The average salary for a Christian Counselor ranges from $30,000 to $50,000 per year. Counselors who work for churches or other religious organizations may earn less than those who work in the private sector.
How much does a Christian Counselor Make?
A career as a Christian Counselor can be extremely rewarding. Not only do you get to help people, but you also get to share the love of Jesus with them. However, one question that many people have is how much does a Christian Counselor make?
The median salary for marriage and family therapists was $48,000 in 2016. The lowest-paid earned less than $25,000, while the highest-paid made more than $92,000. Child therapists earn a median wage of $37,500; those who work for psychiatric hospitals make the most ($54,780). Youth counselors earn a median wage of $34,820.
How Many Types of Christian Counselors are there?
There are several types of Christian Counselors. Each type of counselor has its own area of focus.
- Marriage – Marriage counselors help couples strengthen their relationships and resolve conflict.
- Family – Family therapists focus on the dynamics of family relationships. They may work with individuals or groups of family members together to address issues such as divorce, grief, communication problems and relationship challenges.
- Child/Youth – Child Counselors treat children and adolescents who have a variety of emotional disorders including depression, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder and substance abuse problems through individual therapy sessions or group counseling activities. Youth Counselors are responsible for addressing both physical mental health needs while providing guidance in educational areas like school curriculum choices that will best meet students’ goals after graduation from high school; financial literacy skills required when managing money at college-age levels; how to avoid risky behaviors such as alcohol use before
- Family – Parenting counselors help parents learn better parenting skills and how to cope with the stresses of being a parent.
- Financial – Financial counselors help people manage their money, deal with debt and plan for their financial future.
- Career – Career Counselors assist individuals in exploring career options and making decisions about education and work. They also provide guidance on how to search for jobs, write resumes and cover letters, network, and interview for a position.
- Rehabilitation – Rehabilitation counselors help people who have physical or mental disabilities live as independently as possible. They may work with clients individually or in groups to identify the best services and resources to meet their needs.
- Church Leaders – Church Leaders counsel members of the congregation on spiritual issues such as faith crises, marital problems, parenting challenges, depression and other mental health concerns.
- Addiction – Addiction Counselors help people who are struggling with drug or alcohol abuse. They provide support and guidance to recovering addicts through individual or group therapy sessions so they can avoid relapse into heavy drinking or substance use habits again in the future.
- Mental Health – Mental health counselors diagnose mental illnesses, treat them by providing psychotherapy for individuals experiencing depression, anxiety disorders like panic attacks;
Christian counselors can make a lot of money, depending on their experience and location
Just like all professions, the salary for Christian counselors varies.
Christian counselor salaries depend on experience and location, just like any other career path.
The average salary for a clinical psychologist is $80,000 per year according to glassdoor.com statistics from 2017-2018.
A clinical psychologist with less than one year of experience can make an average of $75,000 whereas someone with more than 20 years of experience in their field can make over $100,000 per year as a clinical psychologist. This is not factoring in private practice opportunities which have no earnings ceiling based on years of experience or education level attained (PhD vs PsyD).
Most Christian Counselors work for Churches or other Religious Organization
The majority of opportunities for Christian Counselors are through full-time employment. More than half of these opportunities are in the Church, which can be a great place to work if you want to minister alongside pastors and other ministry leaders.
Source: U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
The BLS reports that 80% of Clinical Pastoral Therapists are employed by religious organizations such as Churches, Synagogues, and other types of religious institutions like retreat centers or seminaries where they can perform their religious duties as well.
Some Christian Counselors also work in Private Practice.
Many Christian Counselors chose to go into private practice. Many private practices are run by Christian Counselors and often have a team of other counselors working with them. That is why it is important to note that not every counselor who works in private practice, makes their religious beliefs known or even offers counseling services from a Biblical perspective.
It’s also possible for therapists who aren’t licensed as Christian counselors but still choose to work within the community and offer biblical-based counseling services alongside other professional psychological therapeutic methods. This may be because they do not wish to be formally acknowledged as being part of the Christian Counseling industry, or simply because they don’t meet the requirements needed to become certified under this profession.
They usually charge by the hour and many times they offer a sliding scale fee depending on the client’s income.
In setting up in private practice all the skills needed for running a business will be required, and this can be a daunting prospect for some.
Many Christian counselors are well trained in psychological counseling methods as well as being Biblically grounded which makes them great candidates to work in private practice.
In the past many of these therapists started out working within a church setting before they felt confident enough to go into Private Practice or enter into full-time ministry. Some may still choose to offer their services on an outreach basis too whilst working privately during office hours.
Counselors who Specialize in Marriage and Family Therapy often make the Most Money.
- Mental Health Counselor. $38,752.
- Mental Health Therapist. $40,622.
- Substance Abuse Counselor. $34,341.
- Marriage and Family Therapist. $43,485.
- School Counselor. $45,738.
- Guidance Counselor. $47,808.
- Career Counselor. $40,983.
- Rehabilitation Counselor. $40,565.
How Much Schooling (College) is Required?
Counselors must earn a four-year undergraduate degree, and typically a master’s degree, in order to begin their practicum. The undergraduate degree can be in any area of study, but most counselors have majored in psychology, social work, or education.
Many Pastors / Preachers have training in Counseling
Ministering to a group of people as a Pastor is much different than providing one-on-one counseling.
However, many Pastors and Preachers have training in counseling which equips them with the basic skills needed to help people within their congregations.
If you are interested in becoming a Christian Counselor, it is important that you find an accredited program that will provide you with the necessary education and training.
There are many great schools that offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology, social work, or theology which will give you a strong foundation for this industry.
Final Thoughts – How much does a Christian Counselor Make?
The above salaries will rise as time goes on. Generally, they do not command the highest salaries, many people chose to serve others in this way. Salary is not the first consideration.
The best way to get an accurate salary is by contacting your local church or private practice and asking them about their hiring process. You may be able to find out what type of training they require for employees as well as how much experience you need in order to apply for a position there.