Job prospects in counseling vary greatly based on the specialty and state, but for Virginia projected growth rates are positive across the board. Annual growth rates for several counseling specialties are increasing at higher rates than the 1.6% annual growth rate for all occupations in Virginia statewide, according to the Virginia Workforce Connection website, Virginia.gov. This website projects marriage and family therapist positions to increase by 4% annually; substance abuse and behavioral disorder counseling jobs by 3%; and mental health and rehabilitation counseling positions by 2.8% each.
Economists point to increased mental health services for children, adolescents and families as one reason for greater demand. Additionally, job losses and a changing economic environment require counselors to help people retrain, and mental health counselors to work with individuals and families cope with economic changes. And as society becomes more knowledgeable about addiction, it is common for people to seek the help of counselors and therapists.
If you want to become a counselor and help others adjust to the demands of changing social and economic conditions, or if you desire to help those struggling with addiction and other emotional disorders, you may want to get started by requesting information about relevant degree programs from some of the schools listed below.