Marriage & Family Therapist Degree and Career Guide


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Marriage and Family Therapy: What You’ll Earn

Read about salary and job outlook predictions for marriage and family therapists.

financial composite
financial composite

Median Annual Salary

Marriage and family therapists focus on how people interact within marriage and family units, rather than the traditional emphasis on the individual. A marriage and family therapist generally takes a holistic, or mind-body, approach to his or her duties, working together with clients to solve issues and establish a plan of action for resolution of domestic problems. Here are some statistics on salaries, job growth, and employers.

Take a look at median annual salaries for MFTs, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, by state.

Marriage and Family Therapists

National data

Median Salary: $49,880

Projected job growth: 13.9%

10th Percentile: $37,050

25th Percentile: $42,910

75th Percentile: $75,410

90th Percentile: $96,520

Projected job growth: 13.9%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $44,820 $34,060 $62,170
Arizona $49,360 $37,270 $62,950
California $49,650 $37,220 $96,520
Colorado $62,280 $43,580 $130,760
Connecticut $59,330 $37,220 $96,520
Delaware $52,310 $48,760 $61,420
Florida $46,900 $34,530 $59,380
Georgia $46,910 $34,760 $61,710
Hawaii $49,650 $48,090 $102,540
Iowa $46,910 $36,910 $76,950
Idaho $49,440 $38,480 $63,040
Illinois $47,320 $33,140 $97,400
Indiana $48,690 $35,270 $62,870
Kansas $46,740 $30,640 $62,940
Kentucky $49,720 $34,260 $81,350
Louisiana $24,800 $22,980 $65,450
Massachusetts $49,630 $38,630 $80,460
Maryland $49,630 $38,580 $80,560
Michigan $59,910 $38,520 $76,090
Minnesota $65,150 $39,000 $96,710
Missouri $47,050 $37,060 $60,190
Mississippi $46,860 $36,890 $51,520
North Carolina $43,670 $36,560 $63,350
North Dakota $48,540 $38,430 $60,990
Nebraska $47,040 $20,650 $63,240
New Hampshire $46,490 $36,750 $76,630
New Jersey $77,960 $61,320 $99,160
New Mexico $49,410 $37,000 $79,890
Nevada $61,330 $46,650 $96,250
New York $59,760 $29,060 $96,520
Ohio $50,530 $37,220 $76,800
Oklahoma $55,660 $37,060 $101,430
Oregon $49,650 $44,280 $95,790
Pennsylvania $47,380 $36,210 $77,170
South Carolina $46,030 $35,500 $96,700
South Dakota $46,640 $37,060 $59,910
Tennessee $38,520 $30,640 $50,910
Texas $54,920 $38,850 $80,840
Utah $75,940 $49,250 $129,400
Virginia $49,130 $37,210 $76,950
Washington $47,130 $37,070 $60,020
Wisconsin $62,430 $44,090 $76,090
West Virginia $38,830 $36,040 $61,140
Wyoming $47,600 $36,660 $60,410

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2031. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

How does a marriage and family therapist’s salary compare to other counseling careers?

Career Median Annual Salary
Marriage and Family Therapists $49,880
Rehabilitation Counselors $38,560
Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors $48,520
Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors $60,510

What is my earning potential?

Marriage and family therapists in the top 10 percent may earn more than $96,520 annually according to the BLS. Those working in private practice generally earn a higher income than their counterparts, but the BLS reports that most MFTs are employed within individual and family services industries and organizations.

Is there demand for this career?

According to the BLS, career employment for marriage and family therapists is expected to grow much faster than average as more people turn to professionals to help them cope with relationship and family issues and the stress of daily obstacles such as depression, substance abuse, behavioral problems and infidelity, among others.

What is the job growth for the field?

Employment of marriage and family therapists is expected to grow 14 percent through 2031, which is much faster than the national average for all occupations. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth. Take a look at what some of the other counseling occupations can expect as far as job growth:

Job Outlook Comparison Through 2031

  • School and Career Counselors—10 percent
  • Mental Health Counselors—22 percent
  • Substance Abuse Counselors—22 percent
  • Rehabilitation Counselors—11 percent

How much competition will I face for a job?

Although states such as California have suffered layoffs and budget cuts in health care, the Veteran’s Administration has been hiring MFTs. So finding a job may largely depend on where you seek employment.

What kinds of companies hire MFTs?

According to the BLS, marriage and family therapists are most frequently employed by the following types of industries or offices:

  • Individual and family services
  • State Government
  • Outpatient Care Centers
  • Offices of Other Health Practitioners

How do I advance in my MFT career?

Some MFTs go on and earn a Licensed Clinical Social Work (LCSW) degree. This allows them to move past therapy-only practice and attain the flexibility to become an administrator.

Other MFTs may decide to earn a Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy (DMFT), which is similar to a PhD but is a practitioner-oriented program that differs in that it prepares professionals to contribute to their chosen specialty in the clinical rather than academic arena. Degree-holders can then work as top-level practitioners, agency administrators, clinical supervisors or senior clinicians.

To learn more about the education required before becoming a therapist, read more about marriage and family degrees.