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Salary Statistics with an MFT Degree

Earning an MFT degree means several years of hard work, training, and tests to develop the needed skills to become a professional listener, able to diagnose disorders and treat people with compassion. So what does this career look like for those who’ve earned this degree?

Salary Trends in the US

The national median salary for a marriage and family therapist is about $50,000 a year. However, this can certainly vary in parts of the country.

For instance, there are only between 70-140 registered MFTs in states like Alaska, Kansas, Maine, and Idaho. New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Indiana, Texas, and California have anywhere between 680 and 9,000 therapists registered. Traditionally, while there is more competition in states which already have such a high number of therapists, there is often a higher salary in that area, as there is usually a larger population and a fairly sufficient demand for those services.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic, the following cities boast some of the highest salaries for this field, averaging from $60,000 to $80,000 dollars a year.

  • George, Utah
  • Fresno, CA
  • Santa Barbara, CA
  • Salinas, CA
  • Newark, NJ

Employment Trends Over Time

Just as salaries vary by place, so does employment growth. The national average for projected growth in the MFT career field is much higher than some other careers, growing from 37,800 jobs in 2012 to 49,400 in 2022. In Illinois, however, the projected growth is slightly slower at a pace of 25% – 200 jobs in 2012 and 250 in 2022. In Alabama, they expect a huge jump in jumps, from 350 to 510 openings over the next ten years.

This kind of growth is exciting and certainly excellent news for anyone working towards becoming or working as an MFT.

Job Prospects for MFTs

The job outlook for marriage and family therapists is generally very good, and projected to rise 30% in the next ten years. There are several compelling reasons for this growth.

The first is that as health care laws change and expand, more insurance companies will be required to offer mental health coverage to participants. Those who found themselves without this coverage previously – or found that coverage too expensive – might now choose to seek counseling and use that insurance. This potential surge of new patients means that more and more counseling jobs will be available to meet the need.

Another reason is that a number of military veterans have returned and are continuing to return from service. The need for them or their families to engage in counseling means that the government, clinics, and hospitals will likely have to grow their counseling staff to serve the needs of veterans and active military personnel.

There is also the aging population to consider – counselors often begin to see new patients facing entirely new challenges as more people come into retirement or reach new seasons in their life. The baby boomers across the nation continue to head towards their retirement years, and family counselors may see more of this generation in their offices.

Finally, while many counselors find work in the suburbs and cities, where the population is high, there is certainly an under-resourced population in rural areas. Establishing a client base near some of these under-served parts of the country might be a great move for some counselors.

There are many reasons to become a marriage and family counselor, including helping families to reconcile and work issues and trauma. As the industry continues to grow, more therapists are able to earn their degrees and begin work treating and helping others.

Featured MFT Degrees

Liberty University
Marriage & Family Therapy (MA)
Human Services - Marriage & Family (MA)
Prof Counseling (PhD)
Liberty University has an MA in Marriage and Family Therapy as well as a Human Services programs available for students seeking the ability to practice in this field. Both degrees prepare students for several career options, including counseling, casework, case management, and child or family social services. Subjects include theory, techniques and practice, and clinical environments.
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Northcentral University
Marriage & Family Therapy (MA)
Marriage & Family Therapy - General (PhD)
Marriage & Family Therapy - Couple Therapy (PhD)
Marriage and Family Therapy - Child and Adolescent Therapy (PhD)
Psychology - Marriage and Family Therapy (PhD)
Northcentral University offers a wide range of Marriage and Family Therapy programs. Students wanting to practice in the field should pursue that MA degree while the doctorate programs prepare students for research in various fields like Couple Therapy or Child and Adolescent Therapy. No residency is required to obtain the degree.
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Walden University
Marriage, Couple & Family Counseling - Forensic Counseling (MS)
Child Dev - Family Health & Wellness (BS)
Human Services - Child & Adolescent Dev (BS)
Walden University’s MS in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling prepares students wanting to practice in a variety of different environments and situations. Students learn how to analyze and advise in several tough situations like divorce, mediation, domestic violence, and family crises. The program is designed to qualify students for many states’ licensing exams.
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Kaplan University
Psych - Child Dev (BS)
The BS in Psychology of Child Development from Kaplan University is a great choice for students not yet ready to obtain their master’s degree. Students are introduced to family environments and are prepared for potential careers in child care work or casework. This program only serves as a pathway to advanced degrees and state licensure.
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Ashford University
Social Science - Child & Family Dev (BA)
Students interested in marriage and family counseling and have not obtained an undergraduate degree should consider the BA of Social Science in Child and Family Development. This degree explores various elements of the family environment including social and cultural relationships, developmental psychology, theory, and the impact of research in the field.
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Southern New Hampshire University
Child & Adolescent Dev Psych (MS)
If you want to focus more on child social services and counseling, the Southern New Hampshire University offers an MS of Psychology in Child and Adolescent Development. Courses cover many child- related subjects like emotional assessment, behavioral disorders, traumatic experiences, cultural and societal influences, and family engagement.
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