Everything About A Marriage Counselor Career
You think about becoming a marriage counselor but are not entirely sure whether this career will be right for you or not?
Great! Stick with me since I will show you everything you need to know about working as a marriage counselor in the following chapters.
Not only will you learn how much you can make as a marriage counselor, but we will also talk about job satisfaction, prospects, future outlook, working hours, work-life balance, duties, educational requirements and much more.
After reading this article, you will have a much better idea of whether you still want to become a marriage counselor or rather want to go for a different career instead.
Without further ado, let’s get right into it!
Table of Contents
What does a Marriage Counselor do?
Marriage counselors solve conflicts between couples so that they can have a happier marriage and don’t have to break up with each other but can rather build a stronger relationship that will hopefully last forever.
Responsibilities & Duties of a Marriage Counselor
- Advising couples on how to solve conflicts in their marriage
- Giving people instructions on how to prevent conflicts in the future
- Raising awareness of how important it is to be tolerant in a relationship
- Showing couples how to become more compromising with each other
- Showing couples how they can live a happier life
- Evaluating if divorce would be a viable option
- Diagnosing mental and psychological disorders
- Helping people during difficult periods of their lives
- Showing people that they can hurt each other
- Strengthening the bonds between all family members
- Advising people on the legal and financial aspects of a potential divorce
What a Typical Day of a Marriage Counselor looks like?
Marriage counselors usually start their workday between 8 and 10 a.m.
The first thing they do when they get to work is having a look at their schedule and answering their emails.
After doing those organizational tasks, couple’s counselors get to their actual work and consult many couples on how to solve their conflicts and how to have a happier marriage.
In some cases, you will also have to be honest with people and show them that maintaining their relationship will not make sense and may do more harm than good.
After working in this conflict-attracting environment for many hours, marriage counselors usually finish their workday between 4 and 6 p.m.
Marriage Counselor Salary 2023
Marriage Counselor salary brackets 2023
|Salary Brackets||Salary (per year)||Salary (per hour)|
|Top 10 %||> $83,000||> $41.43|
|Top 25 %||$68,000 – $75,000||$33.92 – $37.38|
|Bottom 25 %||$45,000 – $51,000||$22.41 – $25.47|
|Bottom 10 %||$37,000 – $41,000||$18.45 – $20.39|
|Range||$37,000 – $92,000||$18.45 – $45.96|
Marriage Counselor salary 2023 by expert level
|Level of Experience||Salary (per year)||Salary (per hour)|
|Entry level||$37,000 – $48,000||$18.45 – $23.94|
|Junior||$46,000 – $59,000||$22.93 – $29.43|
|Professional||$56,000 – $65,000||$27.89 – $32.47|
|Senior Professional||$62,000 – $74,000||$30.90 – $36.98|
|Expert||$73,000 – $86,000||$36.39 – $42.88|
|Top Expert||$83,000 – $92,000||$41.45 – $45.94|
Marriage Counselor salary by state 2023 (average)
|State||Salary (per year)||Salary (per hour)|
|District of Columbia||$60,800||$30.39|
Job Security of Marriage Counselors
Relationship therapists have pretty decent job security since many people out there have problems in their marriages and need someone who can mediate in such cases.
Moreover, since our world population is growing, also the demand for marital therapy may increase as well and this means that marriage counselors will not have to worry about getting unemployed since they will always find a new job in a rather short period of time.
Future Outlook of Marriage Counselors
Since people become more independent of each other and often no longer need a partner who can provide for them, maintaining a healthy marriage for many years or even decades may become increasingly difficult and marriage counselors will therefore also be in great demand in the future since relationship conflicts and the wish for breakups will likely increase.
Working Hours of Marriage Counselors
Most marriage counselors start their workday between 8 and 10 a.m. and finish their workday between 4 and 6 p.m.
Hence, you will work in a classical 9 to 5 environment and will have more than enough time for your loved ones or to meet up with your favorite people after work.
Job Satisfaction of Marriage Counselors
Since relationship counselors have to deal with many serious problems of their clients every day, many of them are not happy with what they are doing since they have a hard time unplugging from work and often lie awake at night to think about those issues and how to solve them.
Moreover, even though marriage counselors are able to make decent money from what they are doing, they will still not be able to make as much as financial analysts, judges or doctors and if money and luxury are really important to you, you may not want to become a marriage counselor but rather aspire to a different career instead.
Promotion Opportunities of Marriage Counselors
Marriage counselors don’t have great promotion opportunities.
Quite often, they will do the same job for many years or even decades until they get more responsibility. Yet, their tasks will often stay almost the same.
Career Levels of Marriage Counselors
- Marriage counselor intern
- Junior marriage counselor
- Senior marriage counselor
- Manager of a marriage counseling business
- Owner of a marriage counselling business
Fields and Types of Marriage Counselors
- Marriage counselors focused on solving problems in relationships
- Marriage counselors specialized in breakup situations
- Marriage counselors specialized in how to deal with children in such situations
- Marriage counselors focused on therapeutic methods to solve conflicts
- Couple’s therapists specialized in making people more empathic
- Emotion-focused marriage counselors
- Narrative therapists
- Cognitive-behavioral marriage therapists
- Marriage counselors focused on showing people the hard truth
Educational Requirements for Marriage Counselors
You often need at least a bachelor’s degree to be able to work in marriage counseling.
However, in some states, you will also be able to work as an unofficial marriage counselor without the need of getting a degree and can start your career in this field right after finishing high school.
How to become a Marriage Counselor
- Inform yourself about the advantages and disadvantages of being a marriage counselor
- Apply for your favorite degrees at your favorite colleges
- Start college education
- Apply for an internship in marriage counseling
- Make a good impression during your internship
- Stay in touch with your colleagues
- Finish your college degree
- Apply for jobs as a marriage therapist
- Master the job interview
- Sign your labor contract
- Start your own marriage counseling business (optional)
Character Traits you need as a Marriage Counselor
- Patience for your clients
- Empathy for people who are in difficult situations
- Ability to deal with conflicts in an emotionally healthy manner
- You should be a good listener
- You should not be afraid to speak up
- You should be a strong character
- You should be able to stay calm during tense situations
- Ability to deal with lots of adversity in a solid manner
- You need to understand how the minds of people work
- Willingness to work in a conflict-rich environment
Hard Skills for Marriage Counselors
- Knowledge of how to solve conflicts between couples
- You should know how to get people to do what’s best for them
- Good problem-solving skills are crucial
- You should have a talent for telling stories
- Ability to point out the consequences of their actions to people
- Therapeutic skills can help as well
- Entrepreneurial skills help you start your own business
- Math skills help you lead your business in a profitable manner
- Expertise regarding legal aspects of marriages
Soft Skills for Marriage Counselors
- You should understand your clients well
- Empathy for people who blame you for your mistakes
- Patience for people who are not willing to see the truth
- Persistence helps you solve conflicts in the long run
- Ability to stay calm under pressure
- You should know how to talk to people in a respectful manner
- You should be a great leader
- Time management skills help you get solutions quickly
- Ability to understand what drives your clients
- Judgement skills regarding whether maintaining marriages makes sense or not
Exit Options for Marriage Counselors
Since marriage counselors are pretty specialized in what they are doing, they will have barely any exit options at all, apart from working in conflict resolution in other fields apart from marriage or relationships.
Marriage Counselor – Similar Careers
- Social worker
- Mental health counselor
- Rehabilitation counselor
- HR manager
Marriage Counselor Career FAQs
Is working as a marriage counselor physically demanding?
Being a marriage counselor is not physically demanding since you will work with your brain instead of your hands to solve conflicts between couples and you will not have to lift any heavy things at all during your entire workday as many other people who work in construction have to do on a regular basis.
Is working as a marriage counselor mentally demanding?
Working as a marriage counselor can be mentally as well as emotionally demanding since you will have to deal with conflicts and problems of others all day long and if you are the type of person who has a hard time unplugging from work, you may make the problems of your clients your problems which may lead to plenty of unhappiness in the long run.
Is it dangerous to work as a marriage counselor?
Working as a marriage counselor is not dangerous most of the time.
Even though you will have to solve conflicts between couples on a regular basis, things will not get out of control most of the time and while many other people like police officers and firefighters have to worry about losing their lives on a regular basis, you as a marriage counselor will have a rather relaxed time in this regard.
How long do marriage counselors stay in their jobs?
Marriage counselors work in this field for many years or even decades since they are often pretty specialized and have a hard time finding a job in a different industry.
Is it easy for marriage counselors to find a new job?
Since an increasing number of marriages doesn’t work out as planned, marriage counselors have more than enough work and in case you lose your job for various reasons, you will often be able to find a new job as a family therapist pretty soon.
Is it hard to switch from being a marriage counselor to another field of work?
While marriage counselors have a relatively easy time finding a new job in the field they are specialized in, they will have a hard time finding a job in a different field since they often need the skills necessary for it and may not find anyone who would be willing to employ them.
Do marriage counselors have a high social status?
Marriage counselors have a rather low social status.
Even though they are important to mediate and to solve conflicts between couples, they have a pretty low social standing in society since many people blame family therapists for their problems instead of being honest with themselves.
Can you help out your family and friends as a marriage counselor?
While you could also advise your friends on how to solve conflicts in their marriages, this is still not a very attractive option since you would have to be quite honest with your friends and tell them the hard truth.
In turn, your friends may no longer be willing to hang out with you since they are not ready to deal with the truth and rather want to hear positive news instead.
Hence, you may end up as a scapegoat for the problems of your loved ones and your relationship with them may greatly suffer.
Can marriage counselors work remotely?
Marriage counselors are often not able to work remotely since they have to be present in person to mediate between couples and while many other people who work in classical office jobs will be able to work from home quite often, you will be less flexible and will also have to spend lots of money and time commuting to work and back as a marriage counselor.
Is it easy to find a partner as a marriage counselor?
Since you will have lots of experience when it comes to solving problems in relationships of others, you can learn a lot from those issues and use your knowledge to improve the chances that your own relationship will work out in the long run.
Hence, it will also be pretty easy for your to find a partner since you will learn a lot about human psychology and how the minds of people work in dating situations.
Do marriage counselors have to work on weekends?
Marriage counselors don’t have to work on weekends.
Instead, you can make nice weekend trips with your family or spend those days on your favorite hobbies.
Do marriage counselors have to work on holidays?
Marriage counselors also don’t have to work on holidays.
While waiters or truck drivers have to work during those days, you will be able to spend them with your favorite people.
Do marriage counselors have to work at nighttime?
Marriage counselors don’t have to work in the late evening or at nighttime.
Instead, they are able to come home from work rather early and will have more than enough time to meet up with their favorite people after work.
Do you have to travel as a marriage counselor?
There is no need to travel as a marriage counselor.
While many other people like consultants who often work in demanding office jobs will have to do business trips and will be away from home quite often, you as a marriage counselor can spend lots of time with your family.
Are marriage counselor pensions good?
Since marriage counselors can make decent money during their active careers, also their pensions will be decent as well.
However, you should still save and invest money on the side for retirement purposes to avoid any financial issues once you quit your active career and retire as a family therapist, especially if you live in an expensive region where living costs are quite high.
Are marriage counselor salaries going up?
Marriage counselor salaries have been going up moderately over the past years.
Since our world population is growing and an increasing number of people need marriage counseling, family therapists are in high demand right now and this trend will likely also continue in the future.
Consequently, salaries may also increase over the next years.
Can you have a positive impact on society as a marriage counselor?
You can have a big positive social impact as a marriage counselor since it will be on you to enable people to have a happier marriage.
Maintaining a happy relationship is crucial for many people to feel content in the long run and you will therefore be able to do a pretty important job in this regard.
How long does it take to become a marriage counselor?
Since you will have to get a college degree to be able to work as a therapist, it will typically take you between 4 and 6 years to be able to work in this field.
Is it difficult to become a marriage counselor?
Becoming a marriage counselor is not that difficult.
Even though you need to get a degree in counseling, family therapy or a related field, it is not pretty hard to get one of those degrees and if you are willing to study hard, it will rather feel like a piece of cake to you.
Do you need to be smart to work as a marriage counselor?
You don’t need to have a high IQ for succeeding as a family therapist.
What’s much more important is that you have high emotional intelligence and enough empathy for your clients to gain their trust so that you are able to solve their problems in an efficient manner.
Do marriage counselors have a good work-life balance?
Marriage counselors enjoy decent work-life balance since they don’t have to work on weekends or holidays and also come home from work relatively early.
Consequently, most marriage counselors have more than enough time to spend with their families or on their hobbies.
Do marriage counselors have to work many extra hours?
Marriage counselors don’t have to work much overtime since they will often work fixed shifts and once your shift is over, you will just finish your workday and continue with your work the next morning.
Hence, you will not have to meet strict timelines as in many other jobs.
How to maximize your chances of becoming a marriage counselor?
To maximize your chances of becoming a marriage counselor, you should get experience in this field at a rather young age.
Thus, during your time in college, you should do an internship at a local family therapist firm so that you can learn some skills and also make important contacts that could help you find a job in this field later on.
Can marriage counselors work part-time?
Even though marriage counselors are able to work part-time in theory, most marriage counselors still work full-time since their hourly wage is not high enough to make a living from a part-time job.
Do marriage counselors work indoors or outdoors?
Marriage counselors work indoors and don’t have to care about the weather outdoors while many other people like roofers or garbage collectors often have to work outdoors during times of bad weather and secretly wish to change places with you.
What does the workplace of a marriage counselor look like?
Marriage counselors often work in a classical office environment and don’t have to work outdoors.
Consequently, you can use air-con and heating to make your time at work as convenient as possible and even enjoy a nice coffee or tea from time to time.
Do you have to look good for working as a marriage counselor?
You don’t have to look good for working as a marriage counselor.
However, you should still look groomed so that your clients will not lose trust in you and will come back for additional sessions in the future.
Is a marriage counselor career beneficial for your private life?
Since you will have to deal with many problems at work, being a marriage counselor will not be greatly beneficial for your private life since you will always have to think about the adversity your clients have to deal with.
Consequently, you may also expect the worst for your own relationship and your relationships may therefore not work out in the long run.
Do you need a college degree for becoming a marriage counselor?
You need to get a college degree in counseling or a related field to be officially able to work as a marriage counselor in most states.
However, there are still many people who work in this field who don’t hold a degree and are still good at what they are doing, even though they are not able to call themselves marriage counselors in an official manner.
Do you need to be certified to work as a marriage counselor?
You often also need to be certified or get a license before you can call yourself a marriage counselor.
However, once you get your degree and fulfill all necessary requirements, it will be relatively easy to get those certifications or licenses.
How much does it cost to become a marriage counselor?
Since you will have to spend many years in college, you will also have to spend lots of time and money on college education since tuition and other costs related to college are often quite high and some family therapists therefore have to pay back six-figure college loans.
Is being a marriage counselor a good career?
While marriage counselors have decent job security and are also able to make decent money, they still have to deal with lots of adversity at work and chances are that you will also get a pretty negative attitude towards relationships.
Hence, while being a marriage counselor can be a good career if you are able to deal with those issues in an emotionally healthy manner, it can also be a pretty poor career if you are rather sensitive and don’t have your feelings under control.
Is it easy to start your own business as a marriage counselor?
It is pretty easy to start your own business as a marriage counselor since you don’t have to spend lots of money on equipment and can also start out as one-man or one-woman show until you are able to get enough clients to employ people who can do part of the work for you so that you can scale your business even further.
Can marriage counselors teach themselves?
While marriage counselors can teach themselves many things they need, they still have to get lots of theoretical knowledge and a college degree before they are officially able to work in this field and teaching yourself will therefore not be enough to call yourself an official marriage counselor.
Do marriage counselors make good money?
Most marriage counselors are able to make decent money from what they are doing.
However, if money and luxury are really important to you, you should still not become a marriage counselor but rather become an investment banker or dentist instead.
Is it ever too late to become a marriage counselor?
While it is never too late to become a marriage counselor, you will still have to spend many years on college education and the sooner you start your career in this field, the more time you have to make it worth it from a financial point of view.
Do marriage counselors have to quit their careers early?
Since marriage counselors don’t have to work in a heavy physical manner, they are also not at great risk of suffering from serious spinal issues and while many other people like fallers who work in physically demanding jobs have to quit their careers relatively early, you as a family therapist may be able to work until you reach official retirement age quite often.
What is the most challenging thing about working as a marriage counselor?
The most challenging part about being a marriage counselor is that you have to deal with many different characters and that you really have to understand human nature to get your clients to a state where they are able to solve their conflicts in a healthy manner.
Can you provide for your family by working as a marriage counselor?
Whether you can provide for your family as a marriage counselor greatly depends on the region you live in.
While you will often be able to provide for your loved ones if you live in a region where rents and living costs are low, you may not be able to provide for your family in regions that are pretty expensive.
Will marriage counselors suffer from old-age poverty?
Since marriage counselors are able to make decent money from what they are doing, most marriage counselors don’t suffer from old-age poverty.
However, you should still not spend lots of time on unnecessary consumption and rather save and invest your money so that you have enough financial opportunities once you get older and quit your active career.
Can marriage counselors retire early?
Most marriage counselors are not able to retire early since they are not able to make enough money from what they are doing and rather have to work until official retirement age.
Do marriage counselors get a fixed or variable salary?
If you work as an employed marriage counselor, you will often get a mix of fixed and variable salary.
However, if you work self-employed, your income will greatly vary over time and will depend on the number of jobs you get.
Can you get rich as a marriage counselor?
It is almost impossible to get wealthy or even rich as an employed marriage counselor.
Hence, if you really want to make great money, you should start your own family therapy business or rather work as a doctor or lawyer instead.
Do marriage counselors need a second job?
Since most marriage counselors are able to make decent money from what they are doing, many of them don’t need a second job to pay their bills, unless they live in expensive regions where living costs are pretty high and a marriage counselor salary would not be enough to cover their expenses.
Do you get continuous training as a marriage counselor?
While you will get lots of theoretical knowledge in college, you will no longer get continuous training once you work in marriage therapy but will rather learn a lot on the job.
Do you get sick pay as a marriage counselor?
Most marriage counselors don’t get sick pay.
However, if you want to be sure in this regard, you should ask people in your region who already work in this field.
Do marriage counselors have a high level of responsibility?
Marriage counselors have a high level of responsibility since their work is crucial to solving conflicts between couples so that they can maintain a healthy and happy marriage and don’t have to get divorced.
Can marriage counselors work abroad?
Since there are conflicts in relationships all over the world, marriage counselors are also able to work abroad.
However, before you think about making this move, you should have decent knowledge of the foreign language and you should also inform yourself about working conditions and salaries abroad that are often quite different from what you are used to at home.
Is it stressful to work as a marriage counselor?
Working as a marriage counselor can be stressful on an emotional level since you will often have to solve serious conflicts and will also hear many sad stories during your career that may haunt you for quite a while.
Is it boring to work as a marriage counselor?
Working as a family therapist is not boring since you will have to deal with many new people and problems every day and you will never know how things work out in the long run.
Is being a marriage counselor hard?
While you will not have to work in a hard physical manner, being a marriage counselor can still be hard on an emotional level since you will always have to deal with the problems of others.
Are marriage counselors at risk of burnout?
Since marriage counselors have to deal with many unpleasant things at work, many of them are also on the brink of burnout and secretly think about quitting their jobs.
Is there a dress code for marriage counselors?
There is no dress code for marriage counselors.
Instead, you can wear whatever you feel most comfortable in as long as it looks professional enough that clients keep trust in you and can back to you in the long run.
What kind of marriage counselors are paid the most?
There more experience you have and the higher your success rate, the more recommendations you will get and the more money you can make as a marriage counselor.
Thus, if you want to make really good money, you should put lots of time and effort into honing your craft.
What percentage of marriage counselors are women?
While around 74% of all marriage counselors are women, only 26% are men.
Hence, this industry is dominated by women since they are often more empathic.
Do I need a mentor to succeed as a marriage counselor?
You don’t need a mentor to succeed as a marriage counselor.
What’s much more important is that you have empathy for your clients and that you are a trustworthy and competent person so that your clients come back to you in the long run.
Will you be personally liable for mistakes as a marriage counselor?
You will not be personally liable for mistakes you make as an employed marriage counselor most of the time.
However, things may change if you work self-employed and you should therefore get proper insurance to be covered in case of emergency.
Do marriage counselors have a high life expectancy?
Since marriage counselors have to deal with lots of emotional issues at work, they often also suffer from mental problems and their overall life expectancy is therefore relatively low.
Do marriage counselors suffer from sleeping problems?
Since marriage counselors are often not able to unplug from work and think about the problems of their clients day and night, many of them suffer from sleeping problems in the long run.
What states are best for working as a marriage counselor?
As a marriage counselor, you should work in an urban region where the demand for marriage counseling is pretty high why living costs are still affordable so that you can make a decent living from what you are doing.
Who do marriage counselors work with?
Marriage counselors work with many different clients.
Hence, it is crucial that you are not afraid of talking to strangers and you should also be an open and outgoing person to stay happy with what you are doing in the long run.
Is working as a marriage counselor cool?
Working as a marriage counselor is not considered cool by most people out there.
However, you should still not choose your job according to what’s cool but rather make your career choice in line with your own personal interests and preferences.
Can you start a side hustle as a marriage counselor?
Since you will have lots of leisure, you will also have enough time to start a side hustle as a marriage counselor.
For instance, you could use your experience and your stories at work and turn them into a podcast or start a blog or a YouTube channel to help people out and to monetize your audience in the long run.
Do you have to be creative as a marriage counselor?
Creativity helps to succeed as a marriage counselor since every case and person will be different and in order to find solutions to complex problems, being creative can definitely help to get the job done.
Do marriage counselors suffer from being overweight?
Since marriage counselors don’t work in a physical manner, they also don’t burn enough calories at work and many of them suffer from being overweight or even obese.
How employable are marriage counselors?
Due to an increasing number of conflicts in marriages, marriage counselors are pretty employable right now and chances are that they will also be in high demand in the future.
Are marriage counselors happy with their jobs?
Most marriage counselors are not quite happy with what they are doing since they have a hard time unplugging from work and have to think about the problems of their clients all day long which makes it hard for them to really enjoy their leisure.
Is working as a marriage counselor exciting?
Working as a marriage therapist can be pretty exciting since you will often have to deal with new and unfamiliar situations and this can really challenge you on a regular basis.
Can you have a positive impact on our environment as a marriage counselor?
You will not have a big positive impact on our environment through your work as a family therapist since you will only solve many private issues and will not take the effect on our planet into account that much.
What are the pros and cons of working as a marriage counselor?
If you still want to become a marriage counselor, you should also have a look at additional pros and cons of a marriage counselor career.
Interviews and own research.
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.
Wanna support my blog? Share it!