MFT Degrees, Schools, and Careers in Georgia
If an individual is seeking opportunities within Georgia to become trained as a marriage and family therapist, they are likely to encounter a number of options for MFT degrees when conducting a quick search. We have compiled important data on the programs that are accredited by the main agency involved in MFT programs, which is trusted by the state governments involved in licensing MFTs once they receive their degree. This information is listed below. These programs are all accredited by the Commission on Accreditation on Marriage and Family Education (COAMFTE), which means that all of them, at a minimum, will qualify graduates for licensure within the state of Georgia.
Valdosa State University’s program in MFT is a 60-credit master’s program which students can choose to pursue on a half- or full-time basis. Students complete a minimum of 500 face-to-face clinical hours in settings close to campus, including the FamilyWorks center, which is a student-run, family-based clinic. As can be seen by the student testimonials on the university website, individuals entering this program have a wide range of interests and career goals, but all feel as though the program is preparing them well for their future endeavors.
The Ph.D. program in Human Development and Family Science through the University of Georgia offers the only doctorate-level, accredited MFT program within the state of Georgia. As outlined in the program handbook, students in this program are given many training experiences in the classroom, clinical placements, as well as in research and teaching. Many MFT programs across the country are guided by systems and relational models; as such, this doctoral program is unique in that it draws from the biopsychosocial model and emphasizes research-clinical integration through the scientist-practitioner model. Pursuit of a Ph.D. in this area is recommended for those that would like a career within academic and an emphasis on supervision of other practitioners or research in MFT-related investigation; students can collaborate with the renowned faculty on projects throughout their time in the program.
Mercer University offers a Master’s in Family Therapy through the School of Medicine that is provided through both their Macon and Atlanta campuses, for added flexibility. This program is comprised of 48 course credits, and students also complete the standard 500 face-to-face clinical hours and 100 supervision hours required for licensure in Georgia. These clinical hours can be split between either site’s Family Therapy Center (Macon and/or Atlanta), as well as though external placements. The website for the program includes the student handbook, which provides excellent and rich information on the programs and their requirements.
Online MFT Degrees in Georgia
There are no online-only MFT degree programs within Georgia. However, individuals hoping to practice in Georgia as an MFT can certainly still pursue licensure through completion of one of the online-only, nationally-based accredited MFT programs-- Capella University (M.A.) and Northcentral University (M.A. or Ph.D.).
MFT Accreditation in Georgia
The Georgia Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists requires that individuals applying for licensure either attend an accredited program or meet certain educational requirements outlined in their policies. Within the MFT field, the main accrediting agency is the COAMFTE. Programs accredited by COAMFTE, as detailed above, have been demonstrated to meet certain standards of educational excellence and therefore are certified to provide their students with the educational requirements necessary to apply for licensure. However, importantly, attending a COAMFTE-accredited program is not the only way that someone can become licensed within Georgia; other accrediting agencies exist for programs within fields closely related to MFT, such as clinical counseling. As such, a student can attend a program accredited by another agency and so long as they meet the educational and clinical requirements outlined by the Georgia government, they can apply to become a licensed MFT!
Read more about an MFT degree online.
Career Opportunities for MFTs in Georgia
There are currently 780 MFTs employed in Georgia, which is a low number given the population of the state! The mean salary among these MFTs is around $46,210, which is lower than the national average for the profession. MFTs practicing within urban areas within the state, such as Atlanta, may expect to make slightly more than the state average salary. Despite these less-than-exciting statistics, it is estimated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that there will be around a 14% increase in job opportunities for MFTs from 2021 to 2031, which means that people entering the job market will have more opportunities than ever before.
Overall, it is likely that individuals that wish to be licensed and work in Georgia will choose from private practice, offices of other health professionals, hospitals, residential care facilities, and child day care services, among others. Read about the MFT licensure requirements in Georgia.
2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics job market trends and salary figures for marriage and family therapists are based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed July 2023.
Marriage and Family Therapists Salary in Georgia
|Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA||$16,320||$18,180||$23,180||$53,430||$70,030|
Table data taken from 2020 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211013.htm)