MFT Degrees, Schools, and Careers in New Jersey
Those hoping to pursue a career in MFT in New Jersey can expect to have a number of excellent opportunities and good wages in the state, as the state has some of the highest employment rates for MFTs! Interestingly, even though different organizations in the state employ many MFTs across different industries and settings, there are only two accredited, MFT-specific degree program within state lines, as outlined below.
Individuals seeking to pursue a career in marriage and family therapy (MFT) in New Jersey have only one option to choose from in terms of programs that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation on Marriage and Family Education: Seton Hall University in Orange, New Jersey. Seton Hall offers two different programs in MFT that may be more or less appropriate depending on the student’s needs: first, they offer a Master’s of Science program that is more traditional in structure, comprised of 60-credits in coursework providing a foundation in the theory of MFT and 500 hours of applied clinical work and 100 hours of direct supervision. Seton Hall’s program is one of the only programs in New Jersey that offers a dual focus on MFT and addictions treatment. Students generally take around 3 years to complete the program. The Educational Specialist program (Ed.S.) is intended for those students that have already completed a master’s program in a related field but would like to re-specialize in MFT. The structure and length of this Ed.S. program can vary depending on the goals and background of the student in question, but the 39 credits of coursework meets COAMFTE requirements.
The College of New Jersey also offers a 60-credit Master of Arts degree in Counseling with a specialization in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling and Therapy (MCFCT). The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational programs (CACREP) and students who complete this program will have met the educational requirements for licensure as both a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in New Jersey.
Online MFT Degrees in New Jersey
There are two schools that offer accredited online Master’s degree and PhDs in Marriage and Family Therapy to students from New Jersey, unfortunately neither of the programs are offered by state-specific universities. Capella University and Northcentral University are both accredited by the COAMFTE and while Capella only offers an online Master's MFT degree, Northcentral offers two programs, a Master’s degree program and a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy. Both of the programs are accredited.
Both of these are accredited by one of the two primary accrediting bodies in the space. It is important to understand, especially when researching online degree programs, that checking for accreditation is important and can mean the difference between a worthwhile investment and a worthless one. Accreditation implies that the educational offerings by these schools is in line with what is required by the licensing board of New Jersey.
Learn more about an online MFT degree.
MFT Accreditation in New Jersey
Individuals seeking to be a licensed MFT in New Jersey must fulfill given educational requirements set forth by the government of New Jersey. These requirements state that an individual must receive a degree in MFT or a closely related field from an accredited institution. Institutions are considered accredited if they meet certain educational standards put forth by a given organization; within MFT, the main accrediting organization is the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) through Association of American Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT). It may be the case that an individual has a degree in a related field, such as social work, from an institution accredited by another organization such as CACREP. If this is the case, the individual is still eligible for licensure, as long as they can document that they have received the necessary prerequisites in MFT coursework and have completed at least two years of marriage therapy.
Career Opportunities for MFTs in New Jersey
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that nationally, MFT jobs are expected to increase in the next decade at a rate higher than other, related professions, which is promising for those hoping to be employed in this industry! New Jersey has the 2nd highest number of MFTs employed of any state in the nation, second to only California. According to the BLS, there are more than 4,500 professional MFTS employed across the state and the annual mean wage for MFTs in New Jersey is $74,420. This is much higher than the national average, which is $53,520, and is, in fact, one of the higher average annual salaries for a professional MFT in the entire country.
Overall, it is likely that individuals that wish to be licensed and work in New Jersey will have a wide range of opportunities for their place of employment, including private practice, offices of other health professionals, hospitals, residential care facilities, and child day care services, among others. The specific salary that an MFT will make will depend on the setting and the area in which they would like to work. Read more about the NJ MFT licensure requirements.
Marriage and Family Therapists Salary in New Jersey
|Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ||$53,510||$56,010||$70,870||$83,180||$91,310|
|Camden, NJ Metropolitan Division||$55,560||$63,870||$72,750||$82,560||$94,650|
|Edison-New Brunswick, NJ Metropolitan Division||$55,440||$63,320||$71,990||$80,660||$93,820|
|Newark-Union, NJ-PA Metropolitan Division||$55,330||$64,770||$73,100||$82,250||$94,670|
Table data taken from 2016 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211013.htm)