“American couples have gone to such lengths to avoid the interference of in-laws that they have to pay marriage counselors to interfere between them.”
Florence King, Writer
Pros and Cons of Working as a Family Therapist
You think about becoming a marriage counselor or family therapist?
While there are indeed some upsides to this profession, there are also many issues related to this career path.
Hence, make sure to check out all the pros and cons of being a marriage counselor in the following chapters.
Marriage Counselor Job Profile
|Job Description||Marriage counselors have to solve conflicts of couples to give them a better chance for a happier future together.|
|Salary||$56,000 per year on average, most family therapists make between $48,000 and $63,000 per year.|
|Job Security||Good since couples have many conflicts and often need a third party to act as an intermediary.|
|Job Satisfaction||Rather poor since you will have to deal with problems of other people all day long.|
|Work-Life Balance||Good since you will not work that many hours and will also have free weekends and holidays.|
|Physically / Mentally Demanding?||Can be mentally and emotionally demanding.|
|Future Outlook||Decent since good family therapists will always be needed and couples will always have conflicts.|
|Requirements||You need a college degree for becoming a marriage counselor in most states.|
Advantages of Being a Marriage Counselor
- Marriage counselors are in high demand
- You can work indoors as a marriage counselor
- You can learn a lot for your own marriage
- Most marriage counselors have standard workweeks
- Free weekends for family therapists
- You don’t have to work in the nighttime
- You can work with many different people
- Being a family therapist allows you to avoid physical work
- You can avoid working in classical office jobs
- Marriage counselors can make decent money
- Teleworking may be possible
- You can start your own marriage counseling business
- You learn a lot about how the minds of people work
- Good future job prospects
Marriage counselors are in high demand
One advantage of being a marriage counselor is that good people in this field will always find a job.
In fact, there are so many marriages and family problems out there and far fewer people who want to deal with these problems on a daily basis.
Consequently, in most regions, there is a lack of qualified marriage counselors and if you are willing to work hard on yourself to become really good at advising people in this regard, chances are that you will get more jobs than you can work on.
Thus, good family therapists will not have to fear getting unemployed that much and if job security is really important to you, becoming a marriage therapist can make quite a lot of sense in this regard.
You can work indoors as a marriage counselor
You will also have the luxury of working indoors as a family therapist.
While you might take this for granted, there are still many other people out there who have to work outdoors, no matter what.
In fact, many people like garbage collectors have to work outdoors during heavy rain or snow and will not like their jobs at all during those periods of bad weather.
In contrast, you will have the luxury to work indoors as a couples’ counselor and will even be able to make your working conditions as cozy as possible by using air conditioning or heating to optimize the room temperature indoors.
You can learn a lot for your own marriage
Another benefit of working as a marriage counselor is that you can also learn a lot for your own marriage.
Not only will you solve conflicts between couples and give them the chance for a happier marriage, but you will also learn from the mistakes of others and what not to do during your own marriage.
In turn, chances are that you can avoid many issues and mistakes that you would have made otherwise and this may give you a higher chance that your marriage will actually work out in the long run.
Most marriage counselors have standard workweeks
As a marriage counselor, you will often also have standard workweeks.
In fact, most marriage counselors just work 9 to 5 and will therefore have plenty of leisure after work to spend with their loved ones or for hanging out with their friends. You will also have lots of time left to spend on your hobbies.
Consequently, a career as a marriage counselor can also be great for you if your leisure is really important to you and you don’t want to work long hours as many other people do on a regular basis.
Free weekends for family therapists
Another upside to becoming a family therapist is that you will also not have to work on weekends.
While many other people like drain drivers have to work during those times, you will have the luxury to take time off and to spend it with your favorite people.
Free weekends also give you the opportunity to make nice family trips and to see many different cities and regions.
You don’t have to work in the nighttime
By becoming a family therapist, you can also avoid working at nighttime.
While security guards and people who work in many other jobs will have to work during the late evening or even during nighttime, you will not have to do this exhausting work since you will rather work regular workweeks and will not have to work during those unpleasant times.
In fact, working during nighttime can not only be quite exhausting, but it can also cause serious health problems and destroy our natural sleeping rhythm.
Consequently, by working as a marriage counselor, you can avoid those issues and chances are that you will stay healthier in this regard in the long run.
You can work with many different people
Marriage counseling is also a people’s game.
While some people out there are rather introverted and don’t like to talk to people they don’t know at all, there are also extroverts who love to start conversations and to talk to people.
While the job as a marriage therapist may not be for you in case you are an introverted person, you may become really happy with it in case you are an extroverted person who wants to have many people around and wants to figure out their problems.
Hence, you should also ask yourself what character type you really are before going for a career in marriage counseling.
Being a family therapist allows you to avoid physical work
Another advantage of working as a family therapist is that you will also not have to work in a physical manner.
Sure, this doesn’t mean that a career in marriage counseling cannot be demanding.
Yet, it is rather demanding on a mental and emotional level, not in a physical manner.
While some people who work in construction or in other fields that imply heavy physical work will be quite exhausted when they come home from work and will also likely suffer from serious physical health problems sooner or later, you can avoid those issues as a family therapist since you will work with your brain rather than with your hands.
You can avoid working in classical office jobs
Marriage counsellors also don’t have to work in a classical office job.
While you may work in an office, you will not have to stare at a computer screen all day long.
Instead, you will talk to your clients and will work on a personal level.
In turn, you will feel that you are doing something important for those people since you will solve their conflicts and this can give you motivation to carry on, even during difficult periods in your life.
In contrast, many people who work in classical office jobs are just in for the money and don’t see any higher purpose in what they are doing.
Consequently, they often get bored and unmotivated pretty soon and secretly with to do something more helpful to society.
Thus, becoming a marriage counselor can also be a great career choice for you in case you don’t want to work in front of a computer screen all day long but rather want to make a true positive impact on peoples’ lives.
Marriage counselors can make decent money
Good marriage counselors are also able to make decent money from what they are doing.
Sure, you will not earn as much as doctors or lawyers.
Yet, good marriage counselors can make a decent living and may even be able to afford some luxury.
Hence, if you are willing to work hard for it and are also willing to make some extra hours, chances are that you will not only be able to help many people with their problems, but that you are also able to benefit from good financial conditions at the same time.
Teleworking may be possible
Depending on the company you work for, you may also be able to work from home.
In fact, teleworking has become increasingly popular over the past years since it allows people to combine their private and their professional lives.
For instance, if you work from home and have some minutes between two meetings, you may use this time to start your washing machine or to do the dishes.
In turn, you can get more work done each day and will also be more flexible compared to people who have to work in their jobs in person.
You can start your own marriage counseling business
Another advantage of working in marriage counseling is that you can also start your own business around it.
In fact, it is pretty easy to start your own business in this field since you will not have to invest that much upfront capital and can even start it from home.
Therefore, if your plan is to work independently from the corporate world in the long run, marriage counseling can also be a great way to go for you since there will be many options for self-employed work in this area of work.
You learn a lot about how the minds of people work
By working as a family therapist, you will also learn a lot about how the minds of people work.
While people are different and have different strengths and weaknesses, there are still some patterns that are similar for most people and if you understand those patterns, you will also be able to use them to your own advantage.
In fact, understanding how people work and what drives them is key to success in various parts of life and you can therefore also greatly benefit from a career as a marriage counselor on a personal level.
Good future job prospects
While many other jobs will be replaced by machines in the near future, good marriage counselors will always be needed since most couples don’t want to get advice from a machine.
Instead, they want to talk to a real person who understands their feelings and problems rather than to talk to a robot.
Also conflicts in marriage tend to increase every year and you will likely always find work in this field if you are really good at solving these conflicts.
I hope I convinced you that working in marriage counseling can have many important advantages.
However, while we have already talked about the upsides of this career path, it is now time to also shed light on the negative aspects that come along with it to give you a more comprehensive picture of what working as a family therapist really looks like.
Disadvantages of Being a Family Therapist
- Marriage counselors have to solve difficult conflicts
- You will see the worst of people
- Emotional pressure can be enormous
- Your clients’ problems may become your problems
- Many family therapists are not able to unplug from work
- Working as a family therapist can be stressful
- You may no longer trust your own partner
- Many marriage counselors have problems maintaining relationships
- Many family therapists cannot sleep at night
- Frustrated people may ruin your career
- You may get insulted or even attacked
- You will need a college degree for working as a marriage counselor
- Student loan debt can become a serious problem
Marriage counselors have to solve difficult conflicts
One problem with being a marriage counselor is that you will have to solve many conflicts during your workday.
People are often difficult and will not understand what they do wrong since their ego will often prevent them from seeing reality as it really is.
Some people may not even be able to follow your argumentation and some will also just ignore your opinion in general.
As you can see, you will have to work with many difficult people during your career and believe me when I say that this will not be fun at all.
Consequently, if you are the type of person who usually wants to avoid conflict at all cost and rather want to work in a harmonic work environment, chances are that you should go for another career path instead.
You will see the worst of people
In extreme cases, you may even get shocked since you will see the worst of people.
In fact, emotions related to marriages often get out of control and people will just lose it.
While this might not be something new to seasoned family therapists, it may be shocking to you when you just start out as a marriage counselor and you should make sure that you have the stomach to deal with those tense situations before choosing to work in this field.
Emotional pressure can be enormous
Another disadvantage of working as a family therapist is that the emotional pressure can be enormous.
Quite often, you will face problems where you don’t know what to do.
Moreover, some situations can also get out of control and mistakes on your side can lead to catastrophic outcomes.
In turn, many marriage counselors report that they suffer from this emotional pressure quite a lot and that they also feel overwhelmed on a constant basis.
Your clients’ problems may become your problems
If you really want to improve the lives of people through your job as a marriage counselor, that’s great!
However, there is also one big problem with it.
Since you will immerse yourself quite a lot into the problems of others, their problems will become your own problems sooner or later since you will make your level of happiness dependent on the outcome of your marriage counseling efforts.
If you fail in your job, chances are that you will also be quite unhappy in your private life since you may feel like you make mistakes that ruined the lives of other people.
Many family therapists are not able to unplug from work
Due to the high emotional pressure that comes along with working in marriage counseling, you may also not be able to unplug from work.
While many family therapists use meditation and other techniques to stay mentally healthy, it will just not work in many cases and many marriage counselors therefore also suffer from serious mental issues sooner or later.
Working as a family therapist can be stressful
You should also not expect your job as a marriage counselor to be relaxed at all.
Sure, you will not have to work in a physical manner like tilers and many other people.
Yet, as mentioned before, the emotional pressure that comes along with working in this field can be enormous and you should really make sure that you have the stomach to deal with this pressure in a healthy manner.
Otherwise, you will just not become happy with your job in the long run.
You may no longer trust your own partner
Another downside of working as a marriage counselor is that you may no longer trust your own partner.
Since you will see so many bad things and hear so many bad stories, chances are that you will start to mistrust your own partner, even though there may not be an actual reason to do so.
In turn, your career in marriage counseling may also greatly hurt your private life if you don’t know how to handle the insights you gain from your job in a proper manner.
Many marriage counselors have problems maintaining relationships
In fact, many family therapists also have problems with maintaining relationships.
Since they often see the worst of people, they will develop a natural tendency to avoid relationships in general since they fear experiencing the bad things their clients have to go through.
Many family therapists cannot sleep at night
You may also suffer from serious sleeping problems as a family therapist.
Due to all the problems you have to deal with, you may stay awake at night and think about all those things.
In turn, you may not get enough good sleep and this can translate into serious health problems sooner or later.
Frustrated people may ruin your career
You should also not underestimate the level of emotion that is involved in marriage counseling.
If you do a bad job or your clients just not like you, they may blame you for their marriage problems instead of having an honest look in the mirror.
In turn, they may write bad comments about you on the internet and those comments may ruin your professional career since you may no longer be able to attract enough new clients who are willing to trust you enough in this regard.
You may get insulted or even attacked
Some people may also be quite desperate and don’t see any solutions to their private problems.
In turn, you may become the scapegoat that gets insulted or even attacked.
In fact, the job as a marriage counselor is not risk-free at all and you should make sure that you are willing to take this risk and that you take some security measures in this regard.
You will need a college degree for working as a marriage counselor
It will also take you a long time to become a marriage counselor.
In most states, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree to work in this field.
In some states, you may even need a master’s degree and additional certifications for working as a marriage counselor.
In turn, this means that you will have to invest quite a lot of time and money in your education and you should therefore make sure that working in marriage counseling is what you really want to do for many years in order to justify those efforts.
Being a Marriage Counselor Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Being a Marriage Counselor Pros||Being a Marriage Counselor Cons|
|You can make decent money||You will have to deal with many problems|
|Family therapists can work indoors||Marriage counseling can be risky|
|You can avoid physical work||You may not be able to unplug|
|You will have standard workweeks||You may get insulted|
|Free weekends for marriage counselors||People will blame you for their problems|
|You don’t have to work at nighttime||Mistakes may ruin your career|
|You can learn for your own marriage||You need a college degree|
|Marriage therapists can work from home||You may no longer trust your partner|
|You can help many different people||Problems for your own relationships|
|Good job prospects||Sleeping problems are quite common|
Should You Become A Marriage Counselor?
As you can see from the previous discussion, there are many advantages and disadvantages of being a marriage counselor.
You should take your time and evaluate all the pros and cons of working as a family therapist before making a final decision regarding this important topic.
You still want to become a marriage counselor? Make sure to also get detailed information on the salary, future outlook, duties, working hours, work-life balance, educational requirements and job satisfaction of marriage counselors.
Also make sure to check out the following articles:
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.
This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.
Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.
I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.
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