Professional counselors are practitioners who are trained in mental healthcare to help a variety of people deal with mental illnesses, cope with loss or grief, work through addiction or unhealthy coping mechanisms, and offer guidance to clients seeking their services.
What is an Online Master’s in Counseling Program With No GRE Required?
When you study to earn your master’s in counseling online, you will gain the skills and knowledge to understand the biology and psychology behind mental health issues, as well as the ability to work in a clinical setting to treat patients or clients. Counseling clients can be wide and varied, and their needs can differ vastly, as well. Some counseling clients seek advice for dealing with a difficult relationship; others struggle with a severe addiction they need help to overcome. A master’s in counseling gives you the base ability to handle a wide range of problems or issues.
In order to work in a clinical setting, counselors must earn their master’s or specialized degree in the field. When you choose to study counseling post-secondary school, you can ultimately use your degree to help others. Counselors work in an array of settings, and you can choose the one that’s best for you, whether that’s a school, a community health clinic, a hospital, or another facility.
When people earn a degree in counseling, they may choose to earn their degree online. One great thing about online programs for a master’s in counseling is that many of them do not require you to take the GRE for admission. This means that you can be admitted based on your experience, expressed interest, previous grades, and goals. Earning a master’s degree online and without having to study for a difficult admission test is incredibly convenient. You can keep a current job and take a schedule of courses that allows you to study and work at the same time. Alternatively, you may choose to do some schooling in person and some online, in a hybrid setup. Today, counseling students who want to be clinicians can even see and train with clients virtually, thanks to the emergence of online video conferencing or therapy software during the pandemic.
As a master’s student in counseling, study from the comfort of your own home without having to move to campus or endure a long and stressful commute. Earning an online master’s in counseling also makes it easier to spend time with your family because school happens at home, where your most important people are waiting when you’re done for the day.
How Much Does an Online Master’s in Counseling Degree Cost?
No two online master’s in counseling no GRE programs cost the same amount. Students pay based on the number of credits they take and also based on things like the reputation of the institution and the specializations it offers, etc. If you are planning to get your online master’s in counseling, you’ll have to pay the tuition to cover the credits required to graduate. Ultimately, students can expect to pay anywhere between $18,000 to $44,000 for their degree, since each credit costs between $400 and $740 and programs usually require somewhere between 45 and 60 credits to graduate.
Average Salary for an Online Master’s in Counseling
Counseling is a field that requires a graduate degree. It is also an area where practitioners are in great demand right now. So, if you earn your online master’s in counseling and have a career in counseling, your salary will depend on the career you choose. Counselors who work with substance abuse, behavioral disorders, and mental health issues earn $47,660 per year on average. Counseling professionals who work in school settings, as either guidance counselors or career counselors, can expect to earn $58,120 per year on average. The amount you’re paid also depends on your employer and whether you work for a private or public institution—or, whether you decide to open your own private practice as a self-employed professional.
Counseling is a broad field, and professional counselors work to help people in their community, at schools, and throughout organizations. They often serve people in need who can’t afford other care and don’t have resources. Some of the most popular positions for people who earn an online master’s in counseling include school counselors, career counselors, substance abuse counselors, rehabilitation specialists or administrators, mental health counselors, and community health educators. Each of these jobs varies in salary, all based on the amount of experience you have, the type of client you serve, and your employer. The annual salaries for careers in these fields are usually above $40,000 per year.
Jobs that require more specialized knowledge and hands-on training may have a higher salary than general mental health or school counselors. These positions include behavior health counselors who work with difficult conditions, like eating disorders or personality disorders, or with specific populations, like children with behavioral disorders, etc.
What Is the Job Outlook for Online Master’s in Counseling Holders?
The good news is that this field is growing incredibly rapidly. So, once you get through your online master’s program and are licensed or certified (if necessary), there will likely be a position open for you.
COVID changed the landscape of counseling because people learned to use their digital devices to connect with mental health clinicians. This means that more individuals are seeking counseling than ever, and your skills and abilities will be in demand. Enter into this professional field with confidence that you can start working quickly. Experts predict that between now and 2029, the field will grow by 25%. That’s a huge expansion in counseling needs and services.
One other unique aspect of earning an online master’s in counseling is that you also can launch your own private practice, and you don’t have to wait for anyone to employ you (once you’ve gone through all the requisite training and certification). So, besides a continual need for more trained professionals in the industry, you’ll also have the chance to create your own position and treat the clients who seek treatment from you.
If you get your degree in counseling, you may hold one of the following jobs:
- School Counselor: School counselors come across students with various issues such as behavioural problems, addictions, and social disorders. They may also come from abusive backgrounds and may be victims of bullying. These counselors aim to work in collaboration with parents, teachers, and the student, to determine the cause of poor performance in school. They provide academic guidance, career guidance, and work towards helping students succeed with their social and professional goals.
- Mental Health Counselor: These counselors work with people dealing with various anxieties and phobias. They offer support to people with emotional, social, and mental health issues. Jobs can also be found in more niche areas like working specifically with young children or older patients. Mental health counselors can work in different institutes, such as hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, correction centers, and social service centers.
- Marriage and Family Therapist: There is an increasing need for family therapists who aim to resolve relationship problems within families. The issues needing resolution can vary from substance addiction to behavioural issues with the children, and is often the result of communication gaps between family members. These therapists observe, diagnose, and help rectify the interpersonal problems within the family unit.
- Substance abuse counselor / treatment professional: These professionals offer guidance, evaluation, and subsequent treatments for substance abuse. This could be addiction to shopping, gambling, over-eating, or the over-use of drugs and alcohol, etc.
- Counselor for behavioral disorders: Patients with behavioral disorders need a lot of understanding and care. These disorders include ADHD, PTSD, OCD, depression, and anxiety. The patient’s physical, emotional, and mental health need to be checked in order to find the appropriate course of action for treatment. Behavior problems could be varied and result from heredity issues, malnutrition, or could be caused by physical accidents leading to brain damage. It could also arise from divorce in the family or lack of a disciplinarian approach with children. Counselors are hired to identify the specific issue and set realistic recovery goals, which could include therapy and medication.
- Career counselor: Helping direct students in the right career path is a unique skill which career counselors are trained to deliver. They assist students in correctly assessing their abilities and area of interest, guiding them to effective career information resources. They formulate a plan along with the student to draw up and achieve set career goals.
- Life coach: People needing counseling are usually lacking in confidence of their abilities and skills. Life coaches help them identify their individual prowess and gifts, and assist them in using these to succeed in their lives. Once their confidence increases, they will be assisted to improve various facets of their personal and professional lives.
- Teacher of other aspiring counselors: Counselors who have completed their degrees and have gained considerable working experience are eligible to teach student counselors. They offer aspiring counselors relevant support and expert advice which is helpful in furthering their professional skills and paving a solid career foundation.
- Community health counselors: Working to protect the health and safety of the larger community, these counselors maintain an open dialogue with various groups and individuals. They offer expert guidance working in mental health institutions, rehabilitation facilities, and local prisons.
- Mental healthcare advocates: Mental health advocates aim to increase general public awareness of the value of good mental wellbeing. They share their personal stories and testimonies in order to encourage others to seek help and realize that they have support.
- Couples or relationship counselor: Couples therapy, which is also known as relationship counseling, is a popular stream of counseling. The stress couples go through every day plays a major role in broken relationships. These therapists help couples understand the root cause of conflict, evaluate steps to arrive at a compromise, and resolve the issue in the best possible way for all concerned parties. They also provide continued guidance for a change in relationship interactions.
- And many, many more.
Courses in Online Master’s in Counseling Degree Programs With No GRE Required
Luckily, you don’t need a GRE when you apply to schools that offer online master’s degrees in counseling. When you begin your program, you can immediately dive into the subjects or topics that are interesting and helpful for you.
When you study for your online master’s in counseling degree, you will take a curriculum that covers a wide variety of topics related to mental healthcare, psychology, human development, and communication. Classes cover everything from how to use cognitive-behavioral therapy as a technique to interacting with children as a counselor in a school setting.
Here are some courses you can expect while earning your online master’s in counseling. Besides taking classes, you’ll also have many opportunities to train with actual clients or patients in a clinical setting, with supervision and feedback.
- Interventions for school counseling settings
- Group counseling
- Management of school counseling programs
- Multicultural counseling
- Introduction to clinical mental health counseling
- Counseling with diverse populations
- Mental health counseling approaches and interventions
- Child counseling
- Adolescent counseling
- Principles of Integrated Addiction and Mental Health Counseling
- The treatment of Behavior Disorders
- Social Justice in Systemic Family Therapy
- Clinical Interventions for Grief
- Clinical Interventions for Trauma
- Impact of Addiction on Family Systems
- Assessment of Addiction
- Ethical and Legal Issues in Addiction Treatment
- Group Therapy in Addiction Treatment
- Human growth and development
- Case conceptualization
- And many more
Soft Skills essential for a Good Counselor
Besides the knowledge, qualifications and practical experience gained post the online counseling course, there are certain inherent qualities which are characteristic of an ideal counselor and ensure the graduate is ready to build a solid foundation to their career.
· Interpersonal and active listening skills: Counselors need to have excellent listening skills, trying to understand the feelings of the clients from their body language, tone of voice and overall conversation. They need to know the right time to offer advice and when to just lend their client a quiet and calm listening ear and a shoulder to lean on. This will help them with setting appropriate goals that they can guide their client on, in order to achieve success.
· Empathy, compassion, and an understanding attitude: A counselor needs to demonstrate the ability to understand and client’s feelings and share their grief. It is important to be able to build strong communication and rapport with clients. They need to sense the level of care and comfort you provide. In order to effectively resolve the problem at hand, you need to put yourself in their shoes and understand the issue from their point of view, even if you don’t agree with or relate to it.
· Open-mindedness: Being judgemental can work to the detriment of a counselor. It is important to be open-minded to anything the client says and to avoid re-acting defensively. A client should be confident enough to feel that they can share any private worries or information with you and you will offer objective advice. They should feel encouraged to share their issues and given the confidence that a suitable resolution will be found.
· Discretion: All client information needs to be maintained in confidentiality. This will help build the client’s trust in your services, and eases the path for effective communication and resolution of problems.
· Patience: Patience is the hallmark of a good counselor. Clients may take a while to see things from your point of view. It is best to discuss steps towards resolving issues in a calm and composed manner, devoid of prejudice.
· Resilience: A counselor comes across different types of people and with varying temperaments. Resilience is an important characteristic to be able to cope with highly stressful and emotional situations which may arise.
FAQs on Online Master’s in Counseling
- Program length is at least two years, but some students take five years.
- Thanks to remote video therapy, you can do the entirety of your training online.
- Become a general mental health counselor or specialize in a more specific issue.
- Counselors connect with people and do incredibly meaningful work.
- Everyone needs counseling, so counselors can choose the clients they connect with best.
- Counselors can start their own private practice once they’re ready, and they don’t have to wait to get hired.
- The cost of the program can differ based on its reputation, required credits, etc.
- If you are a completely online student, there are associated costs, like an internet connection and a dependable computer.
- Some schools that offer online master’s in counseling are incredibly affordable, while others are pricey. The variety gives you options.
|University Name||Program’s Name||GRE Required?|
|Adams State University||Master of Arts – Counselor Education||Not Required|
|Arkansas State University||Master of Science – Education – School Counseling||Not Required|
|Bradley University||Master of Arts – Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling||Not Required|
|Bradley University||Master of Arts – Counseling – Professional School Counseling||Not Required|
|Campbellsville University||Master of Arts – Education – School Counseling||Not Required|
|Liberty University||Master of School Counseling||Not Required|
|Loyola University Chicago||Master of Education – School and Community Counseling||Not Required|
|Messiah College||Master of Arts – Counseling||Not Required|
|Messiah College||Master of Arts – School Counseling||Not Required|
|New York University||Master of School Counseling||Not Required|
|North Carolina State University||Master of Education – School Counseling||Not Required|
|Northcentral University||Master of Science in Educational Psychology||Not Required|
|Our Lady of the Lake University||Master of Arts – Counseling||Not Required|
|Purdue University Global||Master of Science – Educational Psychology||Not Required|
|Southern New Hampshire University||Master of Arts – School Counseling||Not Required|
|St. Bonaventure University||Master of Science – School Counseling||Required for Applicants With Below a 3.0 GPA|
|University of Denver||Master of School Counseling||Not Required|
|University of Massachusetts – Boston||Master of Education – Counseling||Not Required|
|University of Southern California||Master of Education – School Counseling||Not Required|
|Walden University||Master of Science – School Counseling||Not Required|
|Widener University||Master of Counselor Education||Not Required|