Salary, Wages, Pay: Counselors


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Median annual earnings of educational, vocational, and school counselors in 2002 were $44,100. The middle 50 percent earned between $33,160 and $56,770. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,930, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $70,320. School counselors can earn additional income working summers in the school system or in other jobs. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of educational, vocational, and school counselors in 2002 were as follows:

Elementary and secondary schools $49,530
State government 45,480
Junior colleges 43,250
Colleges, universities, and professional schools 36,990
Individual and family services 26,910

Median annual earnings of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors in 2002 were $30,180. The middle 50 percent earned between $24,350 and $37,520. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $19,540, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $45,570.

Median annual earnings of mental health counselors in 2002 were $29,940. The middle 50 percent earned between $23,950 and $39,160. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $19,760, and the highest 10 percent earned more than 50,170.

Median annual earnings of rehabilitation counselors in 2002 were $25,840. The middle 50 percent earned between $20,350 and $34,000. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $16,840, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $44,940.

For substance abuse, mental health, and rehabilitation counselors, government employers generally pay the highest wages, followed by hospitals and social service agencies. Residential care facilities often pay the lowest wages.

Median annual earnings of marriage and family therapists in 2002 were $35,580. The middle 50 percent earned between $26,790 and $44,620. The lowest 10 percent earned less than 20,960, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $59,030. Median annual earnings in 2002 were $29,160 in individual and family social services, the industry employing the largest numbers of marriage and family therapists.

Self-employed counselors who have well-established practices, as well as counselors employed in group practices, usually have the highest earnings.








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