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30 Highest Paying Counseling Jobs and Careers

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Updated: March 18, 2024, Reading time: 13 minutes

highest paying counseling jobs and careers

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The counseling field offers a variety of professional opportunities for everyone. Traditional hospitals, mental health institutions, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, or aided housing facilities are the most common environments of the counseling and therapy industry. Also, the private sector offers employment opportunities to prospective candidates.

The majority of counseling occupations require a college degree, extended hours of clinical practicum or internships, and certifications. Salaries are directly related to having an undergraduate or graduate degree.

For some with a burning passion for the job, wages are only a secondary factor for fulfillment. Lifestyle, interest, work conditions, and work benefits are just some of the aspects that influence prospective candidates’ preferences while exploring career opportunities.

highest paying counseling jobs
Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Top 30 Highest Paying Counseling Jobs

Conflict Resolution Counselor

Conflict Resolution Counselors help bring those conflicts together. They help both parties look at all sides of the argument and reach a level of resolution without resulting in further damages or litigation. They help parties examine their current positions and guide them to decide on a mutually beneficial outcome to the conflict.

In the corporate field, mediators resolve problems with employees that may impact business productivity and success. They help reduce time and cost during trial procedures in the right setting, especially with marital and family difficulties.

Conflict Resolution Counselor Salary: $64,030/year

Licensed Professional Counselor

Licensed Professional Counselors provide different kinds of support services to their patients. They are highly trained professionals who provide emotional, mental, and physical care for people suffering from anxiety, abuse, addiction, and depression.

LPCs work with individuals, families, or groups of people, providing treatment that aligns with their difficulties. They work either in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, or community health organizations.

Licensed Professional Counselor Salary: $64,239/year

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors are professionals who work with people with severe and permanent disabilities that impact their personal and professional lives. They work with these patients and develop their abilities to help them live more active lives and secure gainful career opportunities.

Vocational Rehabilitation Salary: $62,973/year

School Counselor

School counselors work mainly with students’ educational endeavors, ranging from academic performance to career selection, social adjustments, and development. They help students remain in a well-adjusted environment so that they are prepared for their future life.

School Counselor Salary: $64,140/year

Career Counselor

Career Counselors provide consulting, coaching, and counseling to individuals so that they can discover their interests and passions. They help their clients prepare for gainful employment, career change, professional advancement, and development.

They conduct aptitude tests, personality exams, and other testing fundamentals to help their clients towards a more fulfilling and rewarding career.

Career Counselor Salary: $60,140/year

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers provide learning and instructions to young students in basic subjects like reading and writing, preparing them for future schooling or education.

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher Salary: $61,620/year

Special Education Teacher

Special Education Teachers work with students who have learning disabilities as well as physical, mental, and emotional difficulties. They integrate general education subjects for students with mild and moderate disabilities.

However, they teach the fundamental skills of communication and literacy to students with more complex disabilities.

Special Education Teacher Salary: $62,950/year

Marriage Counselor

Marriage Counselors help married couples manage and cope with problems and challenges involving their marriage life. They conduct helpful dialogues to facilitate a more peaceful and understanding series of communication for couples, assisting them on how to resolve their conflict without resentment and further damage.

Marriage Counselor Salary: $56,570/year

Family Counselor

Family Counselors often help families discuss a variety of issues. They open lines of effective communication between family members, enabling them to discuss topics and argue more effectively.

They help children feel more secure, loved, and comfortable in their homes despite the challenges that arise.

Family Counselor Salary: $50,370/year

Social Worker

Social Workers help people solve and manage their problems in their daily lives. They work in child welfare and human services agencies, community development corporations, mental health clinics, hospitals, and settlement houses.

Social Worker Salary: $55,350/year

Community Health Workers

Community Health Workers gather data and discuss health concerns within the society or community. They formulate health programs and preventive care to improve the lives of everyone involved in the community in terms of their health and overall well-being.

Community Health Workers Salary: $49,900/year

Guidance Counselor

Guidance Counselors are commonly found in a school setting; however, they do not primarily work with helping students with their development. They also work with young adults with professional advice and help students of different ages and backgrounds adjust socially to the school environment.

Guidance Counselor Salary: $60,140/year

Mental Health Counselor

Mental Health Counselors provide assessment, diagnosis, and treatment plans for common mental health issues. They work with individuals of all ages who are having challenges in managing their mental health.

They conduct cognitive behavior therapy, counseling, trauma-based therapies, and psychotherapy.

Mental Health Counselor Salary: $50,278/year

Substance Abuse Counselor

Substance Abuse Counselors provide counseling and support to people who are working through substance abuse such as drug abuse or alcoholism. They create lifestyle changes and treatment plans for their patients, enabling them to live healthier lives.

Substance Abuse Counselor Salary: $49,710/year

Behavioral Counselor

Behavioral counselors help people of different ages develop more socially acceptable habits that can increase their capabilities to progress and live their lives normally.

Behavioral Counselor Salary: $49,710/year

Child Abuse Counselor

Child Abuse Counselors have rewarding professional lives that provide help to victims of severe child abuse, rebuilding and regaining their trust, self-esteem, and happiness. They identify, analyze, and treat symptoms of child abuse, providing essential therapy to help the child overcome their awful or traumatic experience.

Child Abuse Counselor Salary: $49,710/year

Depression Counselor

Depression Counselors deal with patients who have emotional, mental, and physical difficulties that are caused by depression. They provide a diagnosis of the root cause of depression as well as provide necessary treatment or medication.

Depression Counselor Salary: $49,710/year

Pediatric Counselor

Pediatric Counselors use special techniques and methods to analyze and provide treatment to young children in need of help and support. They provide guidance and intervention that are important for children who have experienced general difficulties, safety challenges, autism, and traumatic life events.

Pediatric Counselor Salary: $49,770/year

Grief Counselor

Grief Counselors are licensed therapists who assist individuals in managing and cope with their grief and sense of loss after the death of a loved one. They help clients deal with grief as they continue to live their lives and be productive members of a community.

Grief Counselor Salary: $42,500/year

Geriatric Counselor

Geriatric Counselors provide diagnosis, analysis, counseling services, and treatment to the elderly. They are experts and knowledgeable of common mental health issues that are known to impact the elderly community or seniors.

Also, they help seniors who live in residential facilities and nursing homes live fulfilling and comfortable lives.

Geriatric Counselor Salary: $49,710/year

Veteran Counselor

Veteran Counselors provide help to the veterans and military with a myriad of emotional, social, or mental health challenges that can happen in patients who have experienced combat.

These professionals help their patients examine and identify the root cause of their issues and guide them to adjust to a more traditional life by assisting them in managing and treating the problems.

Veteran Counselor Salary: $39,990/year

Pastoral Counselor

Pastoral Counselors work within religious communities and are a product of the belief that therapy and healing can be combined with faith and science. They tend to the emotional and physical needs of their congregations, helping followers with numerous afflictions such as abuse, anxiety, depression, substance issues, and family issues.

Pastoral Counselor Salary: $36,000/year

Rehabilitation Counselor

Rehabilitation Counselors treat patients with physical, emotional, social, and mental issues so that they can live their best lives independently. They undergo training and education to help patients understand, manage, and cope with their disabilities.

Rehabilitation Counselor Salary: $51,954/year

Social and Human Service Assistants

Serving the community, Social and Human Service Assistants provide family support in the psychology, social work, and rehabilitation fields. They collaborate with social workers, and they assist their clients in finding benefits or community services.

Social and Human Service Assistants Salary: $41,600/year

Preschool Teacher

Preschool Teachers care for and educate children ages five and below who have not yet enrolled in kindergarten. They teach motor, language, and social skills to young children, preparing them for kindergarten education.

Also, consider the field of Special Education to be a source of assistance to the young ones.

Preschool Teacher Salary: $35,330/year

Transformational Counselor

Transformational Counselors provide healing and treatment through spiritual healing, self-improvement, and life purpose. They integrate traditional psychological knowledge with alternative healing methods to help patients find a greater sense of purpose, passion, excitement, and peace.

Transformational Counselor Salary: $164,765/year

Teacher Assistant

Teacher Assistants work under the supervision of teachers to provide students with additional attention and instruction.

Teacher Assistant Salary: $30,920/year

Spiritual Counselor

Spiritual Counselors help patients who have suffered spiritual dissatisfaction and crisis, enabling them to get in touch with their spirituality, understand what is bothering them, and overcome these issues.

These professionals integrate an in-depth understanding of psychology with spiritual beliefs behind their patients’ difficulties so that they can live happy and gratifying lives.

Spiritual Counselor Salary: $60,180/year

Recreation Worker

Recreation Workers work with groups in fitness and recreational facilities, summer camps, nursing care institutions, and other settings, designing and leading activities such as sports, arts and crafts, music, and games that activate people’s healthy lifestyles. Art therapy is a great way to assist children.

Recreation Worker Salary: $31,680/year

Childcare Worker

Childcare workers attend to the needs of children, including bathing, overseeing them, feeding them, and dressing them. Also, childcare workers help younger children prepare for kindergarten and assist older children with their studies and assignments.

Childcare Worker Salary: $28,520/year

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a Counselor and a Therapist?

A counselor is a professional who provides guidance and support to individuals facing personal or emotional difficulties. They typically help individuals cope with specific issues or challenges in their lives, such as relationship problems, work stress, or grief.

Counselors may also provide practical advice and techniques to manage these issues. A therapist, on the other hand, is a mental health professional who helps individuals manage and improve their overall mental and emotional well-being.

They are trained to assess and diagnose mental health disorders and provide counseling and psychotherapy to individuals with a wide range of mental health concerns, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, or addiction.

Therapists may use various treatment modalities, such as talk therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or family therapy, to help their clients address their mental health concerns.

In summary, counselors tend to focus on specific issues and provide practical support and guidance, while therapists specialize in mental health and work with individuals on a deeper level to improve their overall well-being.

However, the terms “counselor” and “therapist” are sometimes used interchangeably, and the specific roles and responsibilities of these professionals may vary depending on their training, education, and licensure.

What are the characteristics of a Counseling environment?

The characteristics of a counseling environment include:

How stressful is being a Counselor?

Being a counselor can be quite stressful at times. As counselors work closely with clients who may be struggling with personal issues and traumas, they may often feel overwhelmed or emotionally drained.

Additionally, counselors may have a heavy workload, dealing with multiple clients and their issues on a daily basis. This can lead to burnout and compassion fatigue.

Furthermore, counselors may face challenging and difficult situations where they must make tough decisions or handle crisis situations. This can be mentally and emotionally taxing, as they are responsible for the well-being of their clients.

Some counselors may also experience stress from the pressure to maintain confidentiality and ethical standards, as well as meet the expectations of their clients, employers, and regulatory boards.

Overall, the level of stress in counseling can vary depending on the individual and their specific job responsibilities, but it is generally considered to be a high-stress profession. It is important for counselors to prioritize self-care and have a strong support system in order to manage and reduce stress levels.


In conclusion, a career in high paying counseling jobs can be a rewarding and fulfilling choice for individuals who have a passion for helping others and a desire to make a positive impact in people’s lives. The demand for counseling services continues to grow, creating a wide range of job opportunities in various industries such as healthcare, education, and private practice.

With competitive salaries and the potential for advancement, a counseling career not only offers financial stability but also personal and professional growth. The work done by counselors plays a crucial role in promoting mental health and well-being, making it a highly valued profession.

Overall, for those seeking a meaningful and financially stable career, pursuing a high paying counseling job may be an excellent option.

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