Becoming a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist in Alaska

How to Become a Marriage Family Therapist in Alaska

Marriage and family therapists are licensed mental health providers who work with families, couples, and individuals. Where a mental health therapist typically only works with an individual to overcome their personal mental health issues, a marriage family therapist adds a family centered perspective to the treatment that they provide, even if it is just for an individual. The marriage family therapist evaluates the roles of each family member and work with the individual members of the family to understand how the family setting may be affecting their mental health.

There are certain requirements you’ll need to meet to become a licensed marriage family therapist (LMFT) in the state of Alaska.

Educational Requirements for a Marriage Family Therapist License in Alaska

To become an LMFT in Alaska, you’ll need to first earn a master’s degree or doctorate degree from a program offered at an accredited institution. The board recognizes programs that include these curriculum components (9 semester hours is equivalent to 12 quarter hours:

  • 9 semester hours of course work in marital and family therapy
  • 9 semester hours of course work in marital and family studies
  • 9 semester hours of course work in human development
  • 3 semester hours (4 quarter hours) of course work in professional ethics and law
  • 3 semester hours (4 quarter hours) of course work in research

You can be sure your program meets these and other general national standards by choosing  a degree accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) or the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

MFT Educational Track Education Requirements Education Length Available Programs
Undergraduate Work Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Counseling 4 Years Online or Campus
Graduate Work Earn a Master's Degree in Counseling 5-6 Years Online or Campus
PHD or Doctoral Work Earn a Doctorate in Counseling 7-8 Years Online or Campus

Individuals who want to become an LMFT but whose professional and personal obligations make attending in-person classes difficult will appreciate the growing number of accredited marriage and family graduate programs offered in a hybrid/blended or online format.

Read about MFT degrees in Alaska.

If you already hold a master’s degree or higher in another field like social work, psychology, psychiatric nursing, or ministry, you may also satisfy the educational requirements for licensure in Alaska by completing a post-graduate training program in marriage and family therapy.

Experience Requirements for Marriage Family Licensure in Alaska

Once you graduate, you’ll need to complete at least 3,000 (about two years) hours of supervised experience.

Experience requirements include at least 1,700 hours of direct clinical contact with families and couples. At least 200 hours must be supervised, including at least 100 hours of individual supervision and 100 hours of group supervision.

The state also requires verification that you have completed at least six contact hours of training in domestic violence. You can complete this training through your degree program, complete a course that’s offered through the Alaska or American Association of Marital and Family Therapy, or complete a seminar, mini-course, or workshop that’s offered in the fields of law, behavioral sciences, medicine, ethics, and other disciplines.

Additional Requirements for Marriage Family Therapists in Alaska

Once you’ve completed the educational and experiential requirements, you can apply for licensure through the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development’s Board of Marital and Family Therapy and pay the $1,250 initial licensure fee (may also be paid after successfully passing the exam) and $350 application fee.

Once your application is approved, the Department will give you the green light to schedule to take the national exam through the Association of Marital & Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB). You’ll earn state licensure to practice as an LMFT in Alaska once you pass the AMFTRB.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Career Outlook In Alaska

As of May 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a median salary of $51,340 for Alaska’s marriage and family therapists and a top salary (90th percentile) of $92,930.

Between 2019 and 2029, the national projected growth rate in this profession is impressive, at 22%. During this ten-year period leading to 2029, the country will see about 7,900 annual job openings among LMFTs due to a combination of new job growth, retirements, and natural job turnover.

Research Additional Psychology Professional Licenses Granted by Alaska

In addition to familiarizing yourself with the education and licensing requirements to become an LMFT, you can begin to explore the LMFT career. Now may also be a good time to get acquainted with the licensing requirements and earning potential of similar careers in Alaska:

  • Learn how to become a psychologist in Alaska: Requires a PhD or PsyD; clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Alaska earned a median salary of $80,990 as of May 2020, while those with considerable experience in the profession earned salaries that reflected earners in the 75th – 90th percentile: $101,750 - $124,340.
  • Learn how to become a licensed counselor in Alaska: Requires a master’s degree with a focus in the specialty; Alaska’s substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors earned a median salary of $58,040 as of May 2020, while the profession’s top earners (75th – 90th percentile) earned about $77,520 - $96,150.
  • Learn how to become a social worker in Alaska: Requires a master’s in social work; as of May 2020, Alaska’s child, family, and school social workers earned a median salary of $57,540, and the state’s mental health and substance abuse social workers earned a median salary of $51,120. The highest earners (90th percentile) in these social worker categories earned $81,740 and $89,300, respectively, during this time.

May 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and job market trends for marriage and family therapists, clinical, counseling and school psychologists, substance abuse, behavioral disorders, and mental health counselors, child, family, and school social workers, and mental health and substance abuse social workers. Figures represent state data, not school specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed May 2021.

State job growth projections for marriage and family therapists sourced from the U.S. Department of Labor-sponsored O*Net database (2018-2028).

MFT Degree Programs Accepting Students from Alaska