Working with and helping patients can bring a great deal of personal satisfaction; unique feelings come when you see patients make changes in their lives because you have helped them. Each patient provides different and interesting information about themselves; therefore, a counselor or psychologist is rarely bored from doing routine work.
The field of counseling and psychology offers some of the most rewarding career opportunities, as well as competitive salaries. If you choose to pursue some sort of counseling or psychology degree and find a career in this field, you could have the opportunity to directly help other people on a daily basis.
If you think you are interested in a career in counseling and psychology, you should take a few things into consideration:
- Do I enjoy interacting with people and advising others?
- How many years am I willing to go to school?
- Do I want to work in a hospital, clinic, school, or maybe start a private practice?
- Is there any particular type of client or problem I would like to work with?
You may not have the answers to these questions right now, but forming a clear vision of what you want to do in the field of counseling and psychology can help you find the best degree program for your career goals.
There are several exciting and challenging career tracks within this field. Find the right counseling or psychology degree program and get on your way to career success!
Career OpportunitiesThere are a wide range of career opportunities in the field of counseling and psychology. When it comes time to apply for jobs, it’s very advantageous to focus on one area within the field. For example, you could pursue marriage and family counseling, drug addiction counseling, group counseling, vocational counseling, family therapy, child therapy, divorce mediation, or prison counseling. Some people choose to teach at a university or go into social work. The possibilities are endless!
Salaries in the field of counseling and psychology vary according to your position, level of education and experience. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, overall employment of counselors and psychologists is expected to grow faster than the average through 2014.
Take a look at several median annual salaries from May 2004 for careers in this field:
- Educational, vocational and school counselors earned $45,570
- Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors earned $32,130
- Mental health counselors earned $32,960
- Rehabilitation counselors earned $27,870
- Marriage and family therapists earned $38,980
- Clinical, counseling and school psychologists earned $54,950
- Industrial-organizational psychologists earned $71,400
Counseling Schools and Psychology Schools
When it comes to counseling and psychology degrees, there are many different paths you can take; the mental health field is complex. You do not necessarily have to get a Ph.D to become a counselor or psychotherapist. A Ph.D may enable you to make more money, but it is not absolutely necessary to have one. In many cases a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree in psychology is ideal.
In order to work independently in a private practice, licensure is needed. Most states require a psychologist to complete a Doctoral degree before becoming licensed. However, some states permit a license with just a Master's degree.
Licensing laws vary from state to state, but all states require that applicants pass an examination prior to becoming licensed. Some states also require that their clinical and counseling psychologists continue their education for license renewal.
Counseling and psychology careers are challenging, exciting and extremely rewarding. Get the education you need to find your place in this field!