Pursuing a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy is a great way to equip you with a number of skills to take into the workforce upon graduation. Those with an LMFT degree leave the program ready to confidently help their community regardless of what career they choose to pursue. There are many career options available for those with a MFT master’s degree, and some of them are reviewed below. The median salary for the MFT master’s degree careers discussed here ranges from $38,560-$101,340. Many of these jobs for masters in MFT degree holders have a faster than average job growth according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, keep reading to find out what careers may be available to you after you’ve received your master’s degree in marriage and family therapy.
10 Careers for a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy
Medical and Health Services Manager
BLS Median Salary (2021): $101,340
BLS Career Outlook: 28% (Much faster than average)
Medical and health services managers are detail-oriented professionals who are responsible for keeping health care facilities running, such as managing, planning, directing, and coordinating the various services offered in a specific department or medical practice. This role involves adapting to changes in healthcare technology, laws, and regulations, and ensuring that the regulations are being followed. A medical and health services manager must have good communication and interpersonal skills along with being an excellent problem-solver. In this role, you may find yourself doing the following duties:
- Determine the best ways to deliver care to patients.
- Oversee the recruitment and training of new staff.
- Create schedules for healthcare workers.
- Ensure the office maintains compliance with digital records and that the confidential client information is kept secure.
- Focus on how changes in policy and law may affect your workplace. Coordinate training to update the staff on said changes.
- Oversee the financial operations of the facility including insurance functions and budget.
- Case management.
- Conducting research, such as data management strategies or systems.
- Conducting performance reviews with staff.
- Many other duties like the ones above as well as other differing functions.
Generally, only a bachelor’s degree is required to enter into this field. However, master’s degrees are also common, as well as previous experience in a healthcare setting. In smaller facilities, the duties above may fall under one medical and health services manager. However, in larger clinics, there may be multiple health services managers who each focus on one specific aspect of the functions of the organization. This allows you for some choice if you decide to pursue this as your career with your MFT degree.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for a medical and health services manager was $101,340 in 2021, with a job growth outlook of 28%, which is much faster than average for all occupations.
Postsecondary Teacher (or Professor)
BLS Median Salary (2021): $79,640
BLS Career Outlook: 12% (Much faster than average)
A postsecondary teacher is responsible for educating those who pursue academic subjects after high school. This career generally includes working at universities, community colleges, professional schools, and other related educational organizations that provide students with a degree or certificate upon completion of offered programs. Most postsecondary teachers need to have their Ph.D., however, there are many opportunities for those with a master’s degree. Therefore, you may be able to apply as a postsecondary teacher with your master’s in marriage and family therapy. However, you may need to gain teaching experience by working as a graduate teaching assistant. As a postsecondary teacher, you may engage in the following duties:
- Develop lesson plans and assignments based on your subject area while ensuring it meets departmental standards.
- Teach courses following said lesson plans and assignments.
- Collaborate with colleagues to change or develop the curriculum needed for students to obtain their degree or certificate.
- Serve on academic committees.
- Assess student progress and give feedback through grading assignments and one-on-one sessions with students as requested.
Postsecondary teachers should have the traits of being resourceful critical-thinkers with strong interpersonal skills as well as strong writing and speaking skills. A masters in MFT degree has the potential to teach these traits via the courses involved in an MFT program.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for a postsecondary teacher was $79,640 in 2021, with a job growth outlook of 12%, which is much faster than average for all occupations.
Social and Community Service Manager
BLS Median Salary (2021): $74,000
BLS Career Outlook: 12% (Much faster than average)
A social and community service manager performs a variety of tasks depending on the organization or agency at which they work. Within this career option, you might find yourself working directly with specific communities, such as the mentally ill and homeless. You also might find yourself taking on another role entirely as the one who researches and designs the programs that addresses community issues such as the ones mentioned. This might include writing grant proposals, analyzing statistics, and advocating for your program. Other duties of a social and community service manager might include:
- Recruiting, hiring, and training new staff members.
- Supervise staff, such as social workers.
- Evaluate the impact of their program on the community via data collection and analysis.
- Report impact of their program to supervisors, administrators, and funders.
- Identify opportunities to improve programs.
- Represent the organization through public speaking events.
- Perform administrative tasks such as raising funds, meeting with donors, and managing budgets.
A social and community service manager has an important role in ensuring that an organization receives the funding it needs to continue to provide services to its community. If you choose to work in this role in a larger organization, you might find yourself doing less of designing programs and more of implementing and supervising said programs by administrators and stakeholders. If you end up working for a smaller organization, you will likely be taking on more roles, such as participating in committees, administrative tasks, and more.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for a social and community services manager was $75,000 in 2021, with a job growth outlook of 12%, which is much faster than average for all occupations.
BLS Median Salary (2021): $69,510
BLS Career Outlook: 4% (As fast as average)
Authors write content for different sources of media, which can include books, online blogs, newspapers, biographies, and more. Those who choose to become authors with a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy can use what they learned to develop educational material to help the community understand problem-solving and other skills through books or other sources, if they so choose. The career of an author can be very flexible, but some of the duties that an author may perform are:
- Studying the market to determine what subjects are popular and interesting to readers.
- Research and take notes on the subjects about which they are writing to ensure accuracy.
- Collaborate with editors to ensure high quality work.
Masters in MFT graduates who decide they want to become authors will find that the research that they performed in their schooling may serve them well in their writing career. Because authorship is so flexible, you can be an author along with another career, if that is something that interests you.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for an author was $69,510 in 2021, with a job growth outlook of 4%, which is about as fast as average for all occupations.
BLS Median Salary (2021): $60,510
BLS Career Outlook: 10% (Faster than average)
A school counselor is an excellent choice in careers for those with an MFT degree, particularly for those who enjoy the more analytical side of helping others. School counselors perform a number of duties in regards to helping students, both emotionally and with school career and academic planning. They also complete a number of administrative tasks such as keeping records. Other tasks that a school counselor might undergo include:
- Analyzing statistics to identify what might be impacting school performance.
- Promote a positive school culture by recognizing and utilizing each student’s strengths as an asset to their learning experience.
- Work either individually or as a group with students to assist them in developing or improving skills such as study habits and time management.
- Report suspected abuse and neglect cases. Provide parents with supportive resources.
- Recognize instances of institutional bias and marginalization and confront such issues to promote improvement.
- Work with students to identify their interest, skills and abilities.
- Help students develop their social and academic skills,
- Meet with parents to discuss any strengths and challenges the child may be experiencing
- Ensure the school curriculum is meeting the child’s academic needs.
- Help students plan their lives after graduation.
- Other miscellaneous duties as well.
As you can see, school counselors have a lot of duties in the educational setting. This is an excellent career for a marriage and family therapy graduate who wants to stay busy helping others succeed within the educational space. The benefits of choosing to become a school counselor is that there is some flexibility within the age groups of students you choose to assist. You might decide to work with elementary school students, middle school students, high school, or even adults at universities. No matter what, though, you will also be working with other faculty such as teachers, principles, and even external organizations outside of the school.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for a school counselor was $60,510 in 2021, with a job growth outlook of 10%, which is faster than average for all occupations.
Probation Officer and Correctional Treatment Specialist
BLS Median Salary (2021): $60,250
BLS Career Outlook: 0% (Little or no change)
Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists work to rehabilitate law offenders who are on probation, parole, or in custody by connecting them to social services. While the two careers are very similar, there are slight differences between a probation officer and a correctional treatment specialist. Probation officers help offenders who have just been released from prison re-enter society. They also monitor their behavior and work with the individual to connect them to resources such as drug abuse counseling in order to hopefully change their behavior and mitigate the chances of them returning to prison. Correctional treatment specialists are a little more hands-on and have more specific duties. They will develop a rehabilitation plan for the offender to follow, including ways to improve education and job skills.
Correctional treatment specialists will also assist the parolee’s families by setting up counseling and assist the parolee in accessing needed services. Both probation officers and correctional treatment specialists may perform the following duties:
- Conduct substance use tests and offer substance abuse counseling, if needed.
- Write reports and maintain files on parolees.
- Determine the likelihood of an offender re-committing a crime.
- Prepare investigative reports so as to testify in court.
In order to become a probation officer and correctional treatment specialist, you need at least a bachelor’s degree. In order to qualify for advancement, a master’s degree in criminal justice, social work, psychology, or another field might be required. A master’s in marriage and family therapy may be helpful to pursue certain types of casework jobs that probation officers and correctional treatment specialists can obtain, such as violent probationers or those with substance abuse cases.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for a probation officer and correctional treatment specialist was $60,250 in 2021, with a job growth outlook of 0%, which means no job growth is predicted. That being said, this doesn’t mean that there won’t be job openings, as individuals are always moving in and out of the job market.
Marriage and Family Therapist
BLS Median Salary (2021): $49,880
BLS Career Outlook: 14% (Much faster than average)
A marriage and family therapist may be very relevant to those looking for a job with an MFT master’s degree. Marriage and family therapists use a variety of techniques to help support families, individuals, and couples manage their problems and mental health struggles. The benefits of becoming a marriage and family therapist are that the career is very flexible. Marriage and family therapists have a wide variety of options as to where they can choose to work as well as the hours they choose to take on. Although most work full-time, some work days, others work evenings, and some work a combination. Many marriage and family therapists own a private practice, which allows one to set their own hours.
Duties of a marriage and family therapist may include:
- Applying therapeutic techniques, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, to help clients understand their harmful thoughts and overcome mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
- Bringing forward a strengths-based, family-centered perspective to assist families in working through their problems.
- Coordinate with other care professionals such as psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers.
- Document and track client progress through case notes and maintain confidential files.
- Coordinate with insurance companies to ensure reimbursement for services (if providing services via private practice).
- Help the client make decisions about their future.
- Refer clients to relevant resources and referrals in the community.
Working as a marriage and family therapist is a rewarding career. Although the job can be stressful, many MFT’s report job satisfaction. In order to become an MFT, after receiving your masters degree in marriage and family therapy, you must complete the MFT licensure process, which is different in each state.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for a marriage and family therapist was $49,880 in 2021, with a job growth outlook of 14%, which is much faster than average for all occupations.
Health Education Specialist
BLS Median Salary (2021): $48,860
BLS Career Outlook: 12% (Much faster than average)
Health education specialists are professionals who develop strategies that teach the community and individuals about behaviors that promote wellness. This career path allows some creativity, as a health education specialist is responsible for planning, designing, and conducting activities to promote and improve health, and these activities can take place at a number of locations, including schools (including colleges), health care facilities, businesses, and various other places within the community. Other duties of a health education specialist may include:
- Conduct data analysis to learn about specific communities and to improve services and programs.
- Advocate for health services, programs, and resources to promote wellness within the community.
- Assist individuals with finding information on health services.
- Provide training programs for healthcare workers and organizations.
- Supervise staff who are responsible for the implementation of health education programs.
While a health education specialist is typically only required to have a bachelor’s degree, some positions may prefer or even require a master’s degree. Many places of employment prefer that you have taken courses related to social services, wellness, ethics, and cultural relations.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for a health education specialist was $48,860 in 2021, with a job growth outlook of 12%, which is much faster than average for all occupations.
Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselor
BLS Median Salary (2021): $48,520
BLS Career Outlook: 22% (Much faster than average)
A substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselor is a very important career that someone with a masters in MFT might pursue, as they provide support and treatment to people experiencing substance use, addiction, and co-occurring disorders. A substance abuse counselor might find themselves with a number of options in regards to where they can work, including private practice, community health centers, hospitals, government, outpatient centers, substance abuse facilities, and halfway houses. The work of a substance abuse counselor can be stressful, but rewarding. Many people feel called to do this work. Specific tasks that a substance abuse counselor might do include:
- Develop a treatment plan and goals with the client and their family.
- Collaborating with clients to help them identify situations that might be getting in the way of their recovery.
- Working with clients to assist them in developing skills to modify their behavior in order to recover from their addiction.
- Refer clients to other needed services to aid them in their recovery and transition from recovery services.
- May help clients reestablish their career and personal relationships
In order to become a substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselor, you will need to become licensed in your state. Every state has different requirements, but in general, this means that after completing your masters degree, you will need to have completed around 3000 hours of supervised experience.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for a substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselor was $48,520 in 2021, with a job growth outlook of 22%, which is much faster than average for all occupations.
BLS Median Salary (2021): $38,560
BLS Career Outlook: 11% (Much faster than average)
A rehabilitation counselor works with clients with disabilities of all ages and stages of life to help them develop independence as well as emotional resilience. The counselor will work with the client to determine the client’s strengths and abilities, and then develop a counseling and therapy plan to help the client determine what might be holding them back in their life that they can overcome. The job of a rehabilitation counselor goes much deeper than this, however, in regards to the services and advocacy provided to the client. These duties may include:
- Locating and pursuing needed resources for the client, such as wheelchairs, ramps, computer programs, hearing aids, and other services or tools that can help the client live more independently.
- Advocate for the rights of your client and others with disabilities to work the job of their choice and live where they would like.
- Communicate with other care professionals in the client’s life, such as their doctors.
- Provide counseling to the client to help them understand their disability.
To become a rehabilitation counselor, you should have important interpersonal skills, such as compassion, good listening skills, and patience. That being said, the career also calls for critical thinking skills, as rehabilitation counselors work with a number of clients in very different situations to build case plans that will help clients improve their lives.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for a rehabilitation counselor was $38,560 in 2021, with a job growth outlook of 11%, which is much faster than average for all occupations.
There are many satisfying and rewarding careers that can be pursued with a degree in marriage and family therapy. Many of these jobs have a higher than average projected job growth, which may be a positive sign for those looking for a career in this field of helping others.