You love serving others in times of need—and you have a real gift for minimizing conflict and building confidence in others. Why not draw on these passions and abilities as you embark on a rewarding career path? It’s all possible when you obtain your Master of Marriage and Family Therapy.
As a marriage counselor or family therapist, you will play a crucial role in improving the lives and relationships of romantic partners, parents, and children. You will work closely with couples and families to determine and resolve current sources of dysfunction. With your help, clients can develop better communication strategies. This will influence not only how they get along in the present and immediate future but can also produce dynamic long-term results.
Your work will be guided by research-based practices, which allow you to handle individual concerns in addition to addressing those shared by couples and families. Your efforts could transform how your patients function, thereby easing the burden of difficult circumstances while also improving day-to-day functioning for struggling households.
The advantages of marriage and family therapy will quickly be clear to your clients, but you’ll benefit as well. Few careers offer the same blend of stability, flexibility, and passion that is so commonly seen in this remarkable field. These and other key qualities are explained in detail below:
1. Strong Job Outlook and Prospects for Financial Security
Many professionals feel the need to choose between taking on a personally enriching, community-oriented career and making a decent living. This is not always an either-or proposition, however. As a family or marriage counselor, you can secure stable and even lucrative employment without sacrificing your passion to help others or the peace and fulfillment you experience from making a difference.
The future is bright for marriage and family therapists, as any undeserved stigma surrounding therapy is beginning to give way to a new sense of appreciation. Many people now recognize that, just as a visit to the doctor is required to heal physical ailments, therapy can prove transformative for emotional and social issues.
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that the field of marriage and family therapy is currently experiencing rapid growth. Between 2019 and 2029, this professional category holds an anticipated job outlook of 22 percent. This clearly exceeds the expected national growth rate of job fields in general, which rests at just 4 percent.
The strong demand for marriage and family therapists has dramatically driven up pay and promises to continue doing so in the future. While income varies significantly based on specialty, work setting, and other factors, BLS-reported median wages of $51,340 allow therapists to maintain a comfortable lifestyle—especially as compared to many other social service workers. Prospects are even better for therapists who work for government entities. BLS data suggests that this niche produces median annual wages of $78,450.
The right credentials can provide a competitive edge while also producing greater earnings for qualified professionals. A Master of Marriage and Family Therapy offers exceptional training, preparing you to adeptly handle the most noteworthy challenges and opportunities in your future work as a therapist or counselor. Both organizations and individuals are willing to pay top dollar for qualified counselors with a strong reputation and a talent for building rapport.
2. Flexible Hours and Work-Life Balance
If you prefer to have a job that allows you to set your own hours, you’re in luck: Marriage and family therapists maintain a degree of control above and beyond many other industries. Your workload will largely depend on how many clients you’re willing to take on at any given time. Many therapists work nights and weekends, but standard 9-to-5 positions are also common.
The flexibility of marriage and family counseling extends to job settings too. While many therapists work in dedicated facilities such as outpatient clinics or substance abuse centers, some travel to visit clients or even attend sessions virtually. The wide array of available work locations and opportunities means that therapists can craft the exact career trajectory they desire. This level of control allows them to achieve a sense of balance between work and personal needs—a quality that can be difficult to achieve in many service-oriented occupations.
3. Rewarding and Meaningful Career
While a strong job outlook, flexibility, and impressive earning potential may make marriage and family therapy enticing, most prospective counselors are primarily interested in making a difference for individuals, couples, and families in need. They take pride in knowing that their hard work produces stronger relationships and is often instrumental in helping clients deal with complex life scenarios.
They can help patients and clients with a number of different types of struggles including:
- Mental health issues, such as depression
- Addictions, including drugs and alcohol
- Marital distress
- Family conflict
Throughout treatment, therapists help their clients with their emotional health. This form of therapy has also been found to be highly effective, with 98 percent of clients who use these types of therapists reporting that the services they received were excellent and helpful in their relationships.
Those employed in this field also have the immense benefit of producing concrete results for their patients. Nearly 90 percent of people who visit this type of professional say that their emotional health is improved through treatment. Children who see marriage and family therapists will see a positive change in behavior nearly 75 percent of the time.
Often, marriage and family therapists report that they feel called to this path. When meeting with clients, they feel in their element. This sense of fulfillment may be evident early on, but it continues to grow as clients report progress in their relationships and with their personal concerns.
4. Personal Growth and Lifelong Learning
Your profession represents more than just a means of paying the bills. Choose wisely, and your job could lead to significant personal growth over the course of several decades. Learning should not end when you graduate with your master’s degree. Why not take on a career that challenges you to broaden your horizons?
As a marriage counselor or family therapist, you will continually be exposed to new perspectives. While your work will involve educating clients or patients on healthy practices and communication strategies, these individuals will teach you just as much in return. You’ll be amazed by the insights you glean in just a single day of listening to people from all walks of life.
Beyond the lessons gained through deep conversations, learning also extends to academia. As a marriage and family therapist, you are expected to keep up with evolving research, tools, and techniques. This dynamic field is advancing at an astonishing pace—and you’ll be there to drive further developments.
From immediate earnings to lifelong fulfillment, marriage and family therapy provides a variety of advantages that make all the hard work worthwhile. This is your chance to make your mark in a gratifying field that could change both your life and the lives of each client.
Visit us at Abilene Christian University to learn more about our online Master of Marriage and Family Therapy program. It offers the training and education graduates need to provide effective treatment for patients, Christian and secular. Or explore our other online degree programs. Let’s talk about how we can help you begin the career that will be meaningful to you.