Salary Outlook PhD in Marriage & Family Therapy Degree

Getting your Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy (DMFT) is an excellent educational choice because it can lead to a personally and financially rewarding career. A marriage and family therapist helps couples and families to address the behaviors of all family members and how those behaviors affect each family member but also the entire family.

Some of the physical and psychological problems that are treated by a marriage and family therapist include:

  • Marriage and couple conflict
  • Parent and child conflict
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Grief and distress
  • Eating disorders and weight problems

Marriage and family therapists also work on many mental health problems in the family, such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia, and the ways these problems affect the family. (

Salary Outlook for Psychologists

As you are considering a career in marriage and family therapy with a Ph.D., it is a good idea to look at the general salary outlook for psychologists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS states the median salary for all psychologists in May 2018 was $79,000. The lowest 10% earned $43,800 and the top 10% earned more than $129,000 per year. Professionals with a Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy or psychology would tend to earn at the higher end of the salary range. (

Median annual salaries for specific types of psychologists are:

  • All other psychologists: $100,700
  • Industrial organizational psychologists: $97,200
  • Clinical, counseling and school psychologists: $76,900

Annual salaries for psychologists in top industries are:

  • Government: $96,400
  • Hospitals: $86,500
  • Ambulatory healthcare services: $79,100
  • Elementary and secondary schools: $75,800
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Salary Outlook for Marriage and Family Therapists

The median annual salary for marriage and family therapists is $50,100 as of May 2018. The lowest 10% of marriage and family therapists earn $31,800, and the top 10% earn more than $82,000 per year. (

SEE ALSO: What is a PsyD in Marriage Family Therapy Degree?

Also, median annual wages in this profession vary according to the industry in which you work:

  • State government: $69,900
  • Outpatient care centers: $51,200
  • Offices of healthcare practitioners: $49,100
  • Individual and family services: $44,700 reports the average salary for a marriage and family therapist is $53,500, with a range between $39,000 and $77,000. ( US News and World Report states the median salary in this field is $48,700, with a low of $37,700 and a high of $63,500. (

Salary Increases With Experience

Professionals often choose to earn their Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy, as well as psychology, for two major reasons. First, you generally need a Ph.D. in these related fields to practice on your own. Also, you will earn a higher salary with a Ph.D. and more experience in marriage and family therapy and psychology. reports that a marriage and family therapist will earn a higher salary over time as experience increases. A marriage and family therapist just entering the field will earn a salary of $42,700, while a therapist with one to four years of experience will earn $50,000 per year. A marriage and family therapist with five to nine years of experience will earn $55,000 per year, and a therapist with 10 to 19 years of experience will earn $60,300 per year. (

Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy Outlook

The general employment outlook for psychologists and related fields such as marriage and family therapy is strong. As the US population is growing older, more Americans are seeking help for their mental health, family and personal problems. BLS states that overall employment for psychologists will grow by 14% through 2026. This is faster than average when compared to other occupations. Also, employment of clinical, counseling and school psychologists will increase by 14%, as well. (

SEE ALSO: Online DMFT in Marriage & Family Therapy

BLS also reports the job outlook for marriage and family therapists specifically is excellent. There will be a 23% increase in job demand in this field through 2026, which is much faster than average. (

Growth will occur because of the higher use of integrated care, which is treating multiple health-related problems at once by several healthcare professionals. In the integrated care process, marriage and family therapists work with counselors in substance abuse, behavior disorders, and mental health counseling to deal with the patient’s issues as an integrated team.

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Today there are more than 40,000 marriage and family therapists working in the US. ( Marriage and family therapy was voted as one of the best careers by US News and World Report. Also, membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy has increased to more than 26,000 since 2015. Growth in the marriage and family therapy field is due to greater public awareness of the importance of a healthy family life.

Marriage and family therapists have many exciting career options so there will always be plenty of good work with a solid salary. Common places where marriage and family therapists work with a Ph.D. include:

  • Mental health clinics
  • Social outreach clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Private practice
  • Nursing and residential care facilities
  • Family services
  • Government agencies
  • Schools

The field will continue to grow rapidly, and those with a Ph.D. and more years of experience will have an edge in getting the best jobs in marriage and family therapy. With an advanced degree, you definitely will be in line to have a highly rewarding career where you can help people, and also earn a salary of $70,000, $80,000 and even more.