Advanced masters programs in counseling provide graduates with a very specific set of skills and knowledge in their particular field of study. Large company's and employers will seek out individuals with a master's degree in counseling. By having an advanced degree, you will make yourself more marketable and be able to obtain a more competitive earning potential. This type of degree will enable you to advance your career and salary in your field of counseling through career advancement and transferable skills to a new company.

Master's Degree Benefits:

  • More job opportunities
  • Differentiation as a job candidate
  • Higher income
  • Higher employment rates
  • Become specialized
  • New skills and knowledge
  • Career flexibility

Career Options with a Masters in Counseling:

  • Counseling Manager in Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OEWS Designation) - $58,930
  • Counseling Manager in Offices of Other Health Practitioners - $52,850
  • Counseling Manager in Insurance Carriers - $75,600
  • Counseling Manager in Educational Support Services - $60,170
  • Counseling Manager in Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools - $59,860

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Counseling Managers, on the Internet at (visited March 24, 2022).

Graduate Degree Types for Counseling Concentrations:

  • M.S. in Counseling
  • M.A. in Counseling
  • MBA in Counseling

Find an online bachelor's or master's degree:


You can complete a master's degree online in approximately two years, if not less. Also, if you are taking courses online, you may be able to integrate academic learning with real-world, experiential learning. Once you have completed a bachelor's degree, you might seek out employment with an industry specific firm. You might be able to work on isolated projects and then take time after those projects to complete more courses. In this way, you will prolong the time it takes to graduate, but you will accrue invaluable experience along the way.

Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.

Before you enroll in a college, make sure that they have the major you are considering. For counseling programs, many universities have whole departments devoted to the subject. If that is the case, then make sure they have the specific branch of counseling that interests you.

This is a very important question to ask yourself. Your major should play a big part in the schools you are considering. Not every college may offer the major of your choice, so doing your homework is the first step of the selection process.

A counseling master's degree will consist of some really particular training courses to increase your subject knowledge. Generally, a master's degree in counseling looks like your upper division classes on a bachelors, but with a graduate degree or advanced degree the courses are more specific and will require additional critical thinking skills. Below is a sample of online master's degree courses so you can see the kind of curriculum that will be typically found. Universities will differ in their specific study's needed and required. Compare colleges very carefully on the courses they will require you to take to gain your master's degree in counseling. Sample courses you may need:

  • Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health
  • Addiction Treatment: Clinical Skills for Healthcare Providers
  • Positive Psychology
  • Major Depression in the Population: A Public Health Approach
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Career Decisions: From Insight to Impact
  • Leading for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education
  • Think Again I: How to Understand Arguments

Currently, students enrolled in masters programs at universities have less than a 50% chance of graduating within two years. Statistics vary from university to university, but many students are graduating closer to the three-year range.

If you want to be one of the lucky 40% who do graduate in your second year, you'll need to make a few sacrifices. First, you'll have to take more than the minimum 9 credit hours per semester. Take 12 credits per semester, because you'll finish earning the required credits in around two years.

Go to school each summer session. Take at least one class per summer semester. Not only will you be sure to graduate on time, but you may also benefit with lower per-credit tuition charges, as well.

Declare your concentration as soon as you can. You won't be moving between concentrations this way. If you have to work for gas or rent, work for the fewest number of hours per week that you can. Your studies are vital.

A two-year doctorate degree in counseling is an investment into your future. The cost of tuition can vary widely depending on the academic excellence of the university and the specific field of study chosen. You can expect tuition for a doctoral degree in counseling to cost anywhere from $15,000-$60,000 per year. The cost of tuition for online degrees is typically the same cost as on-campus. When talking about costs, it is important to factor in textbooks, technology, as well as room and board, as those costs are separate from tuition. These are average college tuition costs and does not include financial aid. It is important for each and every student to seek out financial aid options to help pay for their college tuition.

The cost of your education is worth every penny, because it is an investment in your future. You may feel that you are investing too much money in a degree but remember that it will all come back to you. Once you get the career that you've been aiming for, you will be to pay off your student loans and live a better life.

If you are going to spend a lot of time and energy to attain a doctorate counseling degree, you will certainly want some job placement assistance as you near graduation. Discuss this with your admissions counselor when you are considering the right program. In fact, you might want to broaden that discussion by asking about how your school handles internships and if co-op programs are available. Experiential learning can help you not only gain the skills needed to land a job, but you can also cultivate a professional network that will help you build the career you deserve.