5 Careers for a Ph.D. in Counseling Graduate

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Updated March 19, 2021

Ph.D. in Counseling Careers

  • Postsecondary Psychology Teacher
  • Postsecondary Education Administrator
  • Mental Health Counselor
  • Social Worker
  • Private Practice

If you're a student who plans to seek your Ph.D. in Counseling, then you are on the right track for a bright future that will allow you to enjoy a rewarding and successful career as a leader in your field. You'll have many choices open to you in various careers that fall under the headings of academia, administration and clinical practice. These are just a few of the top career choices where your degree can take you.

Resource: Top 10 Online Doctoral Programs in Counseling

1. Postsecondary Psychology Teacher

When you choose this popular career, you can expect to teach courses in several areas of psychology that include developmental, clinical and child psychology along with all aspects of psychological counseling. Depending upon the particular position that you accept, you may dedicate yourself to only teaching or combine teaching with serious research that leads to the publishing of various scholarly papers and books. With your Ph.D. in Counseling, you'll be qualified to teach at both public and private colleges and universities at either the undergraduate or graduate level.

2. Postsecondary Education Administrator

Those who seek employment as a postsecondary education administrator will be prepared for a career in a distinguished leadership position that requires attention to such responsibilities as overseeing student services, academics and faculty research at both colleges and universities. Those with their Ph.D. in Counseling may find rewarding work specifically overseeing counseling services or as a director of career counseling at any postsecondary institution of learning.

3. Mental Health Counselor

This career choice will allow you to work closely with those who are dealing with various issues that contribute to poor mental health. You may expect to spend your days offering emotional and psychological support along with the proper guidance to individuals, families, couples or even entire groups of people who are dealing with problems that negatively affect their overall well-being. You'll encourage your clients to discuss the emotions that they're feeling and the experiences that they feel have affected them negatively, and you'll provide them with the proper ways to define their goals, make a successful plan for positive action and gain helpful insight throughout the therapeutic process. You may expect to find work in a public or private practice as a professional counselor.

4. Social Worker

Many students who have earned their Ph.D. in Counseling and want to have a positive impact on the lives of children, adults and families have gone on to become social workers for public, government and non-profit, social-welfare agencies. Your degree will qualify you for a career with the Department of Social Services in any state, and this will give you the opportunity to intervene and create a positive outcome for children and families in need. You may also find rewarding work through a position at a hospital, within the prison system or at drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers.

5. Private Practice

While you would do well to gain some practical experience with any of the career options mentioned above, your Ph.D. in Counseling will qualify you to open your own counseling business. If this is one of your primary goals, then you'll want to plan to offer counseling services based upon your particular counseling niche. You may choose to offer services to couples in need through marriage counseling, concentrate on counseling children who have emotional and behavioral problems or counsel adults who are dealing with substance-abuse issues.

Since there are multiple career opportunities in every state that are open to those who earn their Ph.D. in Counseling, students should have no concerns about finding gainful employment in this field. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that these types of jobs are growing and offer excellent earning potential.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Master's in Psychology Degree Programs

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