Counseling Salaries

This article contains information about Counseling Salaries for individuals with advanced degrees in Counseling such as those with a Masters in Counseling.

Counselors perform a crucial work helping people cope with their problems. These professionals are well educated and licensed in their field of specialization and receive good salaries.

The salary of a counselor varies depending on one’s educational attainment, certification level and area of specialty. Other factors that affect their wages are their years of experience, size of business and location of practice.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that those who work in local and state government agencies often enjoy the highest monthly wage. In addition, those who work in an individual or group private practice, specifically the counseling psychologists, also have high salaries compared to the other occupations in the industry that employ the services of a counselor.

In terms of size of organization, large employers such as schools, colleges and hospitals normally offer high salaries compared to the smaller and non-profit groups.

By career, the 2010 data of the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that school and career counselors receive the highest annual median wage at more than $65,300. They are followed by the marriage and family counselors at more than $56,000, mental health counselors at more than $48,500 and the substance abuse counselors who receive a yearly median salary of more than $35,500.

Apart from their regular monthly income, school or guidance counselors can also earn additional income by accommodating summer loads in their institution or accepting other jobs outside of the school system.

In terms of specialty,’s 2009 data showed that substance abuse counselors receive a high of more than $40,500 followed by the marriage and family therapists at over $40,200 and the mental health counselors at over $39,500.

In terms of location, a 2010 survey by revealed that counselors working in New York receive the highest salary of more than $47,800 followed by those in Houston and Dallas, Texas and those practicing in Los Angeles, California. The high pay in these large cities can be attributed to various factors such as population, crime statistics, funding and community resources. Requirements for practice may, however, be more rigid in these areas particularly in terms of licensing, insurance and continuing education.

Government statistics say employment for counselors moving through 2018 will go up by 18 percent. Overall growth, however, will depend on the specialty.

Among the available counseling specializations, employment for mental health counselors is expected to move up by 24 percent as the number of people willing to seek professional help for their personal issues increases. Job prospects for substance abuse counselors, on the other hand, are expected to increase by 21 percent followed by counselors specializing in rehabilitation. This is attributed to the growing number of elderly people facing disability problems and the number of people seeking treatment for mental health disabilities. Those involved in school and vocational counseling as well as those in marriage and family counseling will experience growth by 14 percent.

It should be noted that as many people face addiction issues, more are also becoming aware of the existence of rehabilitation centers thereby encouraging them to seek treatment from substance abuse counselors. In addition, as people change careers and degrees, the demand for school and career counselors is also going up.