MFT Degrees, Schools, and Careers in Oklahoma
Unfortunately for those looking for a diverse set of options, students interested in pursuing a degree in marriage and family therapy (MFT) in Oklahoma have just one accredited option through which to do so. The one program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education is Oklahoma State University, which offers a Master's degree in the subject. The 60-63 credit-hour course includes 500 in-person therapy hours as well as at least 100 hours of clinical therapy that is directed supervised by a licensed and professional MFT. The published graduation rates and job placement rates are all exceptional and the school takes its real-world experience very seriously.
There are similar programs accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Program (CACREP), but none of these programs offer a MFT specialization. There may be some overlapping coursework but be sure to check with each school and program individually because the program may not be designed to help students pass the official MFT licensure exam.
Online MFT Degrees in Oklahoma
There are a number of online MFT programs across the country but not all of them meet requirements for licensure in Oklahoma, so it is important to do your homework, especially when it comes to online degree programs. Although Oklahoma is somewhat more relaxed than other states when it comes to explicitly stating what accrediting bodies are acceptable, the laws do require that those applying for licensure have first earned a graduate degree from a regionally accredited university recognized by the U.S. Board of Education.
Only two online MFT programs have received accreditation of the Commission for Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE): Capella University, which offers a Master of Arts degree in MFT, and Northcentral University, which offers both a Master of Science (M.S.) and a PhD. Neither of these programs is based in Oklahoma, students are eligible for licensure so long as they ensure that the clinical practicum opportunities they complete fulfill state requirements in terms of hours and supervision.
Learn more about an online MFT degree.
MFT Accreditation in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, the State Board of Behavioral Health and Licensure is in charge of accrediting MFT degree programs. MFTs-in-training must attended earn their degree from a "regionally accredited" university according to state laws and the only recognized accrediting body for marriage and family therapy is the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).
There are benefits to attending a school that has received COAMFTE accreditation, including licenses that are easier to transfer across state borders, well-recognized education that has been unanimously approved and many more. There are other accrediting bodies, some of which may qualify under Oklahoma rules and regulations. However, students should be sure to not only check to see if and by whom the program is accredited but also if the program itself is designed to prepare students for licensure.
Career Opportunities for MFTs in Oklahoma
Going by just raw numbers, the landscape for professional Marriage and Family Therapists in Oklahoma is not particularly inspiring. There are currently only about 370 professional MFTs employed across the state according to May of 2015 data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Also, these professionals only earn an average salary of $37,410, far below the national average of $53,000.
However, it is important to take into the account the cost of living, especially in Oklahoma, where the cost is not nearly as high as it is in states like New Jersey or California. Also, the data is somewhat misleading because salary can depend greatly on location and employer. For example, in Oklahoma, MFTs in and around major cities like Oklahoma City and Tulsa make considerably more than ones in the rural areas. Also, the BLS notes hospitals, religious organizations, and state government organizations made considerably more than MFTs working in other areas.
The Oklahoma Association for Marriage and Family Therapy is a good resource for students looking for more local licensure and employment information in Oklahoma. Learn more about OK MFT license requirements.
Marriage and Family Therapists Salary in Oklahoma
|Oklahoma City, OK||$16,820||$19,450||$35,730||$46,320||$87,340|
Table data taken from 2014 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211013.htm)