Many people pursue a PhD in counseling after they have worked in their field for some time to gain some professional experience. There are different types of counselors and depending on your area of expertise and your past degrees, the requirements for attaining a PhD will be different. The Doctorate Level of academia is as high as you can go and affords the person who has attained this level some significant benefits, in addition to being able to put a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) behind your name. Part of the Bachelor or Master of Arts program is preparing for this test, although most people have attained their Master’s degree before they strike out on their own. From the time you receive a Bachelors degree to the time you get your PhD can take between 3 and 8 years.
Counseling Psychology Education and Training
Most people in the field of counseling are already working when they begin to pursue their PhD in counseling. This degree can be attained if you are working by using an alternative educational resource such as an online university. As you go through each degree level, your focus becomes more focused. By the time you begin pursuing your doctorate, you have identified a specific area of counseling that you are going to pursue and the entire program is very focused on that particular area.
An individual who wants to be a counselor normally majors in Social Sciences. Attaining a PhD in counseling will be easier if the major has been chosen from the time you enter college. Besides the educational requirements for Counseling, an individual must intern, or work as a counselor in a structured mentoring environment for a specific length of time before they are allowed to take the State required test to be certified as a counselor.
PhD students can focus on areas such as counseling psychology, clinical psychology, and counselor education. In most cases, online counseling PhD programs, counseling psychology degrees, and clinical psychology degree programs are listed as PhD degree programs or Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree programs. Counselor education programs are offered as Doctor of Education (Ed.D) or Ph.D. programs. Various doctorate degrees in counseling including:
- PhD – Doctor of Philosophy in psychology or counseling
- PsyD – Doctor of Psychology
- EdD – Doctor of Education
The majority of courses taken during the doctoral program are related to your disseration, as well as foundational courses that are pertienent to your career. The thesis will be specifically related to your area of expertise and is written to prove that you are an expert in that area. As a Doctor of Philosophy candidate, you will be able to teach your subject and you will be able to receive the highest pay rate in that area.
In addition, your opportunities for jobs with universities, research facilities, or private organizations will become open for you. Course requirements are varied but may include research design and metholology, Leadership in Counseling and Counselor Education, Family Systems Theory, Appraisal Techniques, Seminar in Psychopathology, Social Bases of Behavior, Biological Bases of Behavior, Cognitive-Affective Bases of Behavior, and more.
Counseling Psychology Careers
A doctorate in counseling opens more career opportunities, especially in government agencies, educational, non-profit and human resources jobs. An Online counseling PhD gives you more versatility in your private practice and also provides you with in-depth knowledge and expertise in a specific area of counseling psychology. PhD in counseling degrees leads to specializations in areas that include:
- Community Counseling
- Christian Counseling
- Psychological Assessment
- Multi-Cultural Counseling
- School Counseling
- College Student Development
- Marriage and Family Therapy
- Clinical Counseling
- Professional School Counseling
- Educational Assessment
- Psychometric Assessment
Programs also prepares professionals to work in non-clinical positions in the field of psychology counseling including:
- College teaching
- Case Management
- Community Relations
- Mental Health Services
- Social Work
- Human Services
Estimated Income and Projected Career Outlook
The salary for a PhD in counseling varies greatly. This is due to the fact that most of these counselors open their own offices and often have a varied stream of income. As a recognized expert in your area of study, you may want to provide consultative, training and presentations to professionals or private individuals.
As a speaker and presenter, a PhD can garner up to $25,000 per engagement with per diem paid as part of your fee. The average salary for a person with a PhD in counseling is between $50,000 and $100,000 per year depending on the area where you are working and the type of counseling you provide.
As with all careers, counselors have been affected by the economic downturn and will begin to be in more demand when the economy self-corrects. However, there is a strong need for counselors in the areas of child development, special needs and social services.
The most fragile citizens are often worst affected by the economy and the need for counselors grows. Therefore, pursuing an PhD in counseling will allow you to position yourself for those areas that will have the greatest growth in the future, or be a part of the solutions for individuals in need at this time.
Counseling Doctorate Programs
- Bachelor of Science in Psychology program helps students prepare for careers in counseling, marketing/sales, ministry, and more.
- The School of Psychology & Counseling received a 95% match rate for 4th year Psy.D. student internships in 2015.
- Programmatic accreditation for psychology programs is provided by the American Psychological Association (APA).
- Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision
- Several institutional scholarship opportunities are available to students who qualify.
- Features several learning model options, including online, residency, and hybrid options.
- Offers graduate degree programs in organizational leadership, mind-body medicine, psychology and human science.
- Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
- Two teaching locations in Seattle, Washington with the university headquarters located in Oakland, California.
- Ph.D. Psychology
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