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

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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Liberty University MA in Counseling - Crisis Response and Trauma MA in Counseling - Criminal Justice MA in Counseling - Executive Leadership MA in Counseling - Life Coaching 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 Counseling MA in Career Counseling MA in Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling MA in Addiction 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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University of Southern California MSW - Families and Children MSW - Mental Health MS - Applied Psych: Consumer Psych MS - Applied Psych: Organizational Psych University of Southern California – The University of Southern California now offers fully accredited online master degrees which focus on a variety of subject relevant to counseling like social work, consumer psychology, and mental health. Students in these fully online programs can complete the 60-credit degree in less time than it would require at a traditional campus school. Graduates will obtain the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue lucrative careers in psychology.
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Chicago School of Professional Psychology MA in Counseling Psychology MS in Alcohol/Drug Counseling MS in Clinical Counseling Chicago School of Professional Psychology – Students looking for fast-paced curriculum and industry-driven education should consider Chicago School of Professional Psychology's accredited, online program for Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Student will be able to apply their skill and knowledge to real-world situations upon graduation. Students will stidy a variety of counseling skills like prevention, early intervention, assessment, and advocacy.
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Purdue University MS in Human Services MS in Human Services - Family and Community Services MS in Human Services - Organizational and Social Services MS in Applied Behavior Analysis Purdue University – Purdue University is a nation-wide leader in accredited online education. Students gain knowledge and skills they need to fill high in demand positions. This places them in the center of lucrative careers and a field that is always seeking skilled individuals. Students can choose from a masters in Psychology, General Psychology, Addictions Psychology, and Behavioral Psychology.
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Grand Canyon University MS in Professional Counseling MS in Addiction Counseling MS in Professional Counseling - Marriage and Family Therapy MS in Professional Counseling - Trauma 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 MA in Marriage & Family Therapy 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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