How can I get a job as a career counselor?

Question by Ryan: How can I get a job as a career counselor?
I would like to be counselor at a college, high school, or for professionals.

I have a Bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Human Resources plus 3 years interviewing and selection experience.

Is there any website specifically for career counselors? I am very familiar with all your general job boards (monster, indeed, Career builder), but you comb through thousands of posts for one real career counselor post.

Best answer:

Answer by PiggiePants
If you want to work at a college or high school, just go directly to any college or high school’s web sites, and search their “careers” or “work for us” link to find if they have any counsellor positions open.

For more information on this career, you should read the article on Counselors at the Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook

and visit the link provided below for additional assistance.

A master’s degree generally is required to become a licensed counselor.

Job opportunities for counselors should be very good because job openings are expected to exceed the number of graduates from counseling programs.

The health care and social assistance industry employs about 47 percent of counselors, and state and local government employ about 11 percent.

Nature of the Work

Educational, vocational, and school counselors provide individuals and groups with career and educational counseling. School counselors assist students of all levels, from elementary school to postsecondary education. They advocate for students and work with other individuals and organizations to promote the academic, career, personal, and social development of children and youth. School counselors help students evaluate their abilities, interests, talents, and personalities to develop realistic academic and career goals. Counselors use interviews, counseling sessions, interest and aptitude assessment tests, and other methods to evaluate and advise students. They also operate career information centers and career education programs. Often, counselors work with students who have academic and social development problems or other special needs.

Elementary school counselors observe children during classroom and play activities and confer with their teachers and parents to evaluate the children’s strengths, problems, or special needs. In conjunction with teachers and administrators, they make sure that the curriculum addresses both the academic and the developmental needs of students. Elementary school counselors do less vocational and academic counseling than high school counselors.

High school counselors advise students regarding college majors, admission requirements, entrance exams, financial aid, trade or technical schools, and apprenticeship programs. They help students develop job search skills, such as resume writing and interviewing techniques. College career planning and placement counselors assist alumni or students with career development and job-hunting techniques.

School counselors at all levels help students to understand and deal with social, behavioral, and personal problems. These counselors emphasize preventive and developmental counseling to provide students with the life skills needed to deal with problems before they worsen and to enhance students’ personal, social, and academic growth. Counselors provide special services, including alcohol and drug prevention programs and conflict resolution classes. They also try to identify cases of domestic abuse and other family problems that can affect a student’s development.

Counselors interact with students individually, in small groups, or as an entire class. They consult and collaborate with parents, teachers, school administrators, school psychologists, medical professionals, and social workers to develop and implement strategies to help students succeed.

Education and training

Requirements for counselors are often very detailed and vary by State and specialty. Prospective counselors should check with State and local governments, employers, and national voluntary certification organizations to determine which requirements apply.

Education requirements also vary based on occupational specialty and State licensure and certification requirements. A master’s degree is usually required to be licensed as a counselor. Some States require counselors in public employment to have a master’s degree; others accept a bachelor’s degree with appropriate counseling courses. Counselor education programs in colleges and universities are often found in departments of education or psychology. Fields of study include college student affairs, elementary or secondary school counseling, education, gerontological counseling, marriage and family therapy, substance abuse counseling, rehabilitation counseling, agency or community counseling, clinical mental health counseling, career counseling, and related fields. Courses are often grouped into eight core areas: human growth and development, social and cultural diversity, relationships, group work, career development, assessment, research and program evaluation, and professional identity. In an accredited master’s degree program, 48 to 60 semester hours of graduate study, including a period of supervised clinical experience in counseling, are required.

Some employers provide training for newly hired counselors. Others may offer time off or tuition assistance to complete a graduate degree. Often counselors must participate in graduate studies, workshops, and personal studies to maintain their certificates and licenses.


Licensure requirements differ greatly by State, occupational specialty, and work setting. Many States require school counselors to hold a State school counseling certification and to have completed at least some graduate course work; most require the completion of a master’s degree. Some States require school counselors to be licensed, which generally requires continuing education credits. Some States require public school counselors to have both counseling and teaching certificates and to have had some teaching experience.

For additional information

American School Counselors Association, 1101 King St., Suite 625, Alexandria, VA 22314. Internet:

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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