Masters in Counseling Jobs & Careers
Masters in Counseling Jobs
This is one field where the career track and salary range is generally defined by the academic specialization. A few counseling professionals have their own practices, but many more are likely to be in salaried positions working for an agency or a services firm. The roles for counselors keep expanding however, it is one of those social resources that was at one time a stigma for those who sought help; today that is largely no longer the case. People who seek out marriage counseling or mental health counseling or help with alcoholism need not be the objects of social scorn and people who work in these fields often enjoy the respect of those whose career paths have been very different. In most cases counseling is a form of institutionalized empathy, something that many people who are in competitive business fields may not be capable of but can appreciate in others.
1. Rehabilitation Counselor: This professional works with people who have developmental or physical defects, helping them overcome social and vocational obstacles. A rehabilitation counselor helps evaluate a person's strengths as well as liabilities and may provide career or vocational counseling, assistance with medical care and may interact with a client's family.
2. Substance Abuse Counselor: This career path has been designated as one of the fastest growing professions in the nation over the next decade. Substance abuse counselors work with groups in rehabilitation centers or wards, and work with individuals in those rehabilitation programs as well. Substance abuse counseling is a process that works well in group format; professionals in this field become adept at guiding a group through an hour of therapeutic discussion.
3. Clinical Psychologist: Someone who is certified as a clinical psychologist may work in several fields outside of individual counseling. Many professionals with this degree go into gerontology counseling, some type of job opportunity that involves mental health counseling, or a position in a public health or even within a large human resources department where counseling services for troubled individuals or employees are a daily requirement.
4. Career Counselor: People in this profession may work at all levels of career development, from high school to executive search firms. This profession is also known as vocational counseling and takes place in schools, colleges, and increasingly in centers providing services to people who have been displaced by permanent job loss due to economic turmoil and the departure of jobs to foreign shores.
5. Marriage & Family Therapist: This and the MSW have been the traditional counseling degrees outside of the doctoral programs that psychologists and psychiatrists undertake. There are many other counseling professions today, but MFT professionals differ in the respect that they generally open and operate their own practices. It involves working with families, with couples, and with children - a diverse and challenging counseling career.
6. Clinical Social Worker: This is a career track that Master of Social Work students select while in graduate school. They are subject to the same types of stringent field work requirements and licensure as other counselors. However clinical social workers may find work in hospital or public health settings or even homeless shelters where family intervention is critical and counseling goes hand in hand with the development of an assistance plan.
7. Mental Health Counselor: This profession is largely a one-on-one form of counseling, providing assistance for people who are wrestling with problems of depression, anxiety, stress, low self esteem, trauma, grief, and often substance abuse issues. Mental health counselors play a critical role in institutions or public service settings where the services of a psychologist or psychiatrist may be out of reach.
8. School Counselor: The training for this profession usually involves field work in both an elementary and secondary school setting. Counseling services in those two settings are substantially different. At the elementary school level counselors may be the first person involved in a situation that leads to family intervention. Counseling children, fearful children, is a challenge. High school counselors are working with adolescents who represent a different sort of challenge and also an opportunity to perhaps engage in some career counseling.
9. Intervention Counseling: This is a professional specialization for situations where a guided confrontation is in order for someone with behavioral problems such as substance abuse, an eating disorder, inappropriate outbursts of anger that endanger a family, or other situations where normal protests or suggestions won't work. An intervention is hopefully a planned and carefully managed process that leads to an end of denial and change in behavioral patterns.
10. Crisis Counseling: This is another form of counseling that may not be a full time job, but rather a specialty for a clinical social worker or licensed mental health counselor. Crisis counseling can take the form of grief counseling, family counseling, disaster-related counseling, or may occur in an emergency room or homeless shelter where a person or family has reached a point of impasse.