Marriage and family therapist
- Expected growth (2010-2020): 41 percent
- Average annual salary: $45,720
- Minimum education: Master's degree
Increasingly, many people are turning to therapists for help with personal, family and marital problems. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, mental health careers are expected to grow by 36 percent from 2010 to 2020, while marriage and family counselors are projected to grow by 41 percent over the same period.
Not only are insurance companies providing more reimbursement for therapy, but treatment by a therapist with a master's degree is a less expensive alternative to psychiatrists with medical degrees or psychologists with doctoral degrees.
And therapy is becoming a more accepted effective treatment for emotional or mental difficulties, says Michael Chafin, president of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
"Therapy, in general, is finally losing its stigma problem that prevents people from accessing help," Chafin says.
Jobs for marriage, family and individual therapists will center on private practice, nursing and residential care facilities, outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers, hospitals, and state and local government agencies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says all states require mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists to have master's degrees and licenses to practice.