Becoming a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist in Minnesota

How to Become a Marriage Family Therapist in Minnesota

Marriage and family therapists are state licensed mental health professionals who provide evidence-based, solution-focused therapies for individuals, couples, and families. The work of marriage and family therapists is done within the context of the family. It addresses relationship dynamics and is designed with clear goals in mind that can usually be achieved in a relatively short period of time.

Minnesota’s licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs) work in a variety of mental health settings, including major health systems like the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, governmental agencies like Central Minnesota Mental Health Center in Saint Cloud, and private mental health centers like the Minnesota Center for Psychology in Saint Paul.

If you want to learn how to become a marriage and family therapist in Minnesota, you’ll want to start with looking into education and state licensing requirements:

Educational Requirements for Marriage Family Therapists in Minnesota

To become an LMFT in Minnesota, you’ll need to earn a master’s or doctorate degree offered through a school that holds basic institutional accreditation. Though state law doesn’t require the program itself to hold specialty accreditation, it’s never a bad idea to consider programs that hold this sort of national recognition for quality curriculum. Two agencies specialize in accrediting these types of programs: Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) and 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

An accredited graduate program will include courses in the following areas:

  • Human development
  • Marital and family studies
  • Marital and family therapy
  • Research methods
  • Professional studies

Your degree will also include a practicum of at least 300 hours, 150 of which must be working directly with individuals.

An increasing number of accredited MFT graduate programs are now offered in a hybrid/blended or online format, thereby providing busy, working professionals with a convenient and flexible route to becoming an LMFT.

If you currently hold a master’s degree or higher in a related field like psychology, social work, psychiatric nursing, or ministry, you may also meet the educational requirements for licensure through a non-standard process by completing a post-graduate training program in marriage and family therapy.

Learn more about Minnesota MFT degrees.

Additional Requirements for Marriage Family Therapists in Minnesota

Once you graduate from an accredited program in marriage and family therapy, you’ll need to complete 4,000 hours of post graduate supervised experience, 1,000 hours of which must include face-to-face clinical contact that includes the assessment diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness and cognitive, emotional, and behavioral disorders and at least 500 hours must include work with couples, families, or other relational groups.

Once you’ve completed this required course of experience, you’ll apply for licensure with the Minnesota Board of Marriage and Family Therapy and pay an application fee of $143.25. You must apply for initial licensure within six months of completing your post-graduate supervised experience.

Once the Board approves your application, you’ll be able to schedule and take the national exam developed by the Association of Marital & Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB).

Upon passing the AMFTRB exam, you’ll earn a Minnesota state license to practice as a family and marriage therapist.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Career Outlook In Minnesota

Between 2018 and 2028, the number of jobs among marriage and family therapists in Minnesota is projected to increase by 27.1% - that’s much higher than the national projected growth rate of 22% among marriage and family therapists during this time (2019-2029). During this ten-year period leading to 2028, the state expects to see about 150 annual job openings in the profession due to a combination of new job growth, retirements, and natural job turnover.

As of May 2020, Minnesota marriage and family therapists earned a median salary of $60,560, which is much higher than the national median of $51,340 for this profession. The highest earners in Minnesota (75th – 90thpercentile) earned about $83,400 - $97,390 during this time.

Research Additional Psychology Professional Licenses Granted by Minnesota

As you explore the career of a marriage and family therapist, you may also be interested in learning more about similar professions and their earning potential in Minnesota:

  • Learn more about how to become a psychologist in Minnesota: Requires a PhD or PsyD; Minnesota’s clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earned a median salary of $87,030 as of May 2020, while the top earners here (75th – 90th percentile) earned about $103,240 - $122,760 during this time.
  • Learn more about how to become a licensed counselor in Minnesota: Requires a master’s degree with a focus in the specialty; substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in Minnesota earned a median salary of $51,270 as of May 2020, while the most experienced in the field earn salaries that closely reflect the 75th – 90th percentile, which was about $60,830 - $69,900 during this time.
  • Learn more about how to become a social worker in Minnesota: Requires a master’s in social work; child, family, and school social workers earned a median salary of $55,230 in Minnesota, while mental health and substance abuse social workers earned a median salary of $63,190 as of May 2020. The top earners in this profession (90th percentile) earned $84,560 and $88,950, 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).

Schools with MFT Degree Programs Accepting Students from Minnesota