Becoming a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist in Illinois

A marriage family counselor is a person that meets with families and listens to any concerns that each member of the family may have. The family therapist will then offer strategies for affection, compromise, and communication as a way to prepare the foundation of the relationships at hand.

In the state of Illinois there are several steps that a person must take before they can become licensed to practice marriage and family therapy in the state. The procedures rarely change for becoming a therapist in Illinois, but it is a good idea to contact the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation in order to make sure that you are on the right track. Below is an outline of the requirements for licensure as a marriage family therapist in Illinois.

Education Requirements for Marriage and Family Therapists in Illinois

The first step in becoming a licensed marriage and family therapist in the state of Illinois is to acquire your bachelor’s degree. Recommended fields of study for your undergraduate degree include psychology, sociology, counseling, or a related field. In order to become licensed as a family therapist in Illinois you must then obtain your master’s degree from an accredited institution.

MFT Educational TrackEducation RequirementsEducation LengthAvailable Programs
Undergraduate WorkEarn a Bachelor's Degree in Counseling4 YearsOnline or Campus
Graduate WorkEarn a Master's Degree in Counseling5-6 YearsOnline or Campus
PHD or Doctoral WorkEarn a Doctorate in Counseling7-8 YearsOnline or Campus

After you have earned your undergraduate and master’s degree you will need to complete 3000 hours of supervised work. Of these 3000 supervised hours, 1000 of the hours have to be in direct contact with clients. In addition, 350 of these 1000 hours with a client must be with a single client who is present for therapy sessions and 350 hours must be in direct contact group therapy. All of the required hours must be supervised. Supervisors must be approved by the state of Illinois.

Read more about Illinois MFT Degrees.

Additional Requirements for Marriage and Family Therapists in Illinois

Once you have completed the requirements for your undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as the required supervised hours for your practicum you can then apply for your license to practice family therapy in the state of Illinois. You will need to include all of your education certification along with professional and clinical experience with your application. The Board will then need to approve your application.

Once your application has been approved you will be able to sit for the state licensing examination. The fee for this examination is $100. In order to obtain your license you will need to pass this examination. The licensing examination is given four times a year in January/February, May/June, August/September, and October/November. The exams are held for a period of three weeks. To register for the first examinations of a New Year the application is due by the middle of November. The deadline for the May/June examination is in March, the deadline for the August/September examination is in June, and the deadline for registering for the October/November is in August.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Career Outlook In Illinois

Overall, the job outlook for those looking to become a marital counselor or family therapist is very good. This is one field where the expected growth rate for jobs is higher than average for all other careers. There are expected to be 41% more jobs created in the field from 2010 through 2020. The main reason for this expected growth is that insurance companies are likely to begin paying for these services within the next few years.

In the state of Illinois in 2010 there were 330 licensed family therapists in the state. The average salary for marriage counselors and family therapists in the state of Illinois was $40,180. The national average salary for this position was $38,150 as of May 2010.

Research Additional Psychology Professional Licenses Granted by Illinois:

Schools with MFT Degree Programs Accepting Students from Illinois