ACA Blog

Natosha Monroe
Oct 02, 2012

What Other Jobs Can I Get With My Masters Degree in Counseling?

For many different reasons, Professional Counselors may want to consider an option other than counseling for work. Perhaps, other than opening up one’s own private practice, there are no openings for counselors in their area. Another reason is near and dear to my heart—people who have obtained their graduate degrees and entered the counseling profession specifically to offer services to Troops and their Families find themselves “blocked” from those jobs. Some counselors may simply want to supplement their income, explore a new area of work, or change up routine to avoid burnout. So what are some of our options?

Online Teaching
One line of work that I have found it’s relatively simple to get into if you are an experienced, masters level counselor is teaching. Just about every college in the U.S. (and many other countries) now offers online courses. Since online education is on the rise, this inevitably has created and opened up more teaching positions. I recently read an article about this which pointed out that most schools now prefer to have a large number of adjunct professors on hand (part-time, not tenured staff) because it is more cost-efficient. This being the case, there is a demand for online professors. I currently teach one to two online courses at Stevens-Henager College. This is a college that has been around for over 100 years and is more recently offering more courses and programs online. I just happened to stumble upon this opportunity, but there are many other schools where masters level, experienced professionals would be of value on a teaching staff.

Traditional Teaching
There might also be a college in your area with on-campus positions open. While most major universities will require a doctoral degree, many smaller colleges, technical schools, junior colleges, and community colleges will have undergraduate courses with teaching positions available to professionals with a master’s degree. Many larger public or private high schools have courses in psychology or may even have tutoring positions available.

On that note, online tutoring is another area of work with positions open. Some require special skill sets which counselors might have such as understanding human learning and cognition, or working with special populations. Other companies/sites may just require you to be available at certain hours for students needing a tutor. Included in this would be services which allow students to turn in their papers or work with you “live” online to get feedback on papers. One such service is called SMARTHINKING and I have seen this type of service used at three different universities.

Research is another option. So I can finance and give proper attention to my final year of my doctoral studies, this is actually the line of work I have been in for the past year. I am employed in Washington, D.C. by a consulting company as a researcher. We are working on a project now for the FBI helping them with training needs. Here I get to use what my Professional Counseling masters degree and my International Psychology PhD have taught me—conducting interviews, facilitating focus groups, implementation of human learning and cognition, creating a valid, reliable survey, applying principles of social sciences research methodology, etc. The field of social sciences offers many opportunities for people to assist in research and projects in capacities such as research creation, data collection, statistical analysis, reporting, etc.

Phone Services
Another area of work is in psychology-related phone services and online hotlines. Phone services dedicated to things such as crisis hotlines, suicide prevention, substance abuse prevention, and support lines for other psychological needs are examples of services in need of true counselors. I recently tried out a military-related phone line to see what kinds of services are provided to callers. The person I spoke with was very pleasant to speak with. When I asked what his position/role was, he told me he was a “mental health counselor.” Upon further inquiry, he revealed he had a bachelor’s degree in social work. While he was very nice and had a list of people for referrals, he did not seem to have a firm understanding of psychological needs or different service options. It made me think of how much help a more knowledgeable professional would have been able to offer callers.

Yes, your experience and expertise are valuable commodities! Look into opportunities to share it with others. Write a book, contribute to a magazine, this sort of thing. There are many websites and magazines dedicated to social science-related topics. Write an article and submit it to a newspaper or website or magazine. You may end up being paid to write an article every now and then or you may even turn this into a full-time gig. I have known people to do just that.

Community and Social Services
There are also social services and community services options as well. While traditionally these may be seen as “social worker” positions, professional counselors have a lot to offer as well. Working in facilities and/or programs such as shelters, hospitals, churches, day or overnight camps, and sports and recreation is something you might not think of at first, but it makes sense when you look at the main point: Working with people and improving their quality of life.

International Work and Humanitarianism
And let’s not forget international- and humanitarian-related jobs. Sure, there are organizations such as the Red Cross and Peace Corp. But there are many other companies, groups, and non-profit organizations in need of people to work on various projects. Some of this might be short-term but there are also full-time positions and careers available for sure.

Keep in mind, even if you do not see an immediate opening for a counseling position specifically, there are many other positions for which you are a great fit! Even if you work in a non-counseling capacity, but are part of a team effort in something that benefits individuals and society, isn’t that just as fulfilling? Don’t pigeon hole yourself into only one type of work. Especially if you are in need financially—don’t hold out for one “idealized” or “cookie-cutter” counseling job. Take things that are outside-the-box or maybe even seemingly “below” your education/experience level. Who knows, you may end up loving a completely different line of work or later on more opportunities may present themselves. That seems to be what has benefited me most in my career and has allowed me to do some pretty neat things—I stepped out of my comfort zone, met new people, and got involved in different kinds of psychology-related work. I think richer, more diverse work experience offers opportunities to grow, deepens one’s knowledge, and makes for a well-rounded professional.

Natosha Monroe is a counselor and PhD candidate passionate about increasing Troop access to counseling services. Her blog contents are not representative of the Army or Department of Defense in any way.

Contact Name

Contact Title

Contact Email

Contact Phone

Related Info


  1. 14 Ramona Atkinson 10 Feb
    Georgia requires licensure for many of the positions a counselor would best fit.  I became a counselor to help others gain quality of life.  I am 52 years old and this is a major career change.  I found much of the information I needed to make an informed choice wasn't given me until they had my money and there was no turning back.  Now I just feel despondent and unneeded.  And I would love to help the military but again I must be licensed.  In order to become licensed I must work for agencies whose policies and practices I don't agree with.  I probably will write a book but until then I need to provide for my family.  I have a bachelor's in education so teaching adjunct sounds good but opportunities are few here.  I do appreciate your suggestions and will explore them more.
  2. 13 Cora Pyles 02 Mar


    TCSG only requires a bachelor level for many teaching positions.  If you teach ECE classes, you must be certified as well as have teaching experience.  However, there are many other teaching positions for which you may be eligible and many of these colleges offer an online format.  So, if there is not a technical college near you, you might not have to relocate in order to obtain a job in this area.  Just a thought.  Best of luck to you.

  3. 12 Ruth 30 May
    I would love to provide services to returned troops and actually contacted our local VA who seemed very reluctant to accept even volunteers...and yet I have friends whose son committed suicide while waiting to get mental health help from the VA.  I graduated from a respected state university (Indiana U) that wasn't CACREP accredited until after I graduated.  We moved to NJ, where the board wanted 60 hours instead of 48 and didn't want a nonCACREP school. I had a 4.0, even though I was a mid-40s student having two babies during that time...worked so hard and want so much to help with what I know.   My only option for licensure is to go back to school and get a Specialist degree, so I too am looking for other options.   Thank you so much for this article -- I look forward to your further posts!
  4. 11 Danielle 24 Jun
    I have an undergraduate in Social Work and graduate in Mental Health Counseling and am unemployed.  Been looking for work for 8 months.  No one tells you that you need a license to get a job and a job will not hire you without it and you cannot get it if you do not have a job to get your hours in for the licensed!.  REALLY
  5. 10 Joyce L. Blakey 02 Sep
    Thank you.  I found this information to very useful.  I can understand what some of my colleagues are speaking on, but if we all remember that this is our "Passion" and God will give us all that we need to serve his people.  Just ask.  Be Bless.
  6. 9 Carolyn Kelly Barney 28 Oct
    Please tell me if I can hang a sign in front of my home in rural CT. saying "youth and family counseling" or some such.???  I have been a counselor in Public schools and have a Masters in Guidance and Counseling K-12.  Would this be illegal in any way?? I really feel there is a need for counseling from  other than the $150.oo per session Psychiatrists that are common here in CT. I really would love an answer from someone who knows!! Thanks!
  7. 8 S. 08 Nov
    Before I even get a masters in counseling, should I reconsider?  The job options I pictured do not sound that great after reading this.  How difficult is it to obtain licensure?  I already have a Ph.D in another area of psychology but I really wanted to learn how to conduct therapy because it sounds like a better fit for me, but on the other hand it sounds foolish to add a $90000 debt when I haven't had a chance to work with my Ph.D yet...
  8. 7 Ryan 24 Dec
    I wanted to share my thoughts on the article. I am currently in school to obtain my license professional counseling degree. I understand the frustration about not being able to counsel without a license, but this is what I am attempting to complete, my license! I hear too many excuses from many of those who shared on the site. I know I am not out of school, however it was clear to me I needed supervision hours to obtain my license. I am unsure what other jobs I can do outside of working as a counselor, but I know if serving those in the way counselors are called to serve then God will lead those called to places where they are needed in a great way. Maybe some who have followed this path might need to reconsider the counseling field as a career. Thanks 
  9. 6 Art 25 Mar
    I have worked in community agencies but hightailed it out as soon as I saw how bad the conditions were.  I've mainly worked in higher education advising, learning and counseling centers and now work for a graduate university of health sciences as a therapist for the students.  If a person is unlicensed and looking for work that will qualify for their supervised hours, consider looking at higher education but realize you may need to pay for your supervision if you are working in an advising center.  You will also have to check with your state board to see if they consider the work applicable.  Be mindful of the number of years you have to meet those hours.  A part-time counseling gig with another position may be the answer but make sure you are watching those hours or you may run out of time.  Be mindful too, if you plan to move to another state, know what the requirements are for the state where you want to live eventually and make sure you meet THEIR standards.  I got licensed in Arizona when the standards were lower that many other states.  I cannot move to another state and get licensed there without completing more supervised hours.  Because I was initially supervised by a psychologist, I was told in Missouri that I would have to repeat ALL supervised hours because they require an LPC applicant be supervised by an LPC only. 
  10. 5 Katie 23 Apr
    I have a master's in Professional Counseling and my deep desire is to work as a full time counselor in a traditional office setting.  
    After graduating from school, it took me 4-5 months to find a job in the field. I applied to probably 100+ positions and went through about a dozen interviews before I got my first paid job in the field.  I became an independent contracting therapist with a company that provides in home therapy services to  children and adults. 
    Initially,  I worked a lot with young children,  something my education and internship experience did not prepare me for.
    After several months, I felt stressed and ineffective with many of my young clients. I decided to then to work primarily with teens and adults.  This worked fine for a while, but eventually my caseload got too low to live off of.
    I was able to obtain a second job on an as needed type basis. I got hired by the hospital I have interned at during my master's program.  
    After juggling 2 jobs for 5-6 months where I had no set schedule, I recently got close to having my own mental health breakdown, resulting in having to take 2 weeks off for medical leave. 
    I am currently about 6 months away from having enough supervised experience to receive my license as a lmhc.
    I have learned a lot from my experience.  The time between degree and license is extremely challenging.  If you don't take care of yourself it will kick you in the butt.   

  11. 4 Andrea 04 Jun
    I have a Master's in Clinical Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling.  I got my degree late in life.  I thought I would be able to get a job in the counseling field and work toward licensure.  Well, 8 years later, I am still looking.  I work in the school system as a para.  What can I do at this point?  I seem to get very close to getting jobs but then I am passed over after the second interview.  I am sure it is lack of experience.   How can I get the experience.  Hate to waste all of that hard work I put into the Degree.
  12. 3 Rebecca 26 Jun
    This is a bit disheartening to read. I am approaching my 56th birthday and am in my last year of CMHC masters program. It makes me thing I made a mistake. I hope this is not true in the end.
  13. 2 Katherine 06 Aug
    I have found that right out of graduate school I had to take a job that I never thought i would: substance abuse counselor. After three years in the field I am a program director of two facilities and have a whole new appreciation for the substance abuse field. My advice is to take the first job that is offered to you, gain experience, and use it to become more desirable in the field. It will happen! Mental health field is definitely challenging however it is growing and I believe our future is bright.  
  14. 1 Ed 29 Sep
    Wow, I was just thinking about this very topic today when I was on my way home from work.  I am finishing my degree in Human Services soon, and I will be starting my Masters degree in counseling psychology next fall.  I was in the Navy for four years and remember what it was like when I was in, and when I got out.  Things are so different on the civilian side of things and once I am licensed, I plan on offering free counseling services to active military and veterans.  God bless you and you have me hooked on your goal of making these services available to the military! 


  1. RadEditor - HTML WYSIWYG Editor. MS Word-like content editing experience thanks to a rich set of formatting tools, dropdowns, dialogs, system modules and built-in spell-check.
    RadEditor's components - toolbar, content area, modes and modules
    Toolbar's wrapper 
    Content area wrapper
    RadEditor's bottom area: Design, Html and Preview modes, Statistics module and resize handle.
    It contains RadEditor's Modes/views (HTML, Design and Preview), Statistics and Resizer
    Editor Mode buttonsStatistics moduleEditor resizer
    RadEditor's Modules - special tools used to provide extra information such as Tag Inspector, Real Time HTML Viewer, Tag Properties and other.
Join Now

  • Learn more about your specialty—join a division
  • Maximize your Professional Development
  • Stay ahead of the educational learning curve
  • Advocate for the counseling care of tomorrow
  • Expand your networking connections
  • More Member Benefits