The Best Online Master’s in Family Counseling

The Best Online Master’s in Family Counseling

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An online master's in family counseling degree teaches students how to help families suffering from daily challenges and overwhelming experiences.

Family counselors help families through challenges like divorce and job loss. They also diagnose children with mental health disorders, work with couples to strengthen their relationships, and help families build healthy connections. A master's degree in family counseling prepares graduates for careers in marriage and family counseling.

Marriage and family therapists benefit from a faster-than-average projected job outlook between 2019-2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). BLS projects 22% job growth in the next decade. The median annual salary for marriage and family therapists reaches nearly $50,000.

Our list ranks the best online master's in marriage and family counseling programs to help prospective students find the right fit and reach their career goals. This page also introduces common family counseling courses, offers advice on selecting online counseling programs, and provides an overview of career paths for those who have earned a master's in family counseling.

Top 10 Online Manster's in Family Counseling Programs 2020

#1 Pepperdine University Malibu, CA
#2 LeTourneau University Longview, TX
#3 Regent University Virginia Beach, VA
#4 California State University - Northridge Northridge, CA
#5 Messiah College Mechanicsburg, PA
#6 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
#7 Abilene Christian University Abilene, TX
#8 Touro University Worldwide Los Alamitos, CA
#9 Indiana Wesleyan University Marion, IN
#10 Concordia University - Wisconsin Mequon, WI

The Best Online Manster's in Family Counseling Programs 2020

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California State University - Northridge 

Northridge, CA Apply Now

About this school

Dedicated to fostering an inclusive learning environment, CSUN’s strengths-based approach to learning encourages personal as well as professional development. Utilizing a hybrid cohort model, groups of students pursuing their MS in counseling and marriage and family therapy work together for the program’s duration, attending a mixture of online and on-campus classes.

Through 12 units of core counseling courses, students explore the role of diversity in counseling, legal and ethical issues in family therapy, and career intervention techniques. Marriage and family specialization coursework addresses the unique challenges of counseling children, couples, families, and those struggling with addiction. In the clinical assessment and research portion of the program, students learn techniques for patient assessment, applied research methods, and the foundations of neurobiology.

Prior to completing their online master’s in marriage and family counseling, learners perform a 50-hour practicum, during which they work under the supervision of trained mental health professionals in a clinical setting. Degree candidates may then opt to complete either a written thesis or final graduate project. While some students complete their culminating experience requirements in one semester, the majority take two to finish. Due to the program’s comprehensive nature, graduates are eligible to pursue both MFT and Professional Clinical Counselor licensure.


Messiah College 

Mechanicsburg, PA Apply Now

About this school

Since its establishment in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, Messiah College has grown to serve a student population of more than 3,300. Extending its evangelical mission to all Christian denominations, Messiah College offers over 170 undergraduate and graduate programs that prepare students for occupations in service and leadership within the church.

Messiah College’s School of Graduate Studies offers an online MA in counseling with a concentration in marriage, couple, and family counseling. Consisting of 60 credits (30 core courses and 30 field-specific), the degree leads to licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) credentials in Pennsylvania and other states. The curriculum is available in three formats: a two-year accelerated, three-year, or four-year format, each of which starts in January or July. Though specific requirements may vary, each option requires completion of multi-module practicums and internships in addition to core-intensive courses.

Messiah College delivers online courses both synchronously and asynchronously. Though the school does offer some fully residential options, the majority of graduate coursework is designed to be completed online. And while online students are afforded the same learning resources and support amenities as their on-campus counterparts, online courses at Messiah College are developed with professional students in mind.


Liberty University 

Lynchburg, VA Apply Now

About this school

Liberty University, a private, evangelical Christian University established in 1971 by Jerry Falwell, enrolls over 75,000 students in a full array of undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and certificate programs. Liberty owes its massive student population to a healthy roster of online programs; 71% and 94% of its undergraduate and graduate students populations, respectively, enroll entirely online. Founded on evangelical principles, Liberty dedicates its programs to developing students to be champions of Christ.

Liberty University offers an online master of arts in marriage and family degree program for students who seek flexible paths for career advancement in family counseling. This online family counseling degree requires 60 hours for completion; these hours include 39 hours of core courses and 18 hours in the marriage and family specialization. Students engage with courses in key topics such as:

  • Ethical Issues in the Field
  • Theories of Counseling
  • Psychopathology
  • Couple and Marital Counseling
  • Counseling Children

Students must also complete a practicum and internship, which adds hands-on experience to their practical and technical knowledge.

The online family counseling master’s program takes an average of 2.5 years to complete. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree that was earned with a GPA of at least 3.0.


Abilene Christian University 

Abilene, TX Apply Now

About this school

ACU’s mission is to develop Christian leaders through rigorous, career-focused academic programs rooted in faith as well as scholarship. Known for its innovation, affordability, and the exceptional success of many of its graduates, ACU strives to foster a learning environment in which all students can succeed, regardless of their faith, background, or even location. Through the ACU Online initiative, students can pursue one of 16 web-based master’s programs in a variety of fields, including marriage and family therapy.

Most students earn an online master’s degree in marriage and family counseling in around 32 months. However, learners can choose to take classes part-time and take a few more semesters to finish This 60-credit program offers four distinct tracks in child and adolescent therapy, treatment of trauma, therapy with military families, and a medical family therapy concentration that requires an additional 15 hours of coursework. Core classes build foundational knowledge in family dynamics and systems, methods and models of intervention and assessment, and medical research. Students on all tracks must complete a 500-hour internship and 100 hours of supervised work.

ACU’s online courses are presented in an intensive, seven week schedule, and students take one class at a time. Graduates are eligible to take the Texas counseling licensure exam. Prospective students must submit a written statement of purpose and three letters of recommendation, and complete a form detailing their psychosocial history. In some instances, the program director may request an interview with a candidate.


Touro University Worldwide 

Los Alamitos, CA Apply Now

About this school

The Touro University Worldwide system has been at the forefront of online education since the establishment of its sister school, Touro University International, in 1998. TUW offers dozens of online undergraduate and graduate degrees across four fields of study: business and management, general studies, psychology, and health and human services, the latter of which features one of the nation’s best online master’s in marriage and family counseling.

TUW’s online master’s of arts in marriage and family therapy can be completed entirely online and with no residency requirements. Applicants enjoy an accelerated admissions process, and, unlike other programs, no GRE is required. The curriculum in the MA in marriage and family therapy at TUW emphasizes a holistic approach to counseling as it focuses on family and mental health issues specific to the 21st century. Students may choose a clinical, non-clinical, or licensed professional clinical counseling (LPCC) track. TUW is currently pursuing COAMFTE accreditation and has updated their program to match COAMFTE standards.

The program’s non-clinical degree track requires 18 courses. Its clinical track requires 18 courses in addition to six practicum courses that require 500 clinical hours and 100 hours of supervision. Finally, the LPCC track requires 22 core courses and six practicum courses that require 500 clinical hours and 100 hours of supervision. TUW offers a single per-credit tuition rate for all distance courses, regardless of the program type or a student’s place of residence.


Indiana Wesleyan University 

Marion, IN Apply Now

About this school

Founded as an undergraduate institution, Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion now offers undergraduate and graduate degrees at 16 locations throughout Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. IWU-Marion features more than 90 programs that can be completed on campus or online, including its online master’s in marriage and family therapy.

IWU-Marion’s online master’s in marriage and family therapy leads MFT licensure in the state of Indiana. Coursework includes an examination of theories and techniques in counseling, a consideration of legal and ethical issues, and a study of human growth and development. Each of these requirements incorporates a Christian perspective and addresses the practice of therapy through interpersonal means. To complete the degree, MA students must complete a practicum and three internship courses at the Marion campus.

A pioneer in distance learning, IWU-Marion has offered courses online since 1997. While online students earn a degree identical to that of their on-campus counterparts, the university has developed programs and methods specific to the virtual learning environment, including keeping class sizes small and assigning advisors to each student. Applicants may be accepted on contingency until they have satisfied six prerequisite credit hours in Bible, which can be completed at IWU-Marion.


Concordia University - Wisconsin 

Mequon, WI Apply Now

About this school

With ties to the Lutheran Church and Concordia University System, Concordia University – Wisconsin serves students at two Wisconsin locations and online. The institution offers undergraduate and graduate programs across nine areas of study and dual-credit high school courses. Grounded in a contemporary Christian perspective, CU-Wisconsin’s unique counseling programs combine education and psychology.

CUW’s School of Education offers online master’s of science in education—family life. The degree features several required courses in topics such as marriage and family relations, Christian perspectives of family development, and curriculum and methods in family life education. Students also explore individual and group counseling from a Christian perspective and must complete a seminar-style capstone project in educational and administrative problem-solving.

The 36-credit MS in education—family life offers a set-rate tuition per credit hour, regardless of a student’s state of residence. Online courses typically take between eight and 10 weeks to complete.


Lee University 

Cleveland, TN Apply Now

About this school

Lee University might be based in Cleveland, Tennessee, but its educational outlook is global. Known for offering accessible, affordable study abroad programs in more than 25 locations worldwide and a wide range of service learning opportunities, the university’s diverse student body includes degree candidates from 48 states and 52 countries. As Church of God affiliate, Lee seeks to promote a Christ-centered worldview while respecting and encouraging diversity of thought.

Lee’s fully-online, 36-credit MS in marriage and family studies is specially designed for those who wish to earn a degree without seeking a counseling license, including licensed professionals who want to specialize in treating families and those pursuing careers in family-oriented non-profit organizations, ministry, or schools. Courses address a variety of subjects, including human development, human sexuality, stress and resilience within families, and systems theory. Students take 12 credits each semester, and most full-time students complete the program in around two years. Part-time scheduling options are also available. Students intending to pursue a doctorate after graduation may fulfill their final requirement through a written thesis, while those who wish to enter the workforce can take a comprehensive final exam.

Applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution, although those with 18 hours of social science coursework and a GPA of 3.0 or higher will receive preference.


University of West Alabama 

Livingston, AL Apply Now

About this school

UWA has come a long way since 1835. Originally founded in Livingston as a church-related women’s academy, it has since expanded in size and scope to become a respected coeducational regional institution and a major force in web-based education. Today, the university boasts more than 2,000 distance learners enrolled in one over 50 fully-online degree programs offered through the UWA Online initiative.

UWA’s web-based MS in family counseling program is ideal for those pursuing non-licensed careers in the field, members of the clergy, and licensed counselors seeking a specialization. The 33-credit curriculum is offered in a series of eight-week courses, letting students earn an online master’s in marriage and family counseling in is as little as one year. Coursework explores educational research techniques, educational statistics, and systems theory in psychology. Elective courses introduce advance techniques in family counseling, professional ethics, and systems of psychotherapy, as well as a three-credit internship.

Prospective students may transfer up to nine graduate-level credits for matching courses, and all applicants receive step-by-step assistance from an enrollment counselor. Upon acceptance, students are paired with a personal success coach, who is available for guidance from the first day of freshman year to graduation. All courses are taught by licensed psychologists, counselors, and therapists.


Houston Baptist University 

Houston, TX Apply Now

About this school

Blending online and on-campus learning, HBU’s MA-LMFT program provides a flexible, comprehensive learning experience that allows students to connect with others. Course materials combine state-of-the-art research and theory with Baptist teachings, instilling degree candidates with the knowledge and professional skills required to compassionately counsel couples and families.

The LMFT MA curriculum is career-focused, emphasizing licensure preparation and making graduates client-ready. In addition to advanced concepts in counseling theory and ethics, required courses review licensure standards and explore methods of integrating Christian principles with counseling and psychology. Students must also fulfill a three-semester practicum requirement at a facility selected by HBU. After completing the practicum and passing a comprehensive exam, graduates are eligible to pursue counseling licensure in the state of Texas.

In addition to submitting official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a current resume, and official GRE results, prospective students must complete an interview with HBU staff. Applicants should have completed at least 100 hours of undergraduate coursework, including classes in statistics, introductory psychology, and abnormal psychology. A bachelor’s degree in any field is required for program admission.


Mid-America Christian University 

Oklahoma City, OK Apply Now

About this school

Earning an advanced degree can be difficult for working professionals; especially those balancing employment with family and personal obligations. Designed with busy individuals in mind, Mid-America Christian University’s MS in Marital and Family Therapy Counseling program offers a convenient, flexible degree plan that fits into nearly any schedule. Distance learners can earn their master’s entirely online, with the option of attending one evening class per week at MACU’s Oklahoma City campus.

Integrating Christian values with scientific methods, students explore counseling and psychotherapy techniques, principles of diagnostics and treatment, and intervention methods over the course of 60 credit hours. While the program includes a hands-on learning component, distance learners are free to arrange an internship at a location and time that best fits their schedule. To provide maximum flexibility, MACU offers program start dates in January, February, or March. Each accelerated course is five to eight weeks long, and most full-time students can graduate in roughly 30 months.

MACU is proud to offer a results-oriented MA program that emphasizes hands-on training and career preparation. Upon program completion, graduates are eligible to sit for the marriage and family therapist licensing examination. All courses are taught by PhD-holding faculty members who have extensive professional experience outside the classroom, including many who operate private counseling practices.


Amridge University 

Montgomery, AL Apply Now

About this school

Few universities include a commitment to offering quality distance education as part of their mission statement, but Amridge University is an exception. This Christian institution believes that all students deserve access to world-class, faith-based academic programs, even if they can’t make it to the university’s Montgomery, Alabama campus.

Amridge’s MA and MDiv in marriage and family therapy are both professional-level programs intended to prepare graduates for licensure and practice and share core requirements. However, each online master’s degree in marriage and family counseling offers a different perspective on the discipline. The 60-credit MA curriculum focuses on imparting the therapeutic skills and diagnostic methods required to build a successful counseling practice, and includes both a two-part clinical training component and a practicum, which the student must arrange at a local facility. The MDiv program also requires these experiential learning components, along with 33 additional hours of coursework in theology and religious studies. Intended for prospective Christian counselors or family ministers, the 96-credit program culminates in a comprehensive exam.

Full-time students typically earn their MA in seven semesters, while MDiv completion times may vary. Amridge is part of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA), and both programs meet the standards and requirements defined by NC-SARA as leading to potential licensure. This designation makes it easier for students to pursue their counseling license outside of Alabama.


Prescott College 

Prescott, AZ Apply Now

About this school

This Arizona school got its start in 1963, when Dr. Charles Franklin Parker recognized the growing need for leaders equipped to handle the unique environmental and social challenges of the late 20th century and beyond. Taking a holistic approach to higher education, Prescott was founded on the principles of diversity, academic innovation, ecological stewardship, and the importance of experiential learning.

Prescott’s 60-credit MS in clinical mental health counseling stresses care of the mind, body, and environment. Core coursework introduces fundamental counseling theories, assessment methodologies, and ethical concepts, along with contemporary issues in social justice and substance abuse. Students may pursue additional concentrations in marriage and family counseling, addictions counseling, social justice, and somatic counseling. The program includes an internship component, which may be completed locally, and all students must pass a comprehensive final exam to graduate.

While all coursework is presented online, distance learners must attend one on-campus orientation at the start of the program and are required to attend a colloquium at Prescott each semester. Graduates are eligible to sit for most state licensing exams. Prospective students should submit their previous transcripts, current resume, complete application, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.


Southern California Seminary 

El Cajon, CA Apply Now

About this school

Aligned with Shadow Mountain Community Church, Southern California Seminary provides undergraduate and graduate programs in three languages at its main campus in El Cajon, as well as at a satellite Los Angeles location. The seminary offers both on-campus and online degrees and certificates in Bible and theology, biblical studies, psychology, behavioral sciences, and Christian ministry.

SCS is renowned for hosting one of the region’s best online master’s in marriage and family counseling programs. The 78-credit master’s of arts in marriage and family therapy meets state requirements for MFT licensure in California. Students who want to earn credentials as licensed professional clinical counselors (LPCC) may take an additional course in vocational counseling. SCS’s curriculum encompasses modules in marriage and family therapy, biblical foundations, and licensure preparation, culminating in a three-part counseling practicum experience. Online students are required to complete several intensive courses in counseling techniques, group counseling, and alcohol and substance abuse.

As a longstanding provider of distance education for aspiring faith-based practitioners in the state, SCS aims to offer the same content within its counseling programs to both on-campus and online students. While per-credit tuition prices vary according to program, SCS offers the same rates to all students enrolled in the MA in marriage and family therapy, regardless of their state of residence.


Palo Alto University 

Palo Alto, CA Apply Now

About this school

PAU is a private, nonprofit university that was founded in 1975 as the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. The school offers a wide variety of behavioral and social science programs, including an online MA in counseling. This program trains professionals who promote mental health, wellness, social justice, education, and vocational well-being. PAU’s MA in counseling program prepares students to pursue careers as licensed professional clinical counselors or marriage and family therapy professionals. Students can choose from specializations in clinical mental health or marriage, family, and child.

The program’s online format allows students to complete all degree requirements remotely, including a practicum and internship that can be completed in a student’s home community. Courses are delivered synchronously in a live, streaming format during which students use web cameras to hold discussions, engage with faculty, and comment on lectures. Students must attend a one-week summer residency at the school’s Palo Alto campus. The residency involves intensive study, competency-based skills training, and culminates in a clinical interviewing assessment that is a prerequisite for clinical fieldwork.

Most students earn their degree in around 27 months of part-time study. Applicants must submit a resume, written statement of purpose, and professional or academic recommendations to be considered. Graduates leave the program prepared to sit for the California MFT exam.


End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Manster's in Family Counseling Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

What Is a Master’s in Family Counseling Degree?

A master's degree in family counseling trains graduate students in client assessment, group counseling, and psychotherapy methods. During a master's program, online learners strengthen their knowledge and skills in family counseling while building experience through a practicum. Master's students learn to create treatment plans for families, implement counseling methods when working with children, and select successful approaches for crisis management.

Earning a master's in marriage and family counseling generally takes two years. Some programs offer accelerated or part-time enrollment options.

After completing a family counseling degree, graduates can apply for a marriage and family therapist license or work as a family counselor. The degree can also lead to opportunities as a mental health counselor, behavioral counselor, or substance abuse counselor.

Choosing an Online Program

When researching online counseling programs, prospective students should consider several factors: cost, program length, practicum stipulations, and on-campus requirements. Some students may prefer a local program with the opportunity for on-campus meetings, while others may want a fully online program, where learners complete practicum requirements locally.

Researching program length, concentration options, and specialized accreditation can help students narrow their options. Learn more about how to choose an online program at the links below.

How to Choose Your Major What to Look For in an Online College

What Else Can I Expect From a Master's in Family Counseling Program?

During a master's in marriage and family counseling, graduate students take courses covering psychotherapy theories, counseling techniques, and ethical issues in counseling. Many programs also let students choose electives based on their career interests. These courses prepare master's students for their practica, where they gain real-world experience, and for careers in family counseling after graduation.

Family Counseling Curriculum

  • Introduction to Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling: This course introduces family dynamics and the practice of family counseling. Students explore the history of the profession, its theoretical underpinnings, and ethical frameworks that guide the delivery of care. Students also review preparation standards and credentials relevant to specialty areas within the broader field.
  • Counseling and Psychotherapy Theories: In this class, students take a closer look at the therapeutic theories and techniques used in mental health counseling. Students explore the strengths and weaknesses of individual theories, learning which to rely upon in specific clinical settings. Through this overview, students develop their own personal theories of counseling.
  • Techniques in Counseling: Students in this course hone their practical counseling skills. For example, students learn to conduct interviews, make behavioral observations, appropriately interpret patient responses, and share their findings through written reports. The class also teaches students to limit the role their personal beliefs and biases play in drawing conclusions about their clients.
  • Ethics and Legal Issues in Counseling: To earn a license and serve as an effective counselor, marriage and family therapists need a deep understanding of the ethical and legal challenges they may face in their practice. Students in this course critically examine and apply ethical standards of their profession, such as the American Counseling Association's Code of Ethics.
  • Crisis, Trauma, and Disaster Response: This course prepares learners to help their patients cope with trauma, such as sexual assault, terrorism, or natural disasters. Topics covered include trauma therapy competencies, vicarious trauma and countertransference, crisis assessment tools, and specific diagnoses within this area of counseling, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Family Counseling Professional Organizations

Professional organizations can help family counseling graduate students transition from their master's programs into the workforce. These organizations offer networking opportunities, continuing education resources, and professional development tools for graduate students and early career professionals. Many also offer scholarships and career resources for students.

  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy AAMFT represents the interests of more than 50,000 marriage and family therapists in both the United States and Canada. The organization hosts information on all state licensing boards, organizes an annual conference and regional training events, and disseminates research through a scholarly journal. The AAMFT minority fellowship program also works to draw individuals from underrepresented groups into the profession.
  • American Counseling Association Founded in 1952, ACA is the world's largest professional association for counselors. Members can access local knowledge centers to learn more about issues like gun violence trauma and addiction, meet continuing education requirements through webinars and in-person professional development programs, and connect with their colleagues through online forums.
  • American Family Therapy Academy AFTA aims to enhance the practice of family therapy through research, advocacy, and collaboration. It publishes an academic journal focused on systemic research and theory, maintains a directory of qualified clinicians and therapists, and gives awards to recognize exemplary service to the field. The academy provides discounted membership to both students and early career professionals.
  • National Council on Family Relations NCFR is an interdisciplinary organization that strengthens families through research, practice, and education. It administers the certified family life educator credential program; arranges research conferences and workshops; and hosts curated digital resource collections on topics like ambiguous loss, racial discrimination, and transgender issues.
  • Delta Kappa Delta Kappa -- also known as The International Marriage & Family Therapy Honor Society -- supports the training of the next generation of marriage and family therapists. In addition to maintaining chapters on campuses across the country, Delta Kappa provides a variety of resources both for students considering a career in counseling and for those actively looking for an accredited graduate program.

Family Counseling Careers

A master's degree in family counseling prepares graduates for many career paths, including marriage and family therapist, mental health counselor, and school counselor. A master's degree also meets the requirements for many management-level roles in the social and community services field. Some careers, like counseling psychologist, require further study.

The marriage and family therapist salary potential varies depending on title, location, and experience. Many family counseling careers report strong job demand and above-average salaries.

Marriage and Family Therapist

Median Salary: $49,610 Projected Job Growth: 22%

Marriage and family therapists work with couples and families to manage problems in their relationships. They help clients handle changes in their lives, build the skills needed to cope with challenges, and make decisions about the future. Marriage and family therapists may also refer clients to services like support groups.

In every state, marriage and family therapists must hold a master's degree and a license to practice. A graduate degree in marriage and family therapy, family counseling, psychology, or a related field meets entry-level requirements. This career path requires compassion, strong listening skills, and organizational abilities to manage multiple clients.


Median Salary: $80,370 Projected Job Growth: 3%

Psychologists study the mind and human behavior. They observe and interview clients, identify psychological issues, and diagnose mental health disorders. Psychologists can specialize in several areas, including school psychology, neuropsychology, and developmental psychology. Counseling psychologists specialize in addressing problems through psychotherapy.

Most psychologists who work with clients need a doctorate. However, some roles, such as industrial psychology, may only require a master's degree. In most states, practicing psychologists need a license. The field requires strong observational and communication skills, since psychologists treat patients with a variety of problems. Psychologists also need patience and problem-solving abilities.

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, or Mental Health Counselors

Median Salary: $46,240 Projected Job Growth: 25%

Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors treat clients with addictions, mental health issues, and other behavioral problems. They meet with clients to evaluate their needs and develop treatment plans. Counselors then work with clients to modify their behaviors and develop strategies to manage problems. They may also provide group counseling or participate in outreach programs.

Educational requirements vary depending on the position and state. Most mental health counselors need a master's degree in an area like counseling, psychology, or social work. Professionals in private practice must hold a state license.

School and Career Counselors

Median Salary: $57,040 Projected Job Growth: 8%

School and career counselors help children and adults succeed in academic and professional settings. School counselors evaluate student abilities, identify problems that impact school performance, and counsel students on overcoming obstacles. Career counselors use aptitude assessments to help clients identify their career interests and skills. They also help clients identify job opportunities and build job search skills.

Most positions require a master's degree in counseling or a closely related field. School counselors generally need a license, and in some states, career counselors must also apply for a license. Both positions require strong analytical and interpersonal skills to work with clients.

Social and Community Service Managers

Median Salary: $67,150 Projected Job Growth: 17%

Social and community service managers oversee organizations that provide services to the public. They manage staff members, implement programs, plan outreach activities to bring awareness to their organization's services, and write funding proposals. Social and community service managers also analyze data to measure program effectiveness and implement improvements.

Most positions require at least a bachelor's degree, while some may require a master's degree in social work, public administration, or a related field. Managers generally need previous work experience in their field and rely on strong communication skills to connect with clients, staff, and members of the community.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Master's in Family Counseling Program?

Earning a master's in marriage and family therapy typically takes two years for full-time students. Some programs may offer an accelerated route to the degree.

What Can I Do With a Master's in Family Therapy?

Professionals with a master's in family therapy work as marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors, and couple's counselors. Some may also specialize in working with children.

What Is the Objective of Family Counseling?

Attending marriage and family counseling can help couples repair problems in their relationship, help children overcome social or emotional challenges, and help families build stronger relationships. During counseling, therapists work with families using group counseling methods to identify and address interpersonal problems. Family counselors also help their clients strengthen their relationships with family members.

What Is a Master's in Family Counseling?

A master of marriage and family therapy degree trains graduate students in individual and group therapy, counseling methods, and integrative care. The degree prepares graduates for careers as marriage and family therapists or family counselors.

Which Degree Is Better: Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) or Master's in Social Work (MSW)?

Both a MFT and MSW can lead to careers in marriage and family therapy or family counseling. There is a lot of coursework overlap, but the two degrees offer different focuses. Broadly speaking, MSW students take courses in social work practice, case work, and community resources, while MFT students take classes in psychotherapy, counseling methods, and mental health issues.

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