The Best Guide to Online Doctor of Counseling Programs

Counseling Doctorate Degree

School Degrees Program Areas Admissions

An Introduction to this Degree

If you have already completed a masters degree within your field, you might be looking for additional methods for obtaining higher level positions in your area of expertise. Students that choose the field of counseling for their degree paths can become dedicated and well-educated professionals with the tools required for helping others work through difficult circumstances within their life. The highest degree level available for the field of counseling is the online doctorate. The online Doctorate in Counseling is a degree program that can train you in multiple aspects of counseling research and application, making it a potentially excellent choice for accelerating your promotional growth.

Those that are interested in obtaining the highest degree level in the field of counseling can do so through multiple universities in the U.S. This degree program can allow you to focus on research that can help to improve the quality of practice in the field of counseling, or even train you on how to become an effective leader in mental health organizations with varying purposes. This degree program can provide you with higher learning in aspects relating to counseling theory, mental health management, financial management, and even large-scale treatment research.

The purpose of programs such as this one is to build your knowledge from what you have learned in bachelors and masters degree programs to a greater level of understanding. The best candidates for this program may be students that have completed a Masters in Counseling and have received some work experience in the field. In order to truly appreciate all of the information provided in the online doctorate program, students should be familiar with how counseling theories are applied in the field and the many different treatment and counseling methods available for use with your clients.

As you read through this guide, you should consider what your career goals are with an online Doctorate in Counseling. Our team of educational experts has provided you with information about this degree program, as well as what can result from your completion of it.

Outline of the Degree Program

Some graduates of Bachelors and Masters of Counseling programs may be seeking routes for further success within their professionals lives. In fields such as counseling, the different types of degree programs available can provide you with varying levels of skills that can be applied in a large variety of settings. Upcoming professionals that have an interest in diving deeper into the theoretical and practical aspects of the field of counseling should consider the online Doctorate in Counseling for their education.

From the very beginning, the Doctorate in Counseling can build upon the skills that you may have learned in your previous educational experience. Most doctoral programs have a diverse research component that can allow you to create and conduct your own research about various topics within your field. You can likely expect to learn more about the methods for conducting valid research projects, as well as ways to present your research to the counseling community.

Doctorate programs in this field may also promote communication as a way to learn while at this degree level. Courses may require students to work together to find solutions and communicate issues in order to see different points of view about particular subjects. Testing and examinations may still be an aspect of doctoral programs that are familiar to students enrolled, but it may not be the central focus of each course.

One of the more important goals of the online Doctorate of Counseling is to promote critical thinking skills and the encouragement of theory based assessment and discovery. As a student within this degree program, you may be challenged to solve issues that could arise while working in higher level positions in the field.

School Level Program Admissions
George Washington University Doctorate Education Specialist in Educational Leadership and Administration Website
Notre Dame of Maryland Doctorate Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership for Changing Populations Website
George Washington University Doctorate Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy Website
Utica University Doctorate Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy Website
Northern Illinois University Doctorate DNP - Bachelor of Science in Nursing Website
Northern Illinois University Doctorate DNP - Master of Science in Nursing Website
Nova Southeastern University Doctorate Doctor of Nursing Practice Website
Sacred Heart University Doctorate Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice Website

Click to see more featured online programs that are taking applications for 2022.

Specialization Options to Consider

In comparison to masters programs within this field, the online doctorate may provide you with opportunities to learn more about fields that are directly and indirectly associated with counseling. Choosing a specialization can be helpful when creating the perfect scenario for a fitting career.

Some students that may have years of experience providing counseling services at the masters level may choose to pursue a specialization that focuses on leadership in the field, while others may choose to pursue specializations in field research or improvement. Regardless of which aspect of counseling is most attractive to you, there may be specializations available to help you get started. Our team of educational experts has reviewed some of the more popular online Doctorate in Counseling programs in order to give you a look at some specialization options available.

In the list below, read through some of these programs to see if any would be a good fit for your skills and desires.

Education and Supervision

If you have some experience in the field of counseling and are interested in pursuing careers in leadership within your field, specialization options such as Education and Supervision could be the right choice for you. Programs with this specialization can teach you more about how to manage large teams of counseling professionals, communication methods for use in the field, and training techniques to help build the best possible team within your organization. This specialization option can be found in many online programs at this degree level.

Program Evaluation and Improvement

The need for professionals interested in improving the field of counseling and its practices may constantly grow as this field develops even further. This specialization option may include courses that look at the various evaluation methods used to ensure the quality of counseling programs, methods for reviewing and using consumer feedback as a method for improving programs, and the steps required to implement programs within a consistently operating facility.

Counseling Research and Practice

One of the more popular specializations for the online Doctorate in Counseling is one that focuses on promoting growth within the field of counseling through further developments related to theory and practice. This specialization may focus on research as a primary means for learning, so that students in the program can move forward into careers responsible for developing even more effective counseling methods for use in the field. This degree program may consists of independent exploration and research opportunities from start to finish.

Learning in the Online Setting

With all of the available learning options in society, students can create a degree program that fits perfectly into their lifestyle. For busy and hard-working adults, the online options for degree programs may be the most practical for what they require in their learning experience. All over the United States, colleges are offering online degree programs that can provide you with convenience and flexibility throughout the duration of your program.

Online Doctorate in Counseling programs can be a great way to learn more about your field while continuing on your path to career success. If you are like many others considering online degree options, you might be interested in knowing more about what is involved in this type of program. For starters, online degree programs can be accessed via the internet through a school's program website. Students may be provided with log-in credentials once enrolled, which can bring them to a web page that lists each class they are currently taking. Through each class web page, students can have access to their syllabus, communication tools, and assignments from their first day of class.

The online Doctorate in Counseling may allow students to engage in theoretical research and assessment practices that can assist them with building skills within these areas. Since this degree program is also popular for those interested in leadership, online courses may also provide focus and assignments to help increase student awareness within these areas. As a student in the online program, you can have the flexibility of logging in at times that work for you and turning in homework based on due dates provided to you at the onset of your courses.

Example Courses

The goal of the online Doctorate in Counseling is to promote higher learning in counseling professionals in either research-oriented aspects of counseling or practice. A few things that can influence the types of courses that you can take during your program include the the type of specialization you choose – if any – and the college that you attend. Your specialization can help organize your courses in a way that builds up to your final goal, which can diversify your experience from the generalist degree program. Different schools may also provide varying course work that covers all of the mandatory subjects for this program.

Our team of experts has looked into several different online Doctorate in Counseling programs in order to pull out some of the most common topics among them. In order to truly prepare for and understand the concepts of each program, you should always review the curriculum and what is expected of you during the process. Some online programs may also require that you take part in a supervised experience requirement, which should be planned and prepared for early on in the program. Check out some of the most common courses in this program below.

Counseling and Social Change

Students enrolled in the online Doctorate in Counseling program may take a look at different perspectives responsible for influencing their field. This course may explore concepts such as social justice, inequality, socioeconomics, and diversity as a means for learning more about methods for positive social change. These factors can play a role in the development of more inclusive counseling professionals with the ability to create programs for people regardless of their status in society, race, sex, or educational level.

Survey Research Methods

As part of the general curriculum for online doctorate programs, this course can be excellent for upcoming students interested in pursuing careers in research or program evaluation. Different research methods such as surveys, interviews, and technology-based questionnaires may be covered in this course, in order to introduce students to the many different ways that data can be gathered during the research process. This course can be a great complementary course to those focusing on effective research design and individual program assessment.

Counseling Education

A large amount of online programs in this field may consists of a teaching component for learners at this level. The goal of courses such as this one is to provide learners with methods for reaching the adult learning in a professional or educational environment. Different learning techniques may be covered in this course, as well as cultural and individualistic considerations for educating others. Students enrolled in this course can use these skills to be great trainers while working in the field or even effective instructors within a collegiate setting.

Career Opportunities with this Degree

Careers in the field of counseling can be found at levels working directly with clients in the field as well as in upper management and field research. In some areas of the U.S., doctoral level counselors may also be called upon during the creation of new assessment tools, when needed in the legal system, or even as practitioners in the growing healthcare field. Your goals and aspirations in this field can guide you into the right type of practice for what you desire.

If you are interested in learning more about what other professionals in the field are earning with this degree, you should take a look at the information provided in this section. Since there are so many diverse options for you to consider when entering into the professional field, there may be other things to consider when choosing your career path. Some upcoming professionals may be interested in joining a career that focuses on treating specific groups, while others may be more concerned with the earning potential of their degree choice.

In order to help you make the best decision, our team of educational experts has provided you with salary information from current professionals in the field. The information provided is based on yearly averages of workers within different areas of expertise. Your earnings in this field can be dependent on your previous work experience, what type of specialty field you are working in, and the state in which you work. Check out the possibilities in this field below.

Professional Organizations to Know

The field of counseling may be one that changes with time. What is known about counseling techniques and methods may consistently evolve over time, making it necessary to stay on top of any new research and developments in the field. Current professionals or recent graduates in the field of counseling can become members of organizations that are responsible for continually educating and partnering with others involved in counseling.

If you are interested in being a member of professional organizations in counseling, you should take a look at some of the most popular agencies currently active throughout the U.S. Benefits to becoming a members of professional organizations in counseling can go well beyond simply networking with other counselors in the field. These organizations often have active websites that can provide you with access to new research, ethical considerations, and publications relevant to your practice. Conventions and conferences are also regularly offered to members of certain organizations, providing you with the opportunity to see different aspects of your field and meet with others with similar interests.

Take a look at the list beneath this section to read more about these fascinating organizations and their purposes.

The American Psychological Association

Counseling as a sub-field of psychology draws upon its parent science for expertise surrounding the human brain and its many processes. The leading professional organization for fields in and related to psychology is the APA. This organization can provide an abundance of information regarding the policies and regulations within this field, as well as a look into the many diverse fields that can be influenced by the research released in this field. Counselors interested in staying knowledgeable on the changes and improvements to the field as a whole can take advantage of membership with this organization.

The American Counseling Association

Catering specifically to the needs of counselors all over the U.S., the American Counseling Association is the go-to resources for professional counselors in all subfields and careers. This agency represents counseling from a proactive standpoint, providing new information regarding techniques and treatments, information about new careers from state-to-state, and opportunities for meeting others with similar interests and career aspirations. As a new counselor in the field, you could greatly benefit from joining this widespread organization after graduation.

The American Mental Health Counselors Association

There are numerous professional organizations that can cater to the needs of current counselors in many diverse positions in the field. While joining a generalized organization can be great for staying up to date with changes in your field, joining a more specific professional organization can help you focus on what is important in your current career. For those involved in careers in mental health, the American Mental Health Counselors Association is the agency of choice. By joining this group, you can have access to unique studies, social research, and new theories relevant to this field which can help you expand your knowledge of mental health counseling during your experience.

School Degrees Program Areas Admissions
Widener University Master Hybrid Dual Master of Social Work/Master of Education, Human Sexuality Studies Website
Antioch University Master MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling Website
Concordia University - Saint Paul Master MAHS in Forensic Behavioral Health Website
Our Lady of the Lake University Master Master of Arts - Clinical Mental Health Website
Our Lady of the Lake University Master Master of Arts - Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Website
Our Lady of the Lake University Master Master of Arts - School Counseling Website
Our Lady of the Lake University Master Master of Arts in Counseling Website
Concordia University - Nebraska (CUNE) Master Master of Arts in School Counseling Website
George Mason University Master Master of Social Work Website

An Introduction to this Degree

If you have ever researched the field of counseling, you may be aware of how widespread this professional field is within our society. The bottom line for counseling is that people in need of services can be found in nearly all sectors of society, regardless of age or any other factors. Counselors that specialize in working with children in the education system can seek out degree programs to help strengthen their knowledge on the needs of children, as well as some of the most common treatment and counseling methods available for use. All of these components can be learned through the Master of Arts in School Counseling.

The Master of Arts in School Counseling is a 2-3 year degree program destined to help you obtain careers in schools at differing grade levels. Most MA in School Counseling programs can allow you to choose from either early education, K-12, or even collegiate counseling as your focus. This can allow you to focus specifically on the needs of the young people you choose to work with. Some of the skills that may be covered in this program may revolve around the educational, personal, and college-oriented goals of youth, as well as the struggles that are commonly fought by children within the school system.

As you look through different counseling programs in order to locate the option that may be best for you, you should consider the MA in School Counseling as a strong competitor. The need for licensed school counselors in the school system may continue to rise as children are subjected to more pressure from society and find it difficult to conform to their parents' and teachers' expectations. Schools offering school counselors to their students may also contribute to better planning for future learning and careers, as well as a consistent support service for students within their schools.

Outline of the Degree Program

Students interested in learning more about this degree program should investigate what is has to offer from beginning to end. In most cases, counseling degree programs can consist of several different subjects and skill sets that can assist students with gaining a better understanding of the field of education while still maintaining level with all requirements set forth for licensed counselors. In this list below, you can explore some of the constituents of School Counseling MA programs in varying locations.

If you are the type of person that is interested in solving problems, critical thinking, compassion, and working with youth, this could be a great program for you to consider. There are colleges and universities all over the country that offer this degree program for you to enroll in. As you look through the information listed below, see if these topics align with your goals in the professional field.

Individual/Group Counseling

The MA in School Counseling can be a great resource for upcoming students interested in working with students individually or within groups. Since school counselors may be responsible for meeting with students on a one-to-one basis, it can be important for them to have knowledge on effective communication, problem solving, and therapeutic techniques helpful with young clients. School counselors may also be responsible for delivering life skills training or presentations to large groups of students throughout their career - making group counseling skills important during their degree program.

Ethics

Since becoming a school counselor requires you to receive and maintain licensure from start to finish, it may be important for you to remain consistent on the ethics and laws pertaining to your field. During your degree program, you can take courses that can further educate you on he expectations of school counselors within the U.S. This can be helpful when making difficult decisions in the field, protecting yourself from malpractice or other instances of unethical work behavior, and add to the quality of your career as a whole.

Collegiate/Career Counseling

One aspect of MA in School Counseling programs that potentially sets them apart from others is the inclusion of both collegiate and career counseling topics within it. School counselors in secondary schools especially may play a large role in preparing students for future success in both college and technical paths. The MA in School Counseling program can be a great way to prepare yourself for being such a huge influential factor in the students being served.

Assessments

There are numerous psychological and counseling-oriented assessments that can be used to determine whether or not students are receiving the correct level of educational services for their learning styles. As a student in this program, you can learn more about the different types of assessments available for use and the correct procedures for applying them throughout your career.

Research

Many psychology and counseling-based degree programs can contain an element of research. The goal of this aspect is to help students gain skills relevant to seeking out answers and exploring different reasons for behavioral or emotional issues within school-aged children. Students within this degree program may also engage in their own independent or group research project as part of their degree requirements.

School Level Program Admissions
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Master Accelerated Master of Business Administration Website
Benedictine University Master Accelerated Masters in Business Administration Website
Campbellsville University Master APRN with FNP Track Website
Thomas Jefferson University Master Innovation MBA - General Website
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Notre Dame of Maryland Master M.A. in Contemporary Communication Website
Notre Dame of Maryland Master M.S. in Analytics Website
JHU Advanced Academic Programs Master MA in Communication Website
Concordia University - Saint Paul Master MA in Early Childhood Education Website

Click to see more featured online programs that are taking applications for 2022.

Learning in the Online Setting

If you have the desire to enroll in and complete the School Counseling MA, you should take the time to review the different types of degree programs available for enrollment in the U.S. The increase in the use of technology for varying social functions has allowed colleges to implement online courses and degree programs as part of their normal offerings. Online degree programs can be your gateway to higher degree programs, since they may require less of an investment from the students enrolled in them. Our team of educational experts has spent significant time researching online degree programs and the benefits and outcomes that they can provide to the students that choose them.

One of the most popular aspects of online School Counseling MA programs is the convenience. Students working full-time schedules may find it difficult to set aside time for attending classes in person - especially multiple days throughout the week. The attractiveness of online MA in School Counseling programs may stem from a student's ability to attend classes from home, as well as fit homework and studying into times that do not conflict with a busy work schedule.

Online degree programs can also be a reliable alternative to traditional degree programs, since they are required to obtain the same level of accreditation as their traditional counterpart. Your first day in an online class may involve browsing through your unit assignments and reviewing your syllabus. Students can easily contact their instructor and other students through a program's discussion and email tools, alleviating the need for scheduling appointments during office hours or leaving messages. The ease of access of online courses can also be a sigh of relief for new online learners, since most universities provide students with a free and fast orientation to help familiarize them to the course and what all is included.

Example Courses

The MA in School Counseling consists of topics and courses that can help you grasps the theories and practices of your chosen field. While you may have a good idea of what school counselors do in the field, it may be worth your while to explore some of the common courses included in this degree program. The course work that you may be expected to do can shape your expertise in the counseling curriculum while also helping you build a better foundation for success after entering into your first position.

The list below this section contains actual courses that have been pulled from current MA in School Counseling programs. Most online MA in School Counseling programs can consist of 45-60 credit hours, which can result in 2 to 3 years of schooling depending on whether or not you are taking courses at a full-time rate. The courses within this program can also be a great option to prepare you for your supervised internship requirement that is required for licensure as a school counselor. Check out some sample courses from this program below.

Lifespan Development

In order to provide the best possible services as a school counselor, you should be knowledgeable about normal and abnormal lifespan development. This course can lead you through developmental stages beginning at conception and all the way through adulthood. Students in this course can explore some of the theories of psychological and physical development that are relevant to the field of school counseling. Internal and external factors and their effects on childhood development may be a primary focus within this course.

Multicultural Counseling in Schools

Since schools all over the country can be extremely diverse, upcoming school counseling students should be prepared to take courses that can assist them with getting to know a wide variety a cultures and groups. Multicultural counseling may involve varying methods that can allow counselors to accommodate the needs of different students, all while providing an inviting environments in which students can thrive. Students enrolled in this course may have access to historical and current counseling techniques developed for school counseling prospects.

Academic and Career Counseling

Students enrolled in the School Counseling MA program may be expected to take courses that can prepare them for a wide range of roles in the school system. One of those roles may be to work with students on planning their path for the future. This course can introduce you to various elements involved in both collegiate and career planning, such as testing to determine abilities and interests and plotting out a timeline for future goals.

Career Opportunities with this Degree

If you take the time to enroll in and complete an online School Counseling MA, you could have access to careers that can positively influence the lives of others. One of the most popular career positions for this degree program is located within K-12 schools all over the country. School – or guidance – counselors may be tasked with providing continual support to students enrolled in the school system, set up programs for students to attend that can provide awareness about concerning issues such as drugs and bullying, and even working individually with students that are interested in paving a successful path to their future.

In addition to this popular career choice, students may also pursue positions responsible for providing direct mental health counseling to the public as well as specific care to young people that are struggling with substance abuse. Each of these positions may require you to have experience working with youth, as well as the certifications and licensure required to counsel in the public. The earnings for each of these options may be different depending on the state you live in, how much work experience you have, and the organization that you are employed with.

Professional Organizations to Know

One of the best things that you can do for yourself as a new entrant into the field of school counseling is surround yourself with professionals with deep experience and knowledge in your field. A preferred option for achieving this goal is joining a professional organization designed specifically for school counseling professionals.

If you were to do a simple online search of agencies that allow membership to online MA in School Counseling students and graduates, you might find a list similar to what is listed beneath this section. As you read through each of these organizations, you should consider how each of these aspects could positively benefit you while still enrolled in a degree program, during your internship experience, and while working in the field. Membership into a professional organization can provide you with consistent access to the most up to date information available in your field. Take a look at some of the most popular options listed below.

The American School Counselors Association

Once you have made your way into the field of school counseling, organizations such as the American School Counselors Association (ASCA) can be a great resource for you as you start a new career and as you move into new positions in the field. Members of this group can have access to literature pertaining to new theories and ideas, the opportunity to attend conferences with others, and networking among other school counselors in the U.S. This agency may also provide you with links to job search pages that can assist you with finding the career you may be looking for after completing your program.

The International School Counselor Association

Like the ASCA, the International School Counselor Association (ISCA) can also be a great way to meet others in the field and learn more about your field throughout your career. This agency allows membership to school counseling professionals all over the world, making it an even more diverse option for professionals seeking new information and expansive knowledge about their field. If you were to join a group such as this one, you could gain more expertise about your field through interaction with thousands of current members.

The National Board for Certified Counselors

Any person that is seeking a career in a counseling field should be familiar with the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). This agency is the leading certification entity for professional counselors in the field. Once you have completed your degree program and your internship experience, you may be required to apply with this organization and complete an examination prior to receiving your final certification as a school counselor. If you are not yet to the point of certification, you can utilize this agency’s website to learn more about what may be required of you once you have completed your degree program.

School Degrees Program Areas Admissions
Campbellsville University Bachelor Bachelor of Social Work Website
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King University Bachelor Bachelor of Social Work Website
Our Lady of the Lake University Bachelor Bachelor of Social Work Website
Point University Bachelor Bachelor of Social Work Website
Point University Associate Associate of Arts in Child Development Website
Point University Associate Associate of Arts in Human Relations Website
Point University Associate Associate of Arts in Psychology Website
Alvernia University Bachelor Addictions and Mental Health Treatment (formerly Behavioral Health) Website

There may be plenty of preventative services available to people in society concerned with maintaining a healthy level of wellness. These preventative services can be found in many different fields of treatment, since wellness can cover a wide range of physiological and psychological aspects of human life.

One field in particular that can contribute significantly to the overall wellness of community members is counseling. Within this field, professionals can be trained to help people analyze their own daily struggles in an effort to find manageable solutions to common emotional and psychological issues.

Counseling as a degree option can mean training within different aspects of psychotherapy, treatment planning, and ethical counselor behavior. Each of these subject areas can help to create counselors equipped to help increase attention to mental health within their communities.

School Level Program Admissions
University of Montana Associates Online Associates Programs Website
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Click to see more featured online programs that are taking applications for 2022.

Counselors in general do not work with any particular group within society. These professionals can work with youth & adolescents, adults, couples, groups, or even members of the geriatric population. In some areas, counselors can even be a part of an organizational team or found in the education system. If you are aware of a certain group that you would like to influence, there may be specializations available for you to pursue.

Degree Programs Available in Counseling

Bachelors in Counseling

The Bachelors in Counseling may be the foundation level of education for upcoming counselors interested in providing mental health care to their communities. This program can provide students with the essential elements necessary for understanding emotional processes in the human mind, while building a sturdy starting point for high degree programs in the future. Most bachelors-level programs can require students to engage in around 4 years of course work and can be found in the online setting. Course work for this degree program can include courses such as Intro to Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, and Counseling Theory. Since licensing for counselors begins at the masters level, students completing this program may find a bigger benefit to moving on into masters-level programs within their field. Graduates that stop at the bachelors level may be eligible for case management positions in human or social services or even in counseling administration.
View all Online Bachelor’s Degrees

Masters in Counseling

The Masters in Counseling might possibly be the most popular educational level for future licensed counselors. This degree program can also be found in both traditional and online format and consist of elements that can pinpoint specific psychological/emotional disorders for treatment. This degree program can include courses such as Intro to Psychotherapy, Counseling Techniques for Individuals and Groups, and Counseling Diagnostics. The masters-level programs within this field can take anywhere from 2-3 years to complete depending on a student’s enrollment status. One interesting component about the Masters in Counseling is that students can choose a specialization to help place a focus within an area of counseling that means the most to them. Popular degree specializations for this field may include School Counseling, Marriage & Family Counseling, and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. As part of the masters program and licensure requirement, students may be required to engage in a period of supervised experience within a mental health agency in their area.
View all Online Master’s Degrees

PhD in Counseling

Each degree level in counseling may have its own particular focus for students enrolled. People that choose to move into terminal degrees in counseling, such as the PhD, may be interested in pursuing careers that can help change the field of counseling for the better. The PhD in Counseling can assist students with learning more about the foundation elements of this field and the research practices in place to help increase the effectiveness of counseling techniques. While in this degree program, students can learn more about how research can contribute to growth, methods for conducting meaningful and reliable research, and leadership techniques that can be useful when guiding a team of counselors. The dual-purpose of this program can include management aspects that can be beneficial for professionals seeking higher positions within their current position. The PhD program in Counseling can take 3-5 years to complete depending on your current degree level. Students can find this program both online and in traditional format all over the U.S.
View all Online Doctorate Degrees

Certification Programs

Obtaining a degree in counseling does not have to be a final step for graduates interested in influencing many groups during the course of their career. Certificate programs in Counseling can be excellent additions for masters degree holders interested in furthering their potential in the field. These programs may be typically found at universities currently offering counseling degree programs. They may have many specializations such as Grief Counseling or Career Counseling that can be helpful in expanding your expertise beyond the standard scope of general counseling degree programs. Most certificate programs can take around 1 year to complete, which could be a great option for those already working in the field. Counselors may seek this type of program to learn more about areas that can be influenced by counseling, or simply to open up more professional opportunities throughout their career.

Potential Career Paths in Counseling

Addiction and Substance Abuse Counselor: Salary of $43,300 on average per year and an anticipated growth of 23% over the next decade (BLS)

Upcoming counselors within an interest in helping others manage their struggles within addiction may be a great fit for this specialization in the field of counseling. Addiction and Substance Abuse Counselors should be driven, highly motivated, and willing to investigate personal issues that can result in dangerous addictions. While case management positions in addiction counseling can be obtained with a bachelors degree, individuals interested in providing counseling to people in this setting must obtain a minimum of a Masters in Counseling and a professional license prior to working with clients in the field. If you were to choose this field for your career, you could work for drug rehabilitation facilities, group homes, or even partner with the court system in helping those managing addiction.

Career Counselor: Salary of $55,410 on average per year and an anticipated growth of 13% over the next decade (BLS)

Career Counseling can be a great professional option for individuals with a profound ability to see the vocational potential in others. While working in this field, professionals may be responsible for analyzing the strengths of their clients, identifying vocational areas that could be the most fitting for client abilities, and putting their clients in touch with agencies that can assist them with finding a meaningful career. Most professionals within this field hold at least a Masters in Counseling and state license to practice counseling. Once certified to work in this field, you can seek out positions in community career centers, partnering with correctional transition services, or even working with high schools and colleges.

Clinical Mental Health Counselor: Salary of $43,300 on average per year and an anticipated growth of 23% over the next decade(BLS)

As one of the most popular specialization options in the field of counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling can be a great way to showcase your skills within the professional setting. Professionals in this area of expertise may work with a wide range of clients with varying levels of mental and psychological disorders. If you might be interested in this field of counseling, you should have a thorough understanding of common mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and adjustment disorders. This field may also require you to indulge in extensive problem solving and unconditional positive regard. In the field, these counselors can work for mental health agencies, partner with hospitals, or even take part in private practice. Since Clinical Mental Health Counselors can work with a wide range of age groups, their services can be found throughout different facets of society. If you are interested in pursuing this subfield of counseling for your career, you may be expected to complete a Masters in Counseling and obtain a license through your state.

Marriage, Couple, and Family Counselor: Salary of $48,790 on average per year and an anticipated growth of 23% over the next decade (BLS)

Marriage, Couple, and Family Counselors can be a great addition to mental health services found within communities. These professionals can partner with well-rounded mental health agencies, work in private offices, or even be contracted by court systems to intervene when needed. If this field sounds like one you could be involved with, you should have a desire to identify positive attributes in even the most unpleasant situations, have the patience to mediate heated conversation, and the ability to analyze the strengths of some of the most strained relationships. Marriage, Couple, and Family Counselors should have a Masters in Counseling within their specialized field, as well as a license to practice within their state. These professionals can truly be a life-changing addition to a stressed relationship among couples and families.

Rehabilitation Counselor: Salary of $34,860 on average per year an an anticipated growth of 13% over the next decade (BLS)

Another fascinating subfield of counseling that could be a great option for your career is Rehabilitation Counseling. If you are the type of person that loves teaching new skills to others, this could definitely be a field to fit your personality. Rehabilitation Counselors can assist people with finding independence with mental, emotional, or physical disabilities that can interfere with normal functioning. Strengths that could help you excel in this field may include personal determination, knowledge of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and an awareness of social agencies that can assist with in-home services. In order to be a counselor in this field, you must complete a Masters program in Counseling and pursue licensure. This requirement may lead you into supervised internship experiences that can help expand your knowledge of Rehabilitation Counseling from a practical point of view.

School Counselor: Salary of $55,140 on average per year and an anticipated growth of 13% over the next decade (BLS)

Another popular career option for counseling students to consider is School Counseling. Counselors in this field can either complete a Masters in Counseling and certificate program in School Counseling or locate a Masters in School Counseling degree program. Professionals with this certification can work for K-12 educational facilities or even at the collegiate level. The role of the School Counselor is to work on-staff, assisting students with managing emotional and social pressure, intervene when issues may be apparent in the educational setting, and partner with teachers and students during educational or vocational training. Some School Counselors may also engage in drug prevention awareness programs or anti-bullying initiatives in their school. If this career field sounds like one that is right for you, you should have a strong love for working with children and youth, knowledge of the U.S. Department of Education, and an interest in vocational or collegiate planning.

Counseling Organizations to Know

Once you have completed your degree program and earned your certification, you can find more ways to help integrate yourself into the field of counseling. Networking and consistent continuing education may be an important aspect within the field of counseling. One of the best methods for achieving this goal is to become a member of professional organizations designed to help you stay up to date on your field and meet others within your practice area. As you read through some of the most popular professional organizations in counseling below, try to consider the benefits that membership to each could provide to you throughout your career.

The American Counseling Association (ACA)

Since its introduction in 1952, the ACA has provided well-rounded support to counseling students and professionals. This agency seeks to increase the quality of educational programs in counseling, increase the availability of support to professionals working in the field, and provide peer support to current licensed counselors. If you were to join this organization, you may have access to current studies in counseling, recent news and changes, and ethical cases that can change the way you engage in practice.

The American Mental Health Counselors Association

The American Mental Health Counselors Association was founded in an effort to focus on the needs of upcoming and current Clinical Mental Health Counselors. Members of this organization can learn more about how their field influences the overall wellness of America, new and innovative trainings released for professional advancement, and methods for success in the clinical domain. Clinical Mental Health Counselors can also utilize advocacy services offered by this organization throughout their career.

The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)

The NBCC is currently a certification agency for upcoming professionals interested in the field of counseling. This agency seeks to ensure that upcoming professionals have met all of the educational and experience requirements set forth for licensed counselors in the field. The NBCC also organizes the certification examination that all upcoming counselors must pass before applying for a license in counseling within their state.