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Counseling Specialist Careers

Counseling specialists can serve a wide variety of roles and be employed by many different types of organizations or institutions.

For instance, as a counseling specialist, you could find yourself working for a university. In this type of position, your duties may include the counseling of both students and faculty. You might provide counseling and guidance on career, personal, or academic concerns, serving as a general consultant in many fields.

Besides universities, you can become employed as a counseling specialist by senior living communities, mental health facilities, or similar organizations. These can provide opportunities to work as a grief counselor, a marriage and relationships advisor, an addictions therapist, and many other therapeutic roles.

To become a counseling specialist, you'll likely want to begin earning a bachelor's or master's degree in human services or a related field. However, some employers do accept applicants who hold an associate's degree.

The pay for this career varies depending on many factors, though the average salary of a counseling specialist is around $47,000 per year

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a counseling specialist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $20.29 an hour? That's $42,195 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 27,200 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Counseling Specialist Do

There are certain skills that many counseling specialists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, speaking skills and listening skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a counseling specialist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 24.7% of counseling specialists included mental health, while 15.5% of resumes included crisis intervention, and 9.0% of resumes included hipaa. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the counseling specialist job title. But what industry to start with? Most counseling specialists actually find jobs in the non profits and health care industries.

How To Become a Counseling Specialist

If you're interested in becoming a counseling specialist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 48.5% of counseling specialists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 25.6% of counseling specialists have master's degrees. Even though most counseling specialists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a counseling specialist. When we researched the most common majors for a counseling specialist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on counseling specialist resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a counseling specialist. In fact, many counseling specialist jobs require experience in a role such as internship. Meanwhile, many counseling specialists also have previous career experience in roles such as counselor or sales associate.

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Average Salary
$42,195
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
4,713
Job Openings

Counseling Specialist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Counseling Specialist

Counselor
10.0 %

Top Careers After Counseling Specialist

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Counseling Specialist

Counseling Specialists in America make an average salary of $42,195 per year or $20 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $50,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $35,000 per year.
Average Salary
$42,195

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range45k - 67k$56k$55,509
Seattle, WA
Salary Range43k - 56k$49k$49,430
New York, NY
Salary Range39k - 59k$48k$48,320
Richmond, VA
Salary Range36k - 52k$44k$43,515
Galveston, TX
Salary Range35k - 50k$42k$42,361
Lincoln, NE
Salary Range34k - 45k$40k$39,679
$29k
$67k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Special Counsel-Talent Attraction Specialist-Washington, D.C.
Special Counsel-Talent Attraction Specialist-Washington, D.C.
Adecco Group
Adecco Group
03/04/2021
03/04/2021
$50,00003/04/2021
$50,000
Abuse Counselor-Review Specialist
Abuse Counselor-Review Specialist
State of Florida
State of Florida
01/25/2021
01/25/2021
$38,50001/25/2021
$38,500
Abuse Counselor-Review Specialist
Abuse Counselor-Review Specialist
Florida Department of Transportation
Florida Department of Transportation
01/25/2021
01/25/2021
$38,50001/25/2021
$38,500
SR. Integrated Dual Disorder Counseling Specialist
SR. Integrated Dual Disorder Counseling Specialist
State of Oklahoma
State of Oklahoma
01/09/2021
01/09/2021
$40,48201/09/2021
$40,482
SR. Counseling Specialist, Family Medicine
SR. Counseling Specialist, Family Medicine
University of Texas Medical Branch
University of Texas Medical Branch
12/16/2020
12/16/2020
$58,72012/16/2020
$58,720
See More Recent Salaries

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Counseling Specialist Demographics

Gender

female

59.5 %

male

34.4 %

unknown

6.1 %

Ethnicity

White

70.8 %

Hispanic or Latino

11.4 %

Black or African American

10.8 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

62.2 %

French

9.5 %

Hindi

4.1 %
See More Demographics

Counseling Specialist Education

Majors

Business
15.3 %

Degrees

Bachelors

57.1 %

Masters

14.9 %

Associate

11.4 %

Top Colleges for Counseling Specialists

1. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

3. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

4. SUNY at Albany

Albany, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,011
Enrollment
13,434

5. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

6. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

7. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

8. SUNY College at Oswego

Oswego, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,440
Enrollment
7,039

9. University of Maryland - College Park

College Park, MD • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,595
Enrollment
30,184

10. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Counseling Specialist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 24.7% of counseling specialists listed mental health on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and speaking skills are important as well.

Best States For a Counseling Specialist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a counseling specialist. The best states for people in this position are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Hawaii, and California. Counseling specialists make the most in Massachusetts with an average salary of $56,112. Whereas in Connecticut and Hawaii, they would average $55,866 and $54,879, respectively. While counseling specialists would only make an average of $53,303 in California, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Massachusetts

Total Counseling Specialist Jobs:
410
Highest 10% Earn:
$78,000
Location Quotient:
2.74
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Washington

Total Counseling Specialist Jobs:
202
Highest 10% Earn:
$63,000
Location Quotient:
1.7
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Hawaii

Total Counseling Specialist Jobs:
24
Highest 10% Earn:
$63,000
Location Quotient:
1.76
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Counseling Specialist Employers

1. Summit Academy
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$42,272
Counseling Specialists Hired: 
25+
2. CampCo
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$36,747
Counseling Specialists Hired: 
14+
3. SCO Family of Services
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$39,585
Counseling Specialists Hired: 
12+
4. Academy Sports + Outdoors
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$45,689
Counseling Specialists Hired: 
10+
5. YMCA of Greater Indianapolis
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$38,040
Counseling Specialists Hired: 
6+
6. Camp Lincoln
3.3
Avg. Salary: 
$31,557
Counseling Specialists Hired: 
6+

What are the best companies to work for?

D

Dr. Kathy McDonald Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, School Counseling Coordinator, Southeastern Oklahoma State University

School counseling graduates seek work in public or private PreK-12 schools in schools that are traditional, vocational, technical, or online learning environments. Their home districts employ most graduates.Show more

Updated October 2, 2020