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How to Become a Marriage Counselor

Neha Joshi
Many people want to know how to become a marriage counselor, since this profession is seeing an upward trend since the past few years.The following story will tell you how you can become a marriage counselor, the job description of one, and also a little about the salary aspect.
Becoming a marriage counselor is many times an altogether different preposition than what most people perceive it to be. Marriage counseling doesn't only deal with solving fights, but other major issues such as substance abuse and complex psychological barriers. You have to understand and believe in the institution of marriage and family to help others do the same.
You will also need a thorough understanding of relationships and bonds shared by people in a family. This counseling also involves pre-marriage counseling, and issues of children in the family. The marriage counselor job description is much more complex than you think. If you think this is the right career choice for you, continue reading to know more.

Becoming a Marriage Counselor

The Required Education

If you want to become a marriage counselor, the first thing you ought to know about, is the compulsory education you are going to need. The first step is to take admission for studying the subject. A masters program in marriage and family counseling is what you need.
This program usually lasts for approximately two years, and is available in most states. This program will educate you about the various theories and therapies you will need during counseling. Without this degree, you will not be eligible for the license you need to practice this profession!

The Areas of Expertise

Your education will consist of subjects such as mourning and depression, domestic violence, substance abuse, infidelity, various addictions, adolescent behavioral problems, and infertility. These subjects are diverse and require the understanding of different psychologies.
It is advised that you select one area of expertise or one subject of specialization. This will increase your understanding about that one subject, and you might become an expert in it. This kind of expertise of specialization helps a lot in finding new clients, and not to forget, the salary you draw.

The Experience

Though studying the subject and specializing in one stream will increase your odds, they aren't going to help much in reality if you don't have any experience. People are going to visit you only and only if you have the experience. The best way to add to your experience is by assisting a marriage counselor from your college days.
This will give you some awesome experience even before you complete the program. You can continue assisting or look for internships once you are done with your studying. This will help you earn some of your own money, which can work as capital when you professionally start individual services.

The Other Prerequisites

The first thing you will need to do is apply for license once you are done with your studying. Every state has different licensing and testing policies. You will have to meet all the requirements stipulated by your state's board. When you get your license in hand, start advertising about your services in the newspapers, magazines, and through the web.
Look for space for a office, one of the most important things that should be in your list. Also, ask others and lawyers in your acquaintance to recommend you to their patients. Recommendation works the best!

The Salary

The average annual marriage counselor salary is said to be somewhere around $55,000. However, a lot depends on the kind of experience you have and what you specialize in. An experience of more than 10 years can also get you somewhere around $60,000 or more.
A specialized marriage counselor with an excellent success record can earn somewhere about the same. The growth of your marriage counselor career will also depend on which state you work in.
Now that you know how to become a marriage counselor, start planning on your education soon, as that is the first step to become one. Without the master's degree in your hand, there is no scope for future planning. You can find out about some marriage counselors in your social circle and talk to a few. They will guide you perfectly as they work in the same sector. A few years of hard work and you'll have an awesome career in front of you! Best of Luck!