Marriage and Family Therapist Career Information

Marriage and Family Therapist

Does helping a family stay together interest you? There are married couples and families all over the world that depend on professionals to help them work through difficult times. Whether that means cultivating a comfortable and nurturing environment for children or reigniting a romance between two spouses, marriage and family therapists work to improve the home lives of their clients.

With online marriage and family therapist schooling, you don't have to sacrifice the most important parts of your schedule for the sake of an in-person class you commute to. With just a few clicks, you can start taking courses in no time and begin pursuing an exciting new career. What's more, these classes are designed to teach you about the therapy basics as well as what the newest industry techniques are.

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Are online marriage and family therapist degree programs for you?

Here are some things to consider when choosing an online marriage and family therapist program:

  • Mental health counselors, as well as marriage and family therapists, work in private practices and in mental health centers primarily. While the skills they must have to be hired vary from institution to institution, they generally need a master's degree and a license to practice, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics[i].
  • Most states require a license, which mandates anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 hours of post-degree supervised clinical experience. Moreover, particular states often have exams therapists must pass to practice and devote a certain amount of time to continuing education courses on a yearly basis.
  • Research whether prospective employers value an online degree beforehand, and study which graduate programs will accept students that have earned online degrees. You can also research whether online institutions help you find routes to attaining supervised clinical experience, although this work will not go toward your 2,000-hour requirement until after you earn a degree.
  • Similarly, find out how these schools may prepare you for state exams.

Marriage and Family Therapist Careers and Potential Salaries

Before diving into an education that will help you pursue a career as a therapist, consider all of the potential paths this learning could introduce you to. Whether your true interest is working with children, or helping keep marriages happy and healthy, there may be careers that fit your passions. Here are some salary and job growth figures for therapist careers that could help you make your decision:

Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists[i]

These professionals assist people with mental health disorders, emotional trauma and problems with their family or in their romantic relationships. They listen to clients with great care and ask thoughtful questions to shed light on the problems they are facing and develop strategies to improve their lives.

  • See the BLS for median annual salary information
  • Job growth through 2022: 29% (much faster than average)
  • Entry-level education: Master's degree

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors[ii]

The work of a substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor is more specialized but equally delicate. These professionals specifically provide support to clients suffering with alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders or other behavioral problems. Unlike the typical therapist, the requirements of this position have a broader range. Some individuals enter the field with a high school diploma combined with on-the-job training while others pursue a master's degree before entering the workforce.

  • See the BLS for median annual salary information
  • Job growth through 2022: 31% (much faster than average)
  • Entry-level education: High school diploma or equivalent


On the other side of the spectrum, psychologists typically need a master's degree, a doctoral degree or a specialist degree in psychology. They also need a license or appropriate certification. Not only do psychologists work with patients to diagnose mental and emotional disorders, they also serve a role in studying these developments in broader social structures. They observe, interpret and record how people function in a broad realm of environments.

  • See the BLS for median annual salary information
  • Job growth through 2022: 12% (As fast as average)
  • Entry-level education: Master's degree or higher