Average Salary With a Master’s in Counseling

Counseling is an extremely broad field with lots of career options, but one thing is for sure – if you get your master’s degree in this field, you can make more money, since you’ll be able to get your license and start working in upper level positions in this field. Let’s take a look at what you can expect to earn as a counselor and how to make more money.

Salary by Job Title

Counselors typically specialize as students, which allows them to work in a certain setting or with specific type of patients, like addicts or students. This specialization determines your job title after graduating, with different types of counselors earning different amounts based on the demand for counselors in this field and the difficulty for you job. Here are some of the kinds of counseling jobs you can consider along with the average salary you can expect with these titles:

  • Educational/School Counselor: $51,050
  • Substance Abuse/Behavioral Counselor: $37,030
  • Mental Health Counselor: $36,810
  • Rehabilitation Counselor: $30,930
  • Marriage/Family Counselor: $44,590

Keep in mind that as a counselor, you can also open your own practice, which allows you to earn even more money as well as make your own schedule. Owning a business is definitely hard work, but the sky is the limit with this career option!

Salary by Location

Counselors can often make more by living in locations where counselors are in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top-paying states for counselors are as follows:

  • New Jersey: $91,910
  • Colorado: $88,930
  • California: $82,770
  • New York: $82,300
  • Rhode Island: $79,070

In most cases, you’ll make more money working in a metropolitan location than in a more rural area, though keep in mind that in these locations, you’ll also find high costs of living, so they might not always be the best options. It depends on your specific situation. If you’re interested in finding the highest-paying jobs, check out the following cities:

  • Montgomery, Alabama: $112,600
  • Hanford, California: $110,330
  • Trenton, New Jersey: $109,730
  • Salinas, California: $104,420
  • Bakersfield, California: $101,970
  • San Jose, California: $100,010
  • Newark, New Jersey: $99,680

If you’re looking for a high-paying counseling job in a non-metropolitan area, you can also check out some jobs in the the Mother Lode and North Coast regions of California, Eastern Idaho,  Southeastern Nebraska, and Northwestern Connecticut.

Guide to Online Masters in Counseling Programs

Liberty University MA in Professional Counseling MEd in School Counseling MA in Marriage/Family Therapy Liberty University – One of the nations leading Christian evangelical colleges, Liberty offers a number of online masters in counseling degrees, such as programs for those that want to become a professional counselors, become school counselors, or become certified to be marriage and family counselors. These courses are designed to be completed with in two years and most require a bachelor degree.
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University of the Rockies MA in Career Counseling University of the Rockies – In response to growing interest in online education, University of the Rockies has made an accredited online program available for its Masters in Career Counseling degree. This degree takes a look at the behavioral patterns and psychological aspects behind decision making and job seeking, using curriculum designed to be relevant in today"s work environment.
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Walden University MS in Human and Social Services - Disaster, Crisis, and Intervention MS in Human and Social Services - Family Studies and Interventions MS in Human and Social Services Walden University – Walden has long been a leader in online masters in counseling programs. They offer a degree for those that want to pursue crisis counseling as well as a family counseling degree and finally a degree designed for those who want to become mental health counselors. Finally, for those that already have a master of counseling degree, Walden offers two PHD level counseling degrees; one generally in counseling and another in counseling psychology
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Grand Canyon University MS in Professional Counseling MS in Addiction Counseling Grand Canyon University – Grand Canyon University is an accredited college that is backed by years of experience in helping students pursue high level positions and in-demand careers. Programs can be completed on your own timeline, and better yet, they can be worked on at school, home, or even on the go. GCU offers two degrees, a Masters in Professional Counseling as well as a MS in Addiction Counseling.
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Northcentral University PhD in Marriage & Family Therapy Northcentral University – A rigorous masters in counseling degree that is now offered through accredited online courses. Northcentral’s program, which focuses on rehabilitation counseling, involves rigorous coursework and an internship in your local area which provides you with the hands on skills you need to succeed in a counseling career. This gives students a greater understanding and experience in dealing with real-world situations and human interaction.
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