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Marriage and Family Therapists

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What Does it Take to Be a Marriage & Family Therapist?

Job Description & Duties Diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems. Apply psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating such diagnosed nervous and mental disorders.

Marriage & Family Therapist Responsibilities

  • Supervise other counselors, social service staff, and assistants.
  • Confer with other counselors, doctors, and professionals to analyze individual cases and to coordinate counseling services.
  • Develop and implement individualized treatment plans addressing family relationship problems, destructive patterns of behavior, and other personal issues.
  • Determine whether clients should be counseled or referred to other specialists in such fields as medicine, psychiatry, or legal aid.
  • Counsel clients on concerns, such as unsatisfactory relationships, divorce and separation, child rearing, home management, or financial difficulties.
  • Ask questions that will help clients identify their feelings and behaviors.

What a Marriage & Family Therapist Should Know

Below is a list of the skills most Marriage and Family Therapists say are important on the job.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

  • Behavior Therapist
  • Psychotherapist
  • Marriage Therapist
  • Group Counselor
  • Family Therapist

Is There Going to be Demand for Marriage and Family Therapists?

There were about 41,500 jobs for Marriage and Family Therapists in 2016 (in the United States).

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 23.4% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 9,700 new jobs for Marriage and Family Therapists by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 5,700 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Marriage and Family Therapists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Marriage and Family Therapists are California, Florida, and Arizona.

Watch out if you plan on working in New Jersey, South Dakota, or New Hampshire. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Marriage & Family Therapist

Marriage and Family Therapists Make between $31,850 and $82,240 a year. The median salary for this occupation is $50,090.

Salary Ranges for Marriage and Family Therapists

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Hawaii

$79,660

Maine

$75,460

Colorado

$74,900

New Jersey

$72,380

Utah

$70,960

Georgia

$68,470

Alaska

$64,200

Wyoming

$63,690

Connecticut

$61,750

Pennsylvania

$58,400

Oregon

$58,050

Minnesota

$57,770

Massachusetts

$57,020

Oklahoma

$54,850

North Carolina

$54,320

Nevada

$54,290

Virginia

$54,250

Iowa

$54,030

Michigan

$53,680

Idaho

$52,150

California

$51,950

Delaware

$51,540

Wisconsin

$51,070

Missouri

$50,840

Florida

$50,680

District of Columbia

$49,750

Maryland

$49,650

New Mexico

$49,500

New York

$49,420

Nebraska

$48,850

Arkansas

$48,610

Arizona

$48,390

Washington

$47,470

Illinois

$47,200

Indiana

$47,110

Ohio

$46,180

Texas

$45,820

Montana

$45,310

North Dakota

$45,210

West Virginia

$43,460

New Hampshire

$43,400

Kansas

$42,390

Kentucky

$41,280

Alabama

$40,540

South Dakota

$40,000

Tennessee

$39,920

Mississippi

$38,910

Louisiana

$37,530

Tools & Technologies Used by Marriage and Family Therapists

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Marriage and Family Therapists:

  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Access
  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • Microsoft PowerPoint

Becoming a Marriage & Family Therapist

Learn what Marriage and Family Therapist education requirements there are.

Marriage & Family Therapist Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become Marriage & Family Therapist?

Marriage & Family Therapist Work Experience

Where Marriage and Family Therapists Work

Marriage & Family Therapist Sectors

Those interested in being a Marriage and Family Therapist may also be interested in:

  • Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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