Counseling offers help and assistance to millions of people around the world. Those who are struggling with relationships, mental health problems or other concerns can benefit from talking to a skilled professional. A counselor typically works in a healthcare setting, with a private office where patients feel they have a safe space to discuss concerns. Counselors should use discretion when talking to patients, since they will reveal very personal issues that should be kept confidential. Other tasks might include analyzing a patient's mental state, preparing and maintaining careful records, monitor medication usage, and present information to members of the community.
Counseling Job Education Requirements
Mental health counselors and therapists typically must have a master's degree along with a license to practice within the state of residence. Candidates must work a certain number of hours under a qualified professional in order to earn the license. Many states also require that counselors take a certain number of educational hours each year to maintain the licensure. Those with doctorate degrees can work as Psychiatrists, who can also prescribe medications for patients. Psychologists also provide counseling services to patients. Training programs are available for those who want to specialize in an area, such as marriage and family relationships.
Counseling Job Market
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, counseling jobs will increase by 29 percent, which translates to more than 48,000 jobs. This is much faster than the average job growth in other industries. Since more patients have insurance coverage that offers benefits for mental health, the demand for counselors will continue to rise. Counseling jobs are great career options for candidates who have strong interpersonal skills and a desire to work closely with patients to discover problems and solve them. Counselors can choose if they want to see individuals, families, or training sessions to help patients with specific conditions.
Counseling Job Salary Information
The median pay for a counselor in 2012 was $41,500 per year. Those who focus on marriage and family therapy earned a median salary of $46,670. When compared to other positions with similar educational requirements, the average salary is fairly similar. There are some options to work part-time as a counselor, but most counseling jobs are full-time positions. It is a rewarding and fulfilling career option that can provide the help that patients need in order to overcome problems and have relationships that are more stable and positive.