5 Types Of Counseling Majors You Can Pursue

Becoming a marriage and family therapist

Mental health is a critical aspect of overall well-being, yet it’s often overlooked. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience mental illness in a given year. That’s more than 43 million people. This is where counselors come in.

Counselors help people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities manage life’s challenges. As a counseling major, you’ll learn to identify and respond to mental health issues with evidence-based treatments and greatly impact people’s lives!

Below are five different types of counseling majors you can pursue:

  1. Counseling psychologist

Counseling psychology is a great job option for counseling majors. These professionals are responsible for helping people identify and cope with behavioral, emotional, and mental health issues.

To be eligible for this job, individuals need at least a master’s degree in counseling or a related field and any state licensure requirements. Counseling psychologists can work in hospitals, clinics, private practice offices, and other healthcare settings. Depending on their job duties and responsibilities, they may specialize in depression, stress management, relationship issues, grief counseling, addiction recovery, or adolescent therapy.

On average, they earn an annual salary of around $72K or more, depending on their experience and job title. Counseling psychologists also help to create prevention programs and provide educational opportunities to assist their clients in understanding emotional or psychological responses.

  1. Marriage and Family Therapy

As a marriage and family therapist, you will work with people of all ages in one-to-one and group settings. Your job duties will vary depending on the needs of your clients. Still, they could include helping couples or families improve communication skills, diagnose mental health problems, explore treatment options, strive for a deeper understanding of their issues, and resolve conflicts that may arise between them.

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Becoming a marriage and family therapist requires specialized education that includes becoming licensed by your state’s licensing board. The salary of MFTs varies widely from state to state, but it typically starts at around $50K annually.

In addition to their clinical work, marriage and family therapists should also be prepared to spend time conducting research and writing reports to track progress with clients. If you’re considering becoming a marriage and family therapist, there are many opportunities for personal and professional growth in this field. With the right education requirements and dedication to continuing education courses, you could find yourself working in a highly rewarding career that offers unique daily challenges.

While becoming a marriage and family therapist can take several years due to the rigorous training requirements, the rewards often outweigh any challenges or hardships.

  1. Sports counselor

Sports counseling involves providing psychological help to athletes and sports teams to improve performance, job satisfaction, and focus. Their duties include researching competitive strategies, developing individualized programs, and advising on physical training techniques.

Sports counselors work in schools, universities, professional sports organizations, or private practices. Most require a master’s degree in counseling or psychology; some jobs may even require a doctoral degree with an emphasis on sports psychology – such as athletic counseling programs. Those enrolled in this program must demonstrate knowledge of sport-specific biomedical techniques like strength and conditioning coaching and nutrition and evidence-based therapeutic techniques, including cognitive behavioral therapy.

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The average salary for a sports psychologist is about $63,000 per year. Depending on experience and the organization they work for, highly experienced professionals can easily earn six-figure salaries.

  1. Rehabilitation Counselor

Becoming a Rehabilitation Counselor is a great choice for those passionate about helping individuals reach their full potential and thrive.

Rehabilitation counselors provide guidance and services to individuals with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities. They help these individuals identify job opportunities suited to their needs and abilities, provide job training and coaching, assist in developing job skills, and mentor during job placements.

The job of a rehabilitation counselor is quite varied.

  • They offer counseling services such as cognitive and motivational therapy
  • Realize assessments for determining an individual’s job strengths
  • Oversee job clubs or job readiness programs
  • Coordinate with employers to set up job shadowing opportunities
  • Advocate on behalf of the client to obtain needed social services
  • Funding or education resources
  • Maintain accurate records and reports as required by standards of care
  • Create solutions to emergencies when clients are facing acute personal problems

Most Rehabilitation Counselors have a Master’s degree in Psychology or Human Services related fields; some states may also require licensure. On average, the salary range for this type of job ranges from $40,000 – $60,000 depending on experience, location, educational qualifications, and other factors.

  1. Addiction counselor 

Once you become an addiction counselor, you’ll work with individuals who struggle with substance abuse, helping them identify and cope with their behaviors and make positive life changes.


Your job duties might include developing individualized treatment plans, conducting counseling sessions, assessing risk levels, offering referrals to healthcare providers or other services, providing crisis intervention when needed, coordinating family therapy sessions, organizing support groups, and teaching relapse prevention techniques.

To become an addiction counselor, you’ll need to complete at least a bachelor’s degree in counseling or a related mental health field such as psychology. Depending on the job and state regulations, you may also need to be licensed or certified as a professional counselor.

The average salary for someone in this role ranges from $40,000 – $50,000 annually. Ultimately working as an addiction counselor is a fulfilling job that involves helping others overcome their addictions using education and compassion. Although it can require a time commitment for the required education and licensing processes beforehand, it’s worth considering if it’s something you’re interested in!


If you’re looking for a career in which you can help people overcome their challenges and lead happier, healthier lives, then consider becoming a counselor. There are many different types of counseling majors you can pursue, so no matter your interests or passions, there’s sure to be a perfect fit for you. We’ve highlighted just six of the many available options, but there are countless other possibilities. So take some time to research and find the best program for you.

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