Online Counseling Degree

Helping those in need is always a fulfilling act, especially when helping those that are struggling to navigate mental challenges on their own. Luckily, mental health resources have only become more affordable and accessible as time goes on, especially with the rise in distanced therapy and remote counseling solutions that have appeared online. Counselors are extremely skilled in looking at situations from all perspectives to provide healthy coping mechanisms to their patients that may be struggling with mental illness, trauma, substance abuse, or stressful life events. Becoming a counselor is an exciting career choice, with numerous educational requirements to fulfill before seeking a position as a counselor within the mental health field.

Earning a counseling degree online has never been simpler. With all the same benefits as traditional counseling or psychology programs, pursuing an online degree allows students to curate their schedule to their personal needs and earn an education on their own time. Online counseling students will develop the skills needed to properly guide their patients while also gaining the resources and strategies to sufficiently navigate client challenges. In this article, we’ll explore online degree programs that can help in the pursuit of becoming a counselor, as well as the career outlook for those who complete an online counseling degree.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Counseling Degree Online

The time it takes to earn a counseling degree online will vary based on the level of degree being achieved as well as the individual course load, as part-time learners may take a bit longer due to their unique schedule. Generally, it’s not possible to begin practicing after graduation without a master’s degree in an applicable field such as counseling or psychology. After earning their master’s degree, students will typically obtain governmental licensure by passing either the National Counselor Examination or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination in the state of their choosing. This certification allows counselors to begin legally practicing and strengthens a resume when seeking positions within the mental health field. Typical online master’s of counseling degree programs take approximately two to three years to complete after having earned a four-year bachelor’s degree. 

It’s not possible to become a counselor without first earning a degree from an accredited university. Online counseling degree programs boast many of the same benefits of in-person instruction with increased course flexibility and a unique self-paced curriculum. Most counseling programs will feature courses that cover topics of clinical psychology, personality disorders, applied social sciences, behavior management, and counseling strategies. Graduates of a successful online counseling program will be equipped to enter the mental health field with the proper tools and strategies to properly help their clients navigate life’s trials.

Earning a bachelor’s degree in counseling is the first step in earning the experience needed to become a licensed counselor. While most employment opportunities will require a master’s degree, a bachelor’s degree is a requirement for these master’s programs and allows students to become familiar with the foundations of clinical psychology as well as earning the general education requirements to complete a degree. Typically, most online bachelor programs will take around four years to complete, with some accelerated programs available to online students that wish to further streamline their education experience.

Students with a passion for social services and counseling will be thrilled to learn of the skills and resources to be gained in the bachelor of science in psychology program at Greenville University. This 100% online program is designed for student flexibility and helps students gain the theoretical and practical knowledge to think critically within a clinical environment and counseling scenarios. With expert instructors with years of professional experience, this online counseling bachelor’s program is the perfect first step in earning the requirements needed to pursue a master’s degree later on.

To take the proper examinations and begin legally practicing, aspiring counselors must earn their master’s degree in an applicable field such as counseling or clinical psychology. Typically, earning a master’s degree can take two to five years to complete, but there has been an increase in accelerated programs that allows online students the ability to earn their master’s in as little as 18 months. While getting a bachelor’s degree helps students gain the foundations for successful counseling, it’s more so a step toward earning a master’s degree to become qualified for employment opportunities and optimize earning potential.

Pepperdine University’s online master of arts in clinical psychology program is a valuable option for those looking to eventually receive licensure and begin practicing as a counselor. Whether students wish to help couples and families or work with those struggling with substance abuse, this master’s program is a great choice for students looking to earn practical work experience and gain the skill set needed to confidently enter the workforce as a mental health resource. With personalized staff support and an innovative online format, Pepperdine University is a reputable choice amongst those looking to prepare for the counseling field.

The highest level of education an aspiring counselor can obtain is their doctorate or Ph.D. in counseling. Earning an online Ph.D. in counseling is a popular option amongst practicing counselors that wish to apply for higher positions of leadership or perhaps desire to teach in an academic setting as a professor but also want to maintain current professional development. Most online doctorate or Ph.D. counseling programs take between three to seven years to complete, so the self-paced nature of the program is helpful when choosing to earn this degree.

Regent University’s Ph.D. program in counseling and psychological studies is perfect for those looking to make a change in their communities outside the traditional professional reach of counseling. With a strong focus on research, psychometrics, and statistics, this Ph.D. program properly prepares graduates for broadened professional opportunities and advanced career development. Regent’s unique online program allows working professionals the chance to earn their Ph.D. in a flexible format that allows their schedules to support both academic and personal goals.

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Potential Careers with Public Administration Degree

Due to the vast and expansive nature of the public administration field, there are countless career opportunities for public administration graduates to consider and take to their advantage. Needed in a variety of industries, public administration jobs can vary strongly based on the field of interest. Some of the most popular careers for those with a public administration degree include:

 Substance Abuse Counselor

 Marriage Counselor

 School Counselor

 Social Worker

 Grief Counselor

 Mental Health Counselor

 Career Counselor

 Family Counselor

 Pediatric Counselor

Average Salary with Counseling Degree

The average salary of those with an online counseling degree will vary based on a few factors, such as the level of degree achieved, location of practice, and years of experience. The average starting salary for counselors will also depend on the specialization, as certain areas of counseling require more unique job requirements. To get an idea of how these salaries can fluctuate, let’s explore some of the annual salaries for those common counseling positions.

Substance Abuse Counselor $41,000
Marriage Counselor $52,900
School Counselor $57,800
Grief Counselor $42,500
Mental Health Counselor $49,000
Career Counselor $57,800
Family Counselor $52,926

Best College for Counseling Degree

People become counselors because they have a passion for helping others and for figuring out solutions to complex social challenges and problems. Graduates of these accredited online counseling programs will obtain their degree having earned the technical skills and knowledge needed to create an environment that encourages patient communication and properly strategize with patients to help them accomplish their goals within a treatment plan. The best college for an online counseling degree will vary depending on the student’s professional goals and course preferences, with a variety of online programs that can both accelerate the process of earning a degree or offer increased flexibility within a part-time course load. Explore some of these reputable online counseling degree programs listed above and sign up for email newsletters to stay in the know regarding counseling program updates and highlights. You’ll be one step closer to beginning a lucrative and rewarding career as a counselor.

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