MFT Degrees, Schools, and Careers in North Dakota
Currently, there are no marriage and family therapy (MFT) programs in the state of North Dakota that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). Moreover, there are no programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) that include an emphasis on couples and family therapy.
However, this does not mean that there are no educational opportunities for individuals hoping to become marriage and family therapists. In particular, the doctoral program in Couple and Family Therapy offered by North Dakota State University indicates on its website that it plans to apply for and meet COAMFTE-accreditation standards in the next three years.
Online MFT Degrees in North Dakota
There are no programs based in North Dakota that offer online programming or an online-only degree, but it is important to note that lack of ND-based online schools does not mean interested students cannot pursue MFT studies on an online basis. Indeed, COAMFTE has recently begun to accredit online-only organization, and both Capella University and Northcentral University offer masters- and doctoral-level educational experiences that provide students with enhanced flexibility in pursuing their career of choice. Students can take online courses at a pace of their choosing, and then pursue clinical experience and internships in their locale.
Learn more about an online MFT degree.
MFT Accreditation in North Dakota
Within the state of North Dakota, the licensing process for MFTs is regulated by the North Dakota Marriage and Family Licensure Board (NDMFTLB), which was established by the state legislature in 2005. According to the requirements outlined on the application for licensure, the NDMFTLB requires that future MFTs receive a degree from either a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) or a program accredited by accrediting body recognize by the Counsel for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), provided that the program offers specific MFT coursework outlined by the state.
The term “accreditation” simply refers to a process through which a graduate education program is recognized by an outside organization as meeting specific, minimum requirements for education. In the field of MFT, the main accrediting organization is COAMFTE; however, there are a number of other accrediting bodies related to the more general field of counseling. Although a student can attend a non-COAMFTE-accredited program, it is not guaranteed that outside programs will meet the educational requirements specified by the NDMFTLB. In addition to attending an accredited institution, students are required to complete 1,500 post-graduate, supervised clinical hours (2,000 total, but 500 can be completed in graduate school), and take a state and national test that gauges student knowledge of essential MFT theories and knowledge.
Career Opportunities for MFTs in North Dakota
Opportunities for MFTs across the country are plentiful; national estimates indicate job growth of around 20 percent for the profession over the next decade! In addition to increased opportunity for employment, national surveys, such as that conducted by the U.S. World and News Report, indicate high levels of job satisfaction and flexibility for the profession of MFTs and note it as a favorable job in the field of social sciences. Specifically within North Dakota, there are currently 170 MFTs employed, which is higher than expected given the population of the state.
The mean wage for MFTs in North Dakota is $46,080, which is slightly lower than the national mean salary; however, taking into account the cost of living in a given state, current salaries for MFTs in North Dakota appear favorable. Nonetheless, it is important to note that the particulars of a given MFT salary will depend on the setting in which a therapist works. MFTs can work in private practice, governmental organizations at the local, state, and national level, hospitals, residential treatment centers, and schools, among others. Learn more about the ND MFT license requirements.
Marriage and Family Therapists Salary in North Dakota
Table data taken from 2014 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211013.htm)