A Masters in counseling psychology can open many doors for psychology professionals looking to broaden their horizons and expand their careers. Unlike clinical psychology, counseling psychology is based on more of a generalist perspective. An Masters in Counseling Psychology gives graduates the skills and background necessary to find jobs in a number of different settings. While clinical psychologists primarily work with clients and patients who have mental health diagnoses, counseling psychologists specializing in working with clients who are otherwise stable, healthy individuals, but who are experiencing personal or professional turbulence. Counseling psychologists help their clients by providing education and tools for coping and managing stress to help improve their daily functioning.
In order to obtain a Masters in counseling psychology, students must complete both theoretical coursework as well as a supervised internship experience. Theoretical coursework includes classes that focus on counseling, diversity, and personality theory. Prospective graduate students typically hold a bachelor’s degree in psychology, social work, or other related fields. A bachelor’s degree is required prior to enrollment; however, a bachelor’s in counseling or a psychology-related field is not always necessary. Most Masters programs do require successful completion of certain undergraduate bachelors courses as well as documented related experience in the field of psychology or counseling. Many top accredited programs such as Temple University and the University of Oregon also require references and letters of recommendation. Masters programs can be completed in two years with full-time study and three years with part-time study. Online options at institutes like Argosy University offer online Masters in Counseling Psychology programs for added flexibility.
Popular Masters in Counseling Psychology Degree Careers
Masters in counseling psychology careers can be found in a number of settings. Counseling psychologists can work in areas of counseling such as substance abuse, child and adolescent development, anger management, crisis intervention, and more. In addition to direct service with clients, counseling psychologists can also find careers in teaching, research, and vocational education.
Masters in counseling psychology jobs have strong earning potential. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that Masters-level counseling psychologists earn an annual median wage of over $73,000. Salaries and job opportunities do vary based on education, experience, and location. For example, California is currently the state with the highest employment level for counseling psychologists and the third highest-paying state with an annual median wage of $84,580. New Jersey on the other hand, although not in the top-five highest states for employment, is the highest paying state for counseling psychologists with an annual median wage of $96,200. In all states, the higher the level of education and experience, the greater potential for earning power. If you are considering taking your psychology career to the next level, contact accredited universities for more information on obtaining a Masters in counseling psychology.