Master's in Human Resources Counseling: Jobs & Salary

May 31, 2020

A master's degree in human resources counseling can prepare students for advanced positions in education as well as some counseling-oriented careers. We discuss some of the career options for graduates with a master's degree in human resources counseling below.

Related Careers for a Master's Degree in Human Resources Counseling

Job Title Median Salary (2019)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Marriage and Family Therapists $49,610 22%
Mental Health Counselors $46,240 22%
Postsecondary Education Administrators $95,410 7%
School and Career Counselors $57,040 8%
Rehabilitation Counselors $35,950 10%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Career Descriptions

Marriage and Family Therapists

Marriage and family therapists need a master's degree to meet their state's licensure requirements. A master's degree program in human resources counseling that offers an opportunity to specialize in marriage and family therapy should qualify graduates to work in this field. These therapists specialize in providing couples, families or individuals with treatment plans that examine family roles, dynamics and more. Marriage and family therapists also help their clients process personal issues as well as the effects their family and relationships have on their mental well-being. These therapists may need to refer clients to additional community resources and/or address issues including addiction and substance abuse.

Mental Health Counselors

Like marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors need a master's degree - such as one in human resources counseling - and a license to practice. Their jobs are quite similar to marriage and family therapists, but in addition to counseling families, couples and individuals, they may also counsel groups of people or focus their counseling services on a particular population, such as children or the elderly. They help clients address their relationship issues and any emotional or mental issues - like anxiety or grief. They can even help clients learn to cope with hard life circumstances. Mental health counselors may also refer clients to additional community resources as needed.

Postsecondary Education Administrators

Postsecondary education administrators typically need a master's degree. A graduate program in human resources counseling can qualify graduates for administrative positions in student affairs. Postsecondary education administrators in student affairs oversee a wide variety of school functions and activities. Their responsibilities vary greatly depending on the size and needs of their particular institution, but often these professionals manage nonacademic programs for students, which includes scheduling and reserving space for student life and recreational events and/or programs. These professionals may also communicate with parents, advise students and supervise student workers.

School and Career Counselors

Another career that would utilize the counseling and human resources knowledge acquired in one of these master's degree programs is that of a career counselor. Career counselors can work in colleges or other professional organizations to help counsel and prepare clients for future careers. They help clients match their interests and skill sets to potential careers and then help them practice interview skills and prepare resumes and cover letters that are needed to land the job. School counselors at the high school level may also do a little bit of counseling aimed at helping students prepare for a particular major or job after graduation. Individuals interested in working in a high school environment should check with their state licensing board; some require teaching experience for licensure.

Rehabilitation Counselors

Some schools offer graduate human resources counseling programs with specializations in rehabilitation counseling, which could qualify graduates for licensure in this field. Graduates of these programs could be especially qualified to help clients who have a range of disabilities cope with and manage their condition so they can find work and live independently. They may also help their clients find needed resources, such as wheelchairs, and advocate for additional resources and/or employment rights for their clients.

Graduates with a master's degree in human resources counseling can work in several different counseling specialties, depending on their program's area of focus, in addition to pursuing administrative positions in higher education. These careers vary greatly in their median salaries, but are all expected to have positive growth in the near future.

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