Marriage and Family Therapists
SOC: 21-1013.00


Diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems. Apply psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating such diagnosed nervous and mental disorders.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
33,700 employed

Projected (2024):
38,700 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Advanced Clinical Specialist
  • Behavior Therapist
  • Behavioral Analyst
  • Behavioral Specialist
  • Behavioral Therapist
  • Child and Family Counselor
  • Clinical Services Director
  • Clinical Therapist
  • Clinician
  • Counselor
  • Couple and Family Therapist, Staff Therapist
  • Couples Therapist
  • Director-Child Abuse Therapy
  • Family Counselor
  • Family Therapist
  • Group Counselor
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • Licensed Staff-MFT
  • Marriage and Family Counselor
  • Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)
  • Marriage Counselor
  • Marriage Therapist
  • Play Therapist
  • Psychotherapist
  • Relationship Counselor
  • Senior Clinician
  • Therapist

  • Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed


    Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.


    Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

    Job Training:

    Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Ask questions that will help clients identify their feelings and behaviors.
  • Counsel clients on concerns, such as unsatisfactory relationships, divorce and separation, child rearing, home management, and financial difficulties.
  • Encourage individuals and family members to develop and use skills and strategies for confronting their problems in a constructive manner.
  • Maintain case files that include activities, progress notes, evaluations, and recommendations.
  • Collect information about clients, using techniques such as testing, interviewing, discussion, and observation.
  • Determine whether clients should be counseled or referred to other specialists in such fields as medicine, psychiatry, and legal aid.
  • Confer with clients to develop plans for posttreatment activities.
  • Follow up on results of counseling programs and clients' adjustments to determine effectiveness of programs.
  • Provide instructions to clients on how to obtain help with legal, financial, and other personal issues.
  • Gather information from doctors, schools, social workers, juvenile counselors, law enforcement personnel, and others to make recommendations to courts for resolution of child custody or visitation disputes.
  • Provide public education and consultation to other professionals or groups regarding counseling services, issues, and methods.
  • Supervise other counselors, social service staff, and assistants.
  • Provide family counseling and treatment services to inmates participating in substance abuse programs.
  • Write evaluations of parents and children for use by courts deciding divorce and custody cases, testifying in court if necessary.
  • Develop and implement individualized treatment plans addressing family relationship problems, destructive patterns of behavior, and other personal issues.
  • Confer with other counselors, doctors, and professionals to analyze individual cases and to coordinate counseling services.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Computer laser printers
  • Desktop computers
  • Doll houses
  • Dolls
  • Hand puppets
  • Laptop computers
  • Multi-line telephone systems
  • Personal computers
  • Personal digital assistants PDA
  • Photocopying equipment
  • Toy block sets
  • Videoconferencing equipment
  • Advantage Software Psych Advantage
  • American Medical Billing Software PMA
  • Anasazi Software Client Data System
  • Beaver Creek Software The THERAPIST
  • Blueberry Harbor Software Clinical Record Keeper
  • Care Paths eRecord
  • Casamba SmartClinic
  • Cornucopia Software Practice MAGIC
  • DocuTrac QuicDoc
  • EZ2Bill Confidant
  • EZClaim Healthcare Software EZClaim Advanced Medical Billing
  • Intuit QuickBooks software
  • McKesson Medisoft software
  • Mdansby The PsychReport
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Netsmart Technologies Helper
  • PM/2 Clinical Planner
  • PracticePRO Software Systems QuickPractice
  • Saner Software ShrinkRapt
  • SumTime Software SumTime
  • Synergistic Office Solutions SOS Case Manager
  • TheraManager
  • Web browser software

  • community and social service

    industry stats

    SOC: 21-0000

    Total Employed: 1,972,140

    Average Annual Salary: $46,160