What Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists Do
Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists help people manage and overcome mental and emotional disorders and problems with family and other relationships. They listen to clients and ask questions to help the clients understand their problems and develop strategies to improve their lives.
Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists work in a variety of settings, such as private practice and mental health centers. Most work full time.
How to Become a Mental Health Counselor or Marriage and Family Therapist
Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists typically are required to have a master’s degree and a license to practice.
Employment of mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists is projected to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected in both occupations as more people have mental health counseling services covered by their insurance policies.
This occupation supported 166,200 jobs in 2012 and 168,200 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 1.2%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 29.1% in 2022 to 214,500 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 175,800, compared with an observed value of 168,200, 4.3% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 18.9% in 2024 to 199,600 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 224,100 jobs for 2024, 12.3% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.