Marriage & Family Therapist

Saving Your Marriage

Marriage Counselor

It's a delicate business to work as a marriage and family therapist. You're volunteering to interject yourself in the midst of sticky intimate relationships. Many of the people you'll see on a daily basis are experiencing or have experienced an emotional or mental trauma. You'll spend your days discussing abuse, infidelity, post traumatic stress disorder, depression, and grief.


Number of Jobs: 14,800

Median Salary: $46,240

Unemployment Rate: 1.7%

Many marriage and family therapists work in private practice and are able to establish their own hourly rate. Others are employed by hospitals, mental health and substance abuse centers, and nursing homes, in addition to other facilities. According to the BLS, marriage and family therapists had an average salary of $48,710 and a median salary of $46,240 in 2011. The highest-paid earn nearly $75,000 a year, while the low earners might make around $25,000 per year. Are you looking to make the most money possible in this profession? Then head toward the coastline: The top-paying metro areas include East Coast cities like Lancaster, Pa., and Trenton, N.J., the western city Bakersfield, Calif., and Honolulu.

75th Percentile: $59,600

Median Percentile: $46,240

25th Percentile: $35,350

What do you have to do to become a marriage therapist ?

Schooling is important, but all the technique that a reputable program offers won't compensate for interpersonal skills like having empathy, patience, and flexibility. Being a good listener also helps.

It's counterproductive for a dedicated therapist to have a legion of unresolved personal issues that could block the ability to provide effective guidance.

Marriage and family therapists have to complete both a bachelor's and a master's degree program, where they've learned how to recognize the symptoms of mental and emotional disorders and effective treatment. And since it's necessary to complete at least two years of supervised clinical experience before receiving a license, many students pursue internships to complement their coursework.All states also require therapists have a license to practice.