Marriage & Family Therapist Degree and Career Guide
- MFT Guide Home
- Job Description
Marriage and Family Therapy: What You’ll Earn
Read about salary and job outlook predictions for marriage and family therapists.
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.
Median Salary: $56,570
Projected job growth: 13.9%
10th Percentile: $36,840
25th Percentile: $44,730
75th Percentile: $75,220
90th Percentile: $98,700
Projected job growth: 13.9%
|State||Median Salary||Bottom 10%||Top 10%|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2022 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||$56,570|
|Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors||$49,710|
|Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors||$60,140|
What is my earning potential?
Marriage and family therapists in the top 10% may earn more than $98,700 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 13.9% 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—9.6%
- Mental Health Counselors—22.1%
- Substance Abuse Counselors—22.1%
- Rehabilitation Counselors—10.5%
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.