LMFT vs LCSW

Both of these professions offer the opportunity to help people in similar ways, but they do require different training.

LMFT vs LCSW

Both of these professions offer the opportunity to help people in similar ways, but they do require different training.

LMFT vs LCSW

Both of these professions offer the opportunity to help people in similar ways, but they do require different training.


If You Are Considering Becoming a Therapist

If you are considering becoming a therapist, there is one important decision that will need to be made: where should I go to school? There are two major paths you could take when choosing your education path. You can attend an accredited LCSW or LMFT program. Both of these professions offer their graduates the opportunity to help people in similar ways, but they do require different training.

If you're wondering "which one should I go for?", then keep reading! This article has all the information that you need regarding both licenses, including what they focus on, their education requirements, salary expectations and how AATBs can help.

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An LMFT is a Marriage and Family Therapist. LMFTs have a Master's degree in marriage and family therapy, psychology, or counseling from an accredited LMFT program. LMFT programs are between 36-48 months long and require applicants to be at least 18 years old with a Bachelor's Degree.

LMFTS are trained to provide therapy for individuals and couples. LMFTs may also have a license as an LCSW which can allow LMFT's to assess the medication needs of their clients along with the LMFT treatment plan.

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LCSWs are a bit different then LMFTs. LCSW stands for Licensed Clinical Social Worker. LCSW's have a Master of Social Work degree from an accredited school and must pass the clinical social work exam to be licensed in their state.

The most obvious difference between LMFTs and LCSWs is that LMFTs are trained in marriage counseling, while an LCSW may not necessarily focus on this aspect of therapy. They both are similar in nature but have key differences between the practices.

The salary of an LMFT vs an LCSW is typically higher for LCSWs due to the fact that LMFT's focus on marriage counseling soley. LMFT's have a higher number of patients in their caseload which can lead to a lower compensation per patient; when compared with an LCSW who has fewer clients but each may be seen more frequently and thus provide higher compensation.

Whether becoming an LMFT or an LCSW, AATBs has the study materials you need in order to pass your licensure exams. Learn more about our MFT self-study programs and MFT live-online study sessions here.

Looking for more information about how much a MFT can make? Click here to learn how much a MFT makes.


Other Frequently Asked Questions


The MFT exam is a test that helps to determine if someone can be called a Marriage and Family Therapist. In order to obtain your licensure as an (MFT, LMFT, LPCC), etc. You will need to pass either the National MFT Exam or the California Clinical MFT Exam.

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The MFT vs LMFT debate has been raging for many years in the field of social work. MFT is a relatively new designation, which means it's not as widely known or recognized by some mental health professionals. MFT stands for Marriage and Family Therapist; while LMFT stands for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook (2020), the median annual salary for Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) is $51,340. Salaries may vary, based on location, specialization, and experience.

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In order to become a licensed marriage and family therapist. First you must have a degree in psychology or a related field such as social work. You must also complete the academic coursework required by your state board of examiners.

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Studying for the MFT licensure exam can be a daunting task. You have to study many different topics in order to pass your exams, and you may not know where to start. Don't worry! We will offer you some tips on how best to study for the MFT exam, which should help make studying easier.

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