dcsimg

Online Associates Degree in Counseling

Associate degrees in counseling can prepare you for entry level assistant positions in different arenas, such as substance abuse, criminal justice, student affairs, rehabilitation or career counseling. Associate degrees can also provide the foundation to continue for a higher degree, which is required by most states to become a licensed counselor.

Earning associate degrees in counseling

In addition to general education classes, associate degrees in counseling may cover basic and group counseling; crisis intervention; research; ethics; social and cultural diversity; psychology and sociology; intake, assessment, reporting, and record-keeping; and referral and consultation with other professionals.

At the bachelor's and master's levels, you generally find more specialized education. Bachelor's degrees in counseling are rare; most aspiring counselors major in psychology, education, social work or sociology. Some colleges offer combined bachelor's to master's degree programs in counseling psychology.

The American Counseling Association considers the master's degree to be "entry level preparation for qualification as a professional practitioner," so this degree offers the best opportunities for licensed counselors. Master's and doctoral specializations reflect your career objectives -- mental health counseling or school counseling, for example.

Different doctoral degrees are available for careers in leadership, supervision, training, research or teaching. The Doctor of Philosophy in counseling or psychology emphasizes research and clinical training; Doctor of Psychology has an emphasis on clinical practice; and a Doctor of Education in counseling psychology focuses on the practical application of research to the counseling practice.

Counseling career options, outlook and salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment growth of 21 percent overall for counseling careers, 2010-2020, with an increase of 34.4 percent in the health care and social assistance sector. The BLS reports a wide range of median annual salaries for 2010, as shown here:

  1. Educational, guidance, school and vocational counselors: $53,000
  2. Mental health therapists or substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors: $38,000
  3. Social and human service assistants: $28,000

Qualifications for social and human service assistants vary, according to the BLS, and some employers prefer an associate degree or a bachelor's degree. The Department of Labor notes that 45.9 percent of substance abuse counselors have a master's degree, with other counseling careers showing similar statistics. Although master's degrees generally require supervised in-person training, you can do much of the academic work online as you start your journey toward a career in counseling.

Featured Online Counseling Degree Programs

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • There's still time to apply to Grand Canyon University and pursue your education. Learn more today!
  • Study on your schedule - GCU offers many programs 100% online to fit your busy lifestyle.
  • GCU offers a variety of opportunities to reduce the cost of furthering your education. Campus students may qualify for scholarships, while online students can take part in limited special offers.
  • A regionally accredited university, GCU also holds specialized accreditations and approvals for some of our core program offerings.
  • Degrees in business, education, nursing, humanities and social sciences, theology and more. Find the degree that fits you.
  • Talk to us today to learn more about financial aid and start dates!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found

An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so what you’re learning is immediately applicable to your career. Right now, more than 36,000 students are expanding their opportunities with Capella programs.

  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Associates Liberal Arts Degrees
Online Degree Programs