Employment: Counselors

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Counselors held about 526,000 jobs in 2002. Employment was distributed among the counseling specialties as follows:

Educational, vocational, and school counselors 228,000
Rehabilitation counselors 122,000
Mental health counselors 85,000
Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors 67,000
Marriage and family therapists 23,000

Educational, vocational, and school counselors work primarily in elementary and secondary schools and colleges and universities. Other types of counselors work in a wide variety of public and private establishments, including health care facilities; job training, career development, and vocational rehabilitation centers; social agencies; correctional institutions; and residential care facilities, such as halfway houses for criminal offenders and group homes for children, the elderly, and the disabled. Some substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors work in therapeutic communities where addicts live while undergoing treatment. Counselors also work in organizations engaged in community improvement and social change and work as well in drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs and State and local government agencies. A growing number of counselors are self-employed and working in group practices or private practice. This growth has been helped by laws allowing counselors to receive payments from insurance companies and the growing recognition that counselors are well-trained professionals.

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