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Most school counselors must have a master’s degree in school counseling or a related field and have a state-issued credential. Some employers prefer that career counselors have a master’s degree. Career counselors who work in private practices may also need a license.Education
Most states require school counselors to have a master’s degree in school counseling or a related field. Programs in school counseling teach students about fostering academic development; conducting group and individual counseling; working with parents, school staff, and community organizations; and using data to develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive school counseling programs for all students. These programs often require students to gain experience through an internship or practicum.
Some employers prefer that career counselors have a master’s degree in counseling with a focus on career development. Career counseling programs prepare students to assess clients’ skills and interests and to teach career development techniques. Many programs require students to have a period of supervised experience, such as an internship.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Public school counselors must have a state-issued credential to practice. This credential can be called a certification, a license, or an endorsement, depending on the state. Licensure or certification typically requires a master’s degree in school counseling and an internship or practicum completed under the supervision of a licensed professional school counselor.
Some states require applicants to have 1 to 2 years of classroom teaching experience, or to hold a teaching license, prior to being certified. Most states require a criminal background check as part of the credentialing process. Information about requirements for each state is available from the American School Counselor Association.
Although some employers prefer to hire licensed career counselors, licensure is not required by all states. Contact information for state regulating boards is available from the National Board for Certified Counselors.Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Although most states do not require work experience in a related occupation, some states require school counselors to have 1 to 2 years of classroom teaching experience, or to hold a teaching license, prior to being certified. Please see the Similar Occupations tab for more information on teaching occupations.Important Qualities
Compassion. School and career counselors often work with people who are dealing with stressful and difficult situations, so they must be compassionate and empathize with their clients and students.
Interpersonal skills. School and career counselors must be able to work with different types of people. They spend most of their time working directly with clients, students, or other professionals and need to form and maintain good working relationships.
Listening skills. Good listening skills are essential for school and career counselors. They need to give their full attention to students and clients in order to understand their problems.
Speaking skills. School and career counselors must communicate effectively with clients and students. They should express ideas and information in a way that their clients and students understand easily.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Academic Adviser
Top Careers After Academic Adviser
Hispanic or Latino11.1%
Black or African American0.8%
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University of Phoenix10.5%
Northern Arizona University5.8%
Nova Southeastern University4.7%
Texas A&M University3.8%
Grand Canyon University3.8%
Arizona State University3.7%
University of South Florida3.6%
University of Central Florida3.6%
Southern New Hampshire University3.4%
Georgia Southern University3.2%
New York University3.0%
Florida State University3.0%
Michigan State University2.9%
Kansas State University2.9%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Faculty Member, SR Academic Adviser, Luma Foundation Fellow||Bard College||Hudson, NY||Mar 08, 2016||$81,200|
|Assistant Dean, Academic Advisement||Hult International Business School||San Francisco, CA||Sep 16, 2013||$70,000|
|Academic Advisor||Princeton International School of Mathematics and||Princeton, NJ||Sep 20, 2013||$68,786|
|Academic Advisor||Boston College||MA||Dec 21, 2015||$65,000|
|International Academic Advisor: Engineering and Stem Fields||Ivy Labs Education, Inc.||New Haven, CT||Sep 08, 2015||$60,000|
|Senior International Academic Advisor||Ivy Labs Education, Inc.||New Haven, CT||Oct 05, 2015||$60,000|
|Academic Advisor||Four Winds Society, Inc.||Groveland, FL||Sep 17, 2014||$60,000|
|Academic Advisor||California College of Communications||Santa Clara, CA||May 27, 2016||$57,221|
|Academic Advisor||University of Massachusetts Lowell||Lowell, MA||Aug 11, 2014||$55,000|
|Academic Advisor||The Ohio University||Athens, OH||Oct 02, 2012||$51,353|
|Assessment Specialist/Senior Academic Advisor||Suny Empire State College||Saratoga Springs, NY||Jan 05, 2012||$51,346|
|Academic Advisor||University of East-West Medicine||Sunnyvale, CA||Jun 15, 2011||$50,735|
|Academic Advisor||University of East-West Medicine||Sunnyvale, CA||Jul 12, 2011||$50,735|
|Academic Advisor||Research Foundation of Cuny||New York, NY||Dec 01, 2011||$50,553|
|Academic Advisor||University of Massachusetts Boston||Boston, MA||Aug 05, 2015||$46,172|
|Academic Advisor||California State University, Dominguez Hills||Carson, CA||Jul 20, 2016||$46,152|
|Academic Advisor||California State University, Dominguez Hills||Carson, CA||Jul 10, 2016||$46,152|
|International Student Academic Advisor||Ball State University||Muncie, IN||Jan 03, 2012||$46,035|
|Academic Advisor||University of Miami||Coral Gables, FL||Sep 20, 2013||$46,000|
|Academic Advisor||University of East-West Medicine||Sunnyvale, CA||Sep 20, 2016||$45,760|
|Academic Advisor-Business and Technology||Excelsior College||Albany, NY||May 01, 2015||$45,591|
|Academic Advisor||Delaware State University||Dover, DE||Nov 26, 2015||$45,500|
|Academic Advisor||Washington Youth Foundation||Rockville, MD||Oct 01, 2012||$40,697|
|Intenational Academic Advisor||Acct, Inc.||Falls Church, VA||Sep 06, 2016||$40,676|
|Academic Advisor||C2 Educational Systems, Inc.||Fremont, CA||Oct 09, 2016||$40,664|
|Assistant Academic Advisor||University of Minnesota||Minneapolis, MN||Jul 01, 2012||$40,500|
|Academic Advisor||C2 Educational Systems, Inc.||Porterville, CA||Sep 10, 2014||$40,456|
|Graduate Academic Advisor||Southern Illinois University Carbondale||Carbondale, IL||Jul 01, 2014||$40,404|
|Graduate Academic Advisor||Southern Illinois University Carbondale||Carbondale, IL||Feb 17, 2014||$40,404|
|Academic Advisor||Research Foundation of Cuny||New York, NY||Aug 11, 2015||$40,258|
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