Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Child and Adolescent Counseling

Career exploration guide

This guide provides tools to help you explore careers related to this specialization. Use this information to start researching this field and the opportunities in it. This research can help you make a transition into positions related to this field. Start by gaining an overview of this program and learning about the field, jobs, and employment settings that are related.

About this specialization

The Child and Adolescent Counseling specialization is designed for graduate program counseling learners who want to expand their knowledge, theory and best practices needed to support the social emotional growth and development of children and adolescents. Learners will gain more extensive knowledge of developmentally appropriate interventions related to play therapy, family therapy and treatment and intervention planning for typical childhood and adolescent disorders. The curriculum also emphasizes developmental and multicultural considerations and ethical and legal issues associated with providing therapy for diverse child and adolescent populations. Learners complete two foundational play therapy classes and choose two out of three other courses specific to work with child and adolescent populations. This specialization is available to MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling learners and is completed as part of a 90-credit entry level CACREP-accredited program curriculum. This specialization is not designed to prepare students to pursue professional licensure in the education field. It is important to understand all educational and individual requirements for licensing. Capella University cannot guarantee licensure, certification or endorsement. State regulations vary regarding professional licensure. It is your responsibility to understand and comply with the requirements for your state. Review Capella’s professional licensure page for more information.

Skills gained through this specialization:

This specialization was designed to help you gain the following skills related to this field:

  • Assess for legal responsibilities and applicable ethical standards for children and adolescents in a variety of professional settings.
  • Integrate knowledge of counseling theory, research, and professional literature to choose activities that promote optimal health and well-being in children/adolescents, families, groups, and systems.
  • Employ traditional or systems theories to explain the relationships between community systems, family systems, and school systems that influence children and adolescents.
  • Develop diagnoses and treatment plans/interventions for typical child and adolescent disorders that integrate awareness of multicultural and social justice competencies.

Explore this field

Professional associations, social networks, and other industry-specific resources can provide a wealth of information about a specific field or industry, including best practices, career overviews, trends and access to industry professionals. By reviewing website information, attending events, and connecting with people in the field, you can deepen your knowledge about the field. 

Professional associations

Industry information

Explore jobs and employers

In addition to exploring the field, take some time to research specific jobs and employment settings related to this program. Consider how these jobs and settings fit with your experience, skills, interests and values. This is a sample list of job titles and employment settings related to this field. To learn more, review job postings and talk with people who have these roles or work in these settings. You can find these professionals through LinkedIn, family, friends, schools, employers and community groups. Spend time researching your industry and prospective employers to decide whether this type of degree will help advance your career.

Related Job Titles to Explore*

  • Behavioral health case manager
  • Behavioral health/EAP consultant
  • Behavioral health therapist
  • Counselor
  • Licensed mental health therapist
  • Mental health clinician
  • Mental health counselor
  • Mental health professional
  • Mental health therapist

Employment Settings to Explore

  • Finance and insurance
  • Health care and social assistance
  • Professional, scientific and technical services
  • Public administration

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Educational and professional requirements for faculty positions vary widely by employer. Understanding your target employers’ particular requirements is key in deciding on a program. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Job boards

This is a sample of jobs boards with positions related to this field. Use them in your research to identify additional job titles, common hiring requirements and local employers. 

Further exploration

There are a lot of factors that influence whether a career is a fit or not. These can include monetary compensation, benefits, work environment, organization culture, work/life balance, etc. As you consider your career, think about what is important to you in your employer, role and setting. These resources can help you perform this additional exploration.

For a more detailed guide on career exploration, review Capella’s Career Exploration YouTube series that helps you identify what is important to you in your career and how that aligns with the world of work. 


Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.