Child and Family Studies Degrees
Career summary: Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists
National Average, Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
29% job growth by 2022, which is much faster than average
Earn a degree in child and family studies from an accredited college
Why would I want a child and family studies degree?
Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists help people manage and overcome mental and emotional disorders and problems with their family and relationships. They listen to clients and ask questions, to help the clients understand their problems and develop strategies to improve their lives.
What does a mental health counselor and marriage and family therapist do?
Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists typically do the following:
- Diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, such as anxiety and depression
- Encourage clients to discuss their emotions and experiences
- Help clients process their reactions and adjust to changes in their life, such as divorce and layoffs
- Guide clients through the process of making decisions about their future
- Help clients develop strategies and skills to change their behavior and to cope with difficult situations
- Coordinate treatment with other professionals, such as psychiatrists and social workers
- Refer clients to other resources or services in the community, such as support groups or inpatient treatment facilities
How much do mental health counselors make?
The median annual wage for mental health counselors was $40,080 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $25,430, and the top 10 percent earned more than $66,630.
How popular are mental health counselor and marriage and family therapist jobs?
Employment of mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists is projected to grow 29 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected in both occupations as more people have mental health counseling services covered by their insurance policies.
Federal legislation mandating individual health coverage may increase the number of health insurance customers. In addition, the law requires insurance plans to cover treatment for mental health issues in the same way as other chronic diseases. These two factors will open up prevention and treatment services to more people who were previously uninsured, did not have these services covered, or found treatment to be cost-prohibitive. Mental health centers and other treatment and counseling facilities will need to hire more mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists, to meet this increased demand.
How do I become a mental health counselor?
To become a mental health counselor or a marriage and family therapist, applicants typically need a masterâs degree in psychology, social work, counseling, marriage and family therapy, or a related mental health field. A bachelorâs degree in most fields is acceptable to enter a masterâs-level program.
Counseling programs prepare students to recognize symptoms of mental and emotional disorders and to use effective counseling strategies. Marriage and family therapy programs teach students about how marriages, families, and relationships function and how they affect mental and emotional disorders.
Salary and career outlook data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Child and Family Studies Schools (4)
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