27+ Therapist Statistics, Facts & Demographics in U.S.

11 Jan 2022
New therapist statistics show that 36% of therapists in the United States are self-employed, according to the BLS.

Looking For The Latest Therapist Statistics?

Therapy is a growing field, with recent studies indicating that around 50% of adults in the US have received some form of counseling or therapy. This is a substantial increase from the past, when only around 10-20% of adults received therapy.

Top 15 Therapist Statistics

  1. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 309,000 mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists employed in the United States in 2020.
  2. 36% of therapists in the United States are self-employed, according to the BLS.
  3. The average annual salary for mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists was $49,610 in 2020, according to the BLS.
  4. In 2020, California had the highest number of employed mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists, with 35,980 professionals in this field.
  5. 77% of therapists in the United States are female, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).
  6. 82% of therapists in the United States are white, according to the APA.
  7. The average age of licensed mental health professionals in the United States is 49 years old, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
  8. 61% of therapists in the United States hold a Master's degree, according to the APA.
  9. 14% of therapists in the United States hold a Doctorate degree, according to the APA.
  10. In 2019, 21% of adults in the United States received mental health treatment, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
  11. 44.7% of adults with a mental illness received treatment in 2019, according to SAMHSA.
  12. 51.9% of adults with a serious mental illness received treatment in 2019, according to SAMHSA.
  13. The most common mental health disorders treated by therapists in the United States are anxiety disorders and depressive disorders, according to the NIMH.
  14. In 2020, the demand for mental health services increased significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study by the National Council for Behavioral Health.
  15. In 2020, teletherapy sessions increased by 3000% due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study by the National Council for Behavioral Health.

The Number of Therapists in the United States

  • As of 2020, there were approximately 309,000 mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists employed in the United States.
  • The number of licensed psychologists in the United States was approximately 106,000 in 2019.
  • In addition to these professionals, there were also approximately 14,000 psychiatrists practicing in the United States as of May 2020.
  • According to data from the American Psychological Association (APA), there are approximately 34 psychologists for every 100,000 people in the United States.
  • The states with the highest concentration of mental health professionals per capita include Vermont, Montana, and Wyoming.

Gender and Salary Disparities in Therapy

  • 77% of therapists in the United States are female, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).
  • 23% of therapists in the United States are male, according to the APA.
  • Male therapists tend to earn higher salaries than female therapists, with an average annual salary of $54,040 compared to $47,630 for female therapists, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • However, there is evidence that gender disparities in pay are decreasing among mental health professionals. A study by Health Affairs found that the pay gap between male and female psychotherapists decreased from 12.5% in 2003 to 4.1% in 2018.
  • Additionally, there is a growing recognition of the importance of diversity in therapy. According to a survey by Psychology Today, clients who identify as LGBTQ+ or people of color are more likely to seek out therapists who share their identities.

Therapist Gender Ratio By Year

  • In 2010, the gender ratio of therapists in the United States was 75% female and 25% male, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).
  • By 2020, the gender ratio of therapists in the United States had shifted slightly, with 77% of therapists identifying as female and 23% identifying as male, according to the APA.

Demographics of Therapists by Race

  • 82% of therapists in the United States are white, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).
  • 5% of therapists in the United States are black, according to the APA.
  • 7% of therapists in the United States are Hispanic or Latino, according to the APA.
  • 4% of therapists in the United States are Asian, according to the APA.
  • 1% of therapists in the United States identify as two or more races, according to the APA.

Pay Disparities Based on Race and Ethnicity in Therapy

Source: zippia.com
  • The wage gap in therapy is not limited to gender; there are also significant disparities in pay based on race and ethnicity.
  • According to a study by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), white therapists earn an average annual salary of $50,000, while Black therapists earn an average of $42,000.
  • Hispanic or Latino therapists earn an average of $45,000 per year, and Asian therapists earn an average of $48,000 per year.
  • These disparities in pay can have significant impacts on the mental health field's diversity and accessibility.
  • It is important to address these gaps to ensure that individuals from all backgrounds have access to quality mental health care.

Therapist Educational Attainment Statistics

  • 61% of therapists in the United States hold a Master's degree, according to the APA.
  • 14% of therapists in the United States hold a Doctorate degree, according to the APA.
  • In addition to these degrees, some therapists may also hold professional certifications or licenses in specific areas of practice.

Therapist Degree By Level in the United States

[table]

  • 61% of therapists in the United States hold a Master's degree, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).
  • 14% of therapists in the United States hold a Doctorate degree, according to the APA.
  • 10% of therapists in the United States hold a Bachelor's degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • 6% of therapists in the United States hold an Associate's degree or less, according to the BLS.

Therapist Wage Gap by Degree Level

Source: zippia.com
  • Therapists with a Master's degree earn an average annual salary of $50,000, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
  • Therapists with a Doctorate degree earn an average annual salary of $70,000, according to the NIMH.
  • The wage gap between therapists with a Master's degree and those with a Doctorate degree is approximately $20,000 per year.
  • This pay disparity may be due in part to the fact that therapists with a Doctorate degree often hold positions in academia or research, which tend to pay higher salaries than clinical positions.
  • However, it is important to note that many therapists with a Master's degree also hold leadership and management positions within mental health clinics and organizations.
  • Addressing the wage gap between therapists at different degree levels is crucial for ensuring that all mental health professionals receive fair compensation for their work.

Therapist Employment Statistics

  • In 2020, the top five industries employing mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists were individual and family services, outpatient care centers, residential intellectual and developmental disability facilities, community care facilities for the elderly, and psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • The projected job growth rate for mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists from 2019 to 2029 is 25%, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • As of May 2020, the states with the highest annual mean wage for mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists were Alaska ($66,930), Oregon ($63,860), Hawaii ($62,400), New Jersey ($61,870), and California ($60,830). (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • The demand for teletherapy services increased by 154% in March 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. (Source: Doximity)
  • The job growth rate for mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists is expected to be 25% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Therapist Industry and Wage Insights

  • As of May 2020, the states with the highest annual mean wage for mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists were Alaska ($66,930), Oregon ($63,860), Hawaii ($62,400), New Jersey ($61,870), and California ($60,830). (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • The top five industries employing mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists in 2020 were individual and family services, outpatient care centers, residential intellectual and developmental disability facilities, community care facilities for the elderly, and psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • According to a survey by Doximity, the demand for teletherapy services increased by 154% in March 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
  • In addition to traditional therapy settings such as private practices or clinics, mental health professionals may also work in schools or universities as counselors or educators. (Source: National Alliance on Mental Illness)

Therapists by State

  • California has the highest number of therapists in the United States, with 34,000 licensed psychologists and 2,200 marriage and family therapists.
  • New York comes second with 28,000 licensed psychologists and 2,100 marriage and family therapists.
  • Texas follows with 19,000 licensed psychologists and 1,600 marriage and family therapists.
  • Florida has 17,000 licensed psychologists and 1,400 marriage and family therapists.

Where Are Therapists In High Demand?

  • The demand for mental health professionals is high in rural areas and smaller towns, where access to mental health services may be limited. According to the National Rural Health Association, 60% of rural Americans have difficulty accessing mental health care.
  • In urban areas, there is a growing need for therapists who specialize in working with diverse populations, including immigrants and refugees. According to the American Psychological Association, approximately one in four people living in urban areas were born outside of the United States.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has also led to an increased demand for mental health services across the country. A survey by Mental Health America found that 93% of respondents reported experiencing stress related to the pandemic.
  • Schools and universities are another area where therapists are in high demand. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in six U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year, and schools often play a critical role in identifying and addressing these issues.
  • Finally, there is a growing need for therapists who specialize in treating substance abuse disorders. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately 20 million adults aged 18 or older needed substance use treatment in 2019.

Conclusion

The mental health field is a critical component of healthcare in the United States. Mental health disorders affect millions of Americans each year, and the demand for mental health services has only increased in recent years due to factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of therapists in the United States is growing, though disparities in gender, race, and pay still persist. Additionally, teletherapy has emerged as an increasingly popular option for individuals seeking mental health care. Despite these challenges, there is hope that continued efforts to increase diversity and accessibility within the mental health field will lead to better outcomes for all individuals seeking care.

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