Counseling Degree - Online and Campus Programs

Counselors provide counseling, rehab, and support services in a variety of settings. Depending on their specialty (e.g., Feminist Counseling, Family Counseling, Financial Counseling, etc.), duties vary greatly. Counselors often work with children, adolescents, adults, or families. They help people deal with issues ranging from mental health disorders to school problems to significant trauma. Counselors must be sensitive to these issues and adept at recognizing them so they can provide clients with appropriate counseling.

Counseling Degrees and Programs

The education requirements to become a counselor depend on which specialty you choose, but a master's degree is generally required to become a licensed or certified counselor. You can usually find counseling programs in college education, psychology or human services departments. Fields of study can include the following:
  • Financial counseling
  • Feminist counseling
  • Family counseling
Counseling classes are usually grouped into core areas including:
  • human development,
  • relationships,
  • techniques, and
  • professional ethics.
Accredited master's degree programs include 48 to 60 hours of graduate study and additional counseling training (supervised clinical experience). Counselors usually participate in counseling classes, workshops, and studies to maintain their licenses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wages for counselors was $51,050 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $38,740 and $65,360. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,360, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $82,330. In 2008, about 665,500 counselors practiced in the U.S. The BLS expects the job market for counselors to rise about 18 percent over the next ten years.