what can you do with a masters degree in counseling

What Can You Do With a Master’s Degree in Counseling?

For many, the pandemic was a watershed moment. Workers across America decided they wanted something else, something more, from their work life. Many decided that they weren’t satisfied working in an office or simply earning money with a standard 9-5 job. Instead, they decided that a life offering compassion and support to others was the direction they wanted to take.

For those who want to make a difference in their career, a master’s degree in an area such as Counseling can provide such an opportunity. Whether you’re motivated to help guide children through their academic trajectories or work with clients one-on-one to help them improve their life skills, a master’s in Counseling can prepare you for a variety of meaningful career opportunities. But exactly what can you do with a master’s in Counseling? Let’s explore a few of your many options.

1. Mental Health Counselor

Mental health counselors provide treatment to a variety of clients, including individual patients, families, couples, and groups. They may specialize in certain populations including the elderly or children. They may also choose to specialize in specific mental health and interpersonal issues, including mood disorders, relationship communication issues, emotional health issues, and eating disorders. Mental health counselors take a personal development approach to treating their patients, focusing on helping their clients to develop skills rather than on dysfunction. Counselors may work in a variety of locations, ranging from employee assistance programs to outpatient care facilities. They may work alone or as part of a group of mental health care professionals. They can also be called to serve in crisis situations, providing support to patients who are in a mental health emergency. In order to become a licensed professional, prospective counselors will need to complete a minimum requirement of supervised training hours. Check with your state’s licensing board if this career is of interest.

2. Chemical Dependency Counselor

Chemical dependency counselors, also known as substance abuse counselors, advise individuals who suffer from alcohol or drug addiction. They provide their clients with treatment and support and help them to modify behaviors that negatively impact their journey toward sobriety. Chemical dependency counselors may evaluate their clients’ mental and physical health and work with other health professionals to assess their readiness for treatment. They can also work with their clients’ family members to help develop and implement treatment plans. Most importantly, they help their clients develop coping skills that are necessary for recovering from addiction. Substance abuse counselors can work in a number of settings including mental health centers, prisons, juvenile detention facilities, rehabilitation facilities, parole agencies, detox centers, and more. Some addiction counselors can also work in residential treatment centers or in private practice. These professionals can expect to earn an average salary of $48,520 per year. Employment in this field of counseling is expected to grow by 23% between now and 2030, making this a high-need area. In other words, a master’s degree in Counseling can help you fill a niche that is highly specialized and sought after.

3. Start Your Own Practice

Another great option for students graduating with their master’s degree in Counseling is to open their own outpatient practice. Opening a private practice can provide you with the opportunity to help people the way you want to, whether that means incorporating different therapeutic approaches or scheduling sessions at different times. Being the owner of a private practice empowers you to try new techniques, hire qualified and talented therapists to round out your roster, and to structure your business in a way that supports your lifestyle. As a business owner, you won’t be restricted by hospital or clinic regulations. However, every state and city has its own regulations for starting a mental health care business. Before beginning this journey, consult a business lawyer to make sure you have all of the necessary paperwork, licenses, and insurance.

Earn a Master’s in Counseling Today

If you’ve weighed your career options and decided that a job helping others is right for you, then exploring Counseling graduate programs may be a great start. A master’s in Counseling can prepare you for a number of careers that make a difference. If you want to be fulfilled in your career while using your talents to improve the lives of others, then this could be the right graduate degree for you.

Are you ready to earn your master’s degree in Counseling? Learn more about University of Bridgeport’s Counseling program, here!