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5 Popular Specializations for Counseling Majors

If you’re thinking of declaring a counseling major, it’s beneficial to give some thought to which of the many counseling specializations you would find most interesting. It’s a no-brainer that counseling is the right major course of study for you if you’re enthusiastic about helping other people overcome their problems and reach their highest potential. To best accomplish this, you’ll have to choose a specialty. That requires some thought about who, exactly, you want to help, and in what capacity you want to assist. You can narrow it down by considering five of the most popular specializations for counseling majors:

1. School Counselor

School counselors work for public or private high schools in advisory roles. Their responsibilities can include helping high school students to excel in school, helping students to prepare for college and encouraging students to participate in extracurricular activities that will enhance both their resumes and social lives.

To become a school counselor, you’ll typically need to earn your master’s degree in school counseling. Your intended state of practice may also require further credentials.

School counselors earn annual median pay of $ 53,660 or median hourly pay of $25.80. This is a counseling specialization with reliable demand levels, and the outlook for future employment is fine.

2. Career Counselor

Career counselors give people the guidance they seek in choosing suitable careers and preparing for them. This is typically a full-time job. Employers for this position can be found in career centers, universities, colleges and governmental organizations. Some career counselors operate private practices.

Requirements for the job vary depending on the employer and state of practice. Having at least a master’s degree is ideal. A private career counseling practice may require a state license.

Career counselors earn annual median pay of $ 53,660 or median hourly pay of $25.80. This is another counseling specialization with consistent demand levels, and the outlook for future employment is fine.

3. Mental Health Counselor

Mental health counselors diagnose emotional and psychiatric disorders, and they guide their patients in the process of living with such disorders.

A master’s degree and state license are requirements for becoming a mental health counselor. Clinical experience is also required, along with a passing grade on the examination(s) required in your intended state of practice.

Mental health counselors earn annual median pay of $43,190 or median hourly pay of $20.77. This is a fast-growing specialization with exceptionally fantastic prospects for future employment.

4. Marriage Counselor

A marriage counselor is an unbiased third party who can help couples resolve marital problems. Distressed couples seek the help of a marriage counselor when they don’t want to divorce but aren’t sure how to compromise on various issues. Some pastors, churches and religious groups also require that couples consult a marriage counselor for a specified period of time before they can be married in that particular religious tradition.

These professionals typically work full time. Some have their own private practices and some work for health centers, religious organizations or in similar settings.

To become a marriage counselor, you’ll need to earn a master’s degree in psychology, marriage therapy, family therapy or a similarly relevant discipline. You’ll also need to obtain a license. Licensure typically requires clinical practice plus a passing grade on any exams required in your state of intended practice.

Marriage counselors earn annual median pay of $43,190 or median hourly pay of $20.77. This is a fast-growing specialization with excellent prospects for future employment.

5. Rehabilitation Counselor

Rehabilitation counselors typically work full time in positions at youth guidance organizations, senior’s centers, rehabilitation centers and similar organizations. One of their main roles is to assist newly disabled people adjust to life with their disabilities. Rehabilitation counselors might also find work helping physically disabled people or mentally disabled people to manage their careers, personal lives or social lives.

To become a rehabilitation counselor, you’re likely to need a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling plus certification and a license.

Rehabilitation counselors earn annual median pay of $34,390 or median hourly pay of $16.54. This is a fast-growing and popular counseling specialization with excellent prospects for future employment.

Once you’ve decided to pursue a career as a counselor, it’s ideal to obtain both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in this field. If you’ve determined that counseling is a good fit for your skill set and life goals, it’s worth tailoring your academic schedule to harmonize with whichever of these counseling specializations appeals most to you.

See also: 20 Best Online Schools for Counseling 2017