Currently, counselors working in Hawaii are able to demand the highest salaries (nearly $75k a year on average). However, don't let the high salary fool you. Hawaii also has one of the highest costs of living in the United States. Earning $75,000 a year in Hawaii is comparable to earning $45,000 a year in Mississippi. What you want to do is pursue career opportunities in regions where the cost of living is low but salaries for counselors and related career fields is still competitive with national averages.
Several regions in the U.S. you might considering include St. Louis, Missouri ($67,000 avg. salaries), Trenton, New Jersey ($67,000 avg. salaries), Santa Rosa, California, ($64,000 avg. salaries), Houston, Texas ($68,000 avg. salaries) and Atlanta, Georgia ($63,000 avg. salary and has one of the lowest costs of living in the nation).
No matter where you work, your salary is also going to be influenced by other factors including education, experience and the employer you choose to work for. While most counselors are required to have at least a master's degree, those with a Phd can look forward to higher earnings and more career opportunities.