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Counseling Degree Programs in Maine

Written by: Rachel Schneider
Last updated: May 2020

The counseling field encompasses several specialty areas of practice. Depending on their specific discipline, professionals serve different client populations, helping them through different struggles, disabilities, disorders, or addictions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Maine employs about 1,220 educational, guidance, school, and vocational counselors, along with about 610 substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors. 

Maine offers five different counseling licenses, including credentials as professional counselors, clinical professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, pastoral counselors, and registered counselors. While each license requires its own specific set of requirements, each candidate should hold a master's degree in counseling from an accredited college or university.

An individual interested in earning a counseling degree in Maine can review the rankings below to learn more about the state's best programs. These rankings provide variables like program length, tuition rates, and course topics, helping them determine the option that best aligns with their educational and professional goals.

Career Outlook for Counselors in Maine

Graduates exploring counseling careers can focus on specialty areas in the field, depending on their ideal setting and the clients they wish to serve. Specialty areas include mental health counseling, genetic counseling, and school and career counseling. 

The BLS reports that mental health counselors in Maine earned annual mean wages of $54,800 in May 2019. Counselors in this discipline experience the highest employment levels in the individual and family services industry. The management, scientific, and technical consulting services industry offers the highest pay for the occupation, while outpatient care centers feature the highest concentration of employment. 

School and career counselors in Maine earned an annual mean wage of $53,570 in May 2019, according to the BLS. These counselors primarily work with students but also provide counseling services to recent graduates and professionals looking to advance their careers. Most counselors in the discipline work in elementary and secondary schools.

Counseling Degree Programs in Maine


University of Southern Maine

Department of Counselor Education

Known for being northern New England's outstanding public regional comprehensive institution dedicated to providing undergraduate and graduate students with a high-quality affordable education, the University of Southern Maine is situated on a historic 142-acre urban campus in the picturesque town of Gorham just eight miles east of Portland. Home to more than 9,300 students in over 115 areas of study, USM has been consecutively recognized as one of the "Best in the Northeast" by the prestigious Princeton Review. The Department of Counselor Education aims to prepare counselors for ethical practice to act as facilitators of change in the lives of individuals at all developmental levels.

Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Designed to allow graduate students to learn skills specifically related to treating clients facing acute mental health problems and developmental life issues, the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program integrates the historical, societal, philosophical, cultural, political, and economic dimensions of the human service system to develop professional identity as a mental health counselor. With a distinct focus on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders or psychological trauma, the program requires the completion of at least 63 credit hours. Students have the option to specialize their studies with an area of expertise in Children, Family Systems, Creative Arts, Mind-Body Approaches, Human Sexuality, Spirituality, or College Mental Health.

Master of Science (M.S.) in School Counseling

Ideal for individuals who wish to become certified by the Maine Department of Education in the area of school guidance and counseling for working in elementary, middle, and secondary schools throughout the state, the Master of Science in School Counseling program consists of a seamless blend of interactive face-to-face classroom learning with supervised training experience. Requiring the completion of a minimum of 60 credits within two years full-time or three to four years part-time, the curriculum covers topics in research methods, career development, psychological measurement, multicultural counseling, group processes, school guidance programs, crisis intervention, and human development. At the culmination of the coursework, graduates must complete a full-time internship for at least 600 clock hours with an approved K-12 school setting.

Resource: Do I Need a Master's Degree to Be a School Counselor?

Accreditations

  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

Contact Information

Bailey Hall Room 400A
37 College Avenue
Gorham, ME 04038
(207) 780-5317
abaruch@usm.maine.edu
https://usm.maine.edu/counselor-education/ms-counseling

While the counseling field continues to grow faster than average in response to the rising demand for mental health services, it is an excellent time for interested graduates to pursue a master's degree in one of the counseling specialty areas to yield the most plentiful career opportunities. With an advanced degree in counseling, graduates can find employment in mental health centers, schools, substance abuse treatment facilities, hospitals, universities, community clinics, outpatient care centers, or their own private practice. If you are interested in providing counseling services directly to make a difference in the lives of diverse clients, be sure to check out these top-notch accredited counseling degree programs in Maine.