The Masters in Counseling Psychology is for people that are determined, compassionate, and kind to others. These foundational ideas all come to fruition in counseling psychology, an area of specialization in psychology that focuses on deploying the science of human behavior through treatments, or interventions, that help people deal with the ordinary and extraordinary circumstances and challenges of life.
Masters in counseling psychology receive specialized training in the assessment and treatment of the individuals and groups they provide these services to. They understand the ethical obligations, cultural sensitivities, and social forces that are at play in a therapeutic setting. And, drawing on a solid foundation of behavioral science, masters in counseling psychology use their interpersonal skills to help guide patients toward a better quality of life.
Masters in counseling psychology should exhibit a strong sense of desire to help those in need of guidance. Counseling is a focused field of psychology that deals directly with patients facing emotional distress. The emotional stress plaguing patients within this field can have many causes – from life struggles to employment woes.
Regardless of the source of distress, patients rely on masters in counseling psychology to assist them with managing stress and moving on to a more fulfilling life.
Accredited Counseling Psychology Masters Programs
The Society for counseling psychology highlights several core areas of study for those receiving graduate training. The first encompasses the evolution of psychological theories, including the biological, social, and cognitive bases for human thought and behavior.
The next centers around methods of counseling, as well as the principles of vocational psychology, human lifespan development, psychopathology, and psychological assessment and evaluation.
In addition, masters in counseling psychology must be familiar with qualitative and quantitative research methods, including measurement and statistics, research design, professional ethics, supervision, and consultation.
Master’s degree programs in counseling psychology are often thought of as the first step in this process, and may include an internship, independent research design, and/or master’s thesis requirement. These degrees are generally meant to span about two years of coursework, depending upon the program.
Masters in Counseling Psychology Salary
It’s important understand that a masters in counseling psychology is only the first step toward becoming a counseling psychologist. Those aiming to become licensed to practice counseling psychology professionally have to complete a doctoral program and an additional one to two years of supervised clinical counseling experience before taking the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology and applying for state licensure.
The average annual salary for licensed masters in counseling psychology, as of the latest BLS data, is $70,700, with the following five industries paying the highest median salaries:
|Industry||Average Annual Salary|
|Child Day Care Services||$96,180|
|Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals||$90,050|
|Scientific Research and Development Services||$87,430|
|General Medical and Surgical Hospitals||$82,070|
|Offices of Physicians||$81,510|
With a masters in counseling psychology, the career options are somewhat narrower. Jobs in the community and social services sector often open to those with a master’s degree in counseling psychology.
The chart below uses BLS data from the latest edition of the OOH to provide an overview of the kinds of occupations that graduates of counseling psychology master’s programs might pursue, along with salary information, job growth projections, and typical entry-level degree requirements:
|Occupation||2014 Median Salary||Job Growth Through 2024||Entry-Level Degree|
|School and Career Counselors||$53,370||8%||Master’s Degree|
|Social Workers||$ 45,500||12%||Bachelor’s Degree|
|Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists||$42,250||19%||Master’s Degree|
|Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors||$39,270||22%||Bachelor’s Degree|