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5 Careers for Marriage and Family Counselors

A career in marriage and family counseling is a great option for individuals interested in social services. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the marriage and family counseling job market is expected to grow much faster than average in the next decade. With the changing demographics of the millennial generation, the rise of blended families, and the growing complexity of the family unit, the need for educated professionals to tackle these issues is rising as well. However, before we get into the career options within marital and family therapy, let’s take a closer look into these mental health counselors.

What is a Marriage and Family Therapist?

Marriage and family therapists are some of the most important professionals in the counseling world. They are some of the best advocates for a healthier family system.

Top Counseling Schools has actually tackled this topic before and we found an article with some helpful insight. Before getting into where these marriage and family therapists work, the author wrote, “Marriage and family counselors, popular counselors in the field, work with patients who need extra help dealing with problems relating to their personal relationships. They might work with couples on the brink of divorce, children dealing with the loss of a loved ones and kids facing serious health problems. These counselors are the ones responsible for ensuring that their patients develop good coping mechanisms and learn how to handle their stress.”

While marriage and family therapy may sound intimidating, it is has incredible results year after year as one of the best ways to help family life, especially if family members struggle with mental and emotional disorders. Family therapists treat a wide array of issues within family systems and can practice their client services in many different settings. Here is a look at some of the best career options for marriage and family counselors that can help you make the most of this thriving career path

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Mental Health Coordinator

Mental health coordinators are in high demand at health service centers, outpatient care centers, and government service facilities. Mental health coordinators typically work with regional directors and supervisors to organize treatment programs for mental illness patients. Specializations include designing mental health programs for children, remedial programs for the mentally ill, and recuperative programs for trauma survivors and individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Applying to this position typically requires a master’s degree and offers a great way to gain experience in outpatient care. With the rise of mental health clinics and treatment facilities, coordinator jobs remain in high demand.

Associate or Adjunct Professor

Teaching positions in human development and family studies is one of the best ways to employ your skills as a family counselor. There are a wealth of opportunities nationwide to work as an associate or adjunct professor at mid-sized to large universities. College departments seeking qualified lecturers include psychology, social sciences, and sociology departments. As a professor, you may teach a set number of undergraduate or graduate level, and some schools also offer special payment for teaching night school, adult education, or extension programs. In order to apply, most regionally accredited universities require that applicants have at least a master’s degree. For adjunct professors in particular, teaching is one of the most flexible ways to earn additional income.

Pre-Marital Counselor

Pre-marital and relationship counselors are some of the most sought-after professionals in this career specialty. With the country’s changing social landscape and family dynamics, many people marry later and bring complex dynamics to families, such as blended families,  long-distance relationships, or navigating what to do when children are involved. Experts in pre-marital counseling remain essential in helping couples navigate complex issues. More than ever before, the best way to seek a relationship counseling job is to focus on specialization. Many organizations hiring look for specific expertise, such as Christian marriage counseling, interracial marriage counseling, re-marriage counseling, Islamic marriage counseling, or LBGTQ marriage counseling. Employers include churches, private practices, and large therapy centers.

Child and Adolescent Therapist

Child and adolescent therapists offer distinct expertise in child development which makes them different from the typical family therapist. For individuals interested in impacting children during key formative years, this is a stellar career option. Child therapists design programs and offer counseling sessions to assist children through trauma or stage development. With rise of sensitive topics such as cyber bullying and shifting family dynamics, child and adolescent therapists are in high demand. Employers include schools, group homes, and community youth centers.


A unique opportunity for marriage and family counselors is to start a counseling business. Individuals with a master’s degree in counseling can join a private practice or start a solo counseling business. With today’s changing family unit, people often search for counseling for specific topics, including infidelity, mental disorders, or emotional distress. A counseling business can offer solutions directly to people looking for counseling. Skilled counselors can also use social media to promote their businesses.

Interested in Pursuing a Career as a Marriage and Family Counselor?

Marriage and family counseling is an exciting career choice with a surprising availability of diverse job choices. With this variety, there are plenty of ways to make a living as well as a positive impact on other people. With these options, you can thrive as a professional marriage or family counselor in any location. Best of luck on your educational and professional journey towards becoming a marriage and family therapist!

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