has 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, Masters, phD
Pennsylvania Bachelors, Masters, phD
Texas Bachelors, Masters, phD
Virginia Bachelors, Masters, phD
Washington Bachelors, phD

Private vs. Public

Private and public colleges differ in several ways. Private schools tend to charge more in tuition than public schools, for example. You can use research grants and scholarships to help cover the cost of attending a public college. Private institutions generally charge their students higher tuition, but there are usually merit scholarships available for those with high GPAs or SAT scores.

There is a tendency for private colleges to have a lower student-to-teacher ratio. The following are some of the pros and cons associated with attending a public institution as opposed to a private one.

Pros and Cons

Private

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

Public

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

Frequently Asked Questions

As a counselor, how much do you make in Washington?

Counselors report earning a mean annual salary of $58,710 in Washington.

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

The total number of counselors is projected to grow by 8.9% from 2020 to 2030.

Can I get an online master's degree in counseling?

Yes, you can get an online master's degree in counseling. In today's environment, most schools offer some form of online education.

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

Typically, it takes two years for a full-time student to graduate from a master's program. The completion time will be longer for part-time students.

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