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Become A Counselor, Instructor

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Working As A Counselor, Instructor

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • $43,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Counselor, Instructor Do

School counselors help students develop academic and social skills and succeed in school. Career counselors assist people with the process of making career decisions by helping them develop skills or choose a career or educational program.

Duties

School counselors typically do the following:

  • Evaluate students’ abilities and interests through aptitude assessments, interviews, and individual planning
  • Identify issues that impact school performance, such as poor classroom attendance rates
  • Help students understand and overcome social or behavioral problems through classroom guidance lessons and counseling
  • Counsel individuals and small groups on the basis of student and school needs
  • Work with students to develop skills, such as organizational and time management abilities and effective study habits
  • Help students create a plan to achieve academic and career goals
  • Collaborate with teachers, administrators, and parents to help students succeed
  • Teach students and school staff about certain topics, such as bullying, drug abuse, and planning for college or careers after graduation
  • Report possible cases of neglect or abuse and refer students and parents to resources outside the school for additional support

The specific duties of school counselors vary with the ages of their students.

Elementary school counselors focus on helping students develop certain skills, such as those used in decisionmaking and studying, that they need in order to be successful in their social and academic lives. They meet with parents or guardians to discuss their child’s strengths and weaknesses, and any possible special needs and behavioral issues. School counselors also work with teachers and administrators to ensure that the curriculum addresses both the developmental and academic needs of students.

Middle school counselors work with school staff, parents and the community to create a caring, supportive climate and atmosphere for students to achieve academic success. They help the students develop the skills and strategies necessary to succeed academically and socially.

High school counselors advise students in making academic and career plans. Many help students overcome personal issues that interfere with their academic development. They help students choose classes and plan for their lives after graduation. Counselors provide information about choosing and applying for colleges, training programs, financial aid, and internships and apprenticeships. They may present career workshops to help students search and apply for jobs, write résumés, and improve their interviewing skills.

Career counselors typically do the following:

  • Use aptitude and achievement assessments to help clients evaluate their interests, skills, and abilities
  • Evaluate clients’ background, education, and training, to help them develop realistic goals
  • Guide clients through making decisions about their careers, such as choosing a new profession and the type of degree to pursue
  • Help clients learn job search skills, such as interviewing and networking
  • Assist clients in locating and applying for jobs, by teaching them strategies to find openings and how to write a résumé
  • Advise clients on how to resolve problems in the workplace, such as conflicts with bosses or coworkers
  • Help clients select and apply for educational programs, to obtain the necessary degrees, credentials, and skills

Career counselors work with clients at various stages of their careers. Some work in colleges. They may help students choose a major or help students determine what jobs they are qualified for with their degrees.

Career counselors also work with people who have already entered the workforce. These counselors develop plans to improve their client’s current career. They also provide advice about entering a new profession.

Some career counselors work in outplacement firms and assist laid-off workers with transitioning into new jobs or careers. Others work in corporate career centers to assist employees in making decisions about their career path within the company.

Career counselors who work in private practice must spend time marketing their practice to prospective clients and working with clients to receive payments for their services.

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How To Become A Counselor, Instructor

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.

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Counselor, Instructor Career Paths

Counselor, Instructor
Instructor Consultant Supervisor
Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Instructor Consultant Project Manager
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Instructor Team Leader Case Manager
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Consultant Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Therapist Clinical Supervisor
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Team Leader Case Manager
Clinical Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Tutor Lead Teacher Assistant Director
Center Director
7 Yearsyrs
Tutor Team Leader Supervisor
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Tutor Adjunct Instructor Adjunct Professor
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Therapist Supervisor Training Manager
Director Of Training
7 Yearsyrs
Therapist Program Manager Director
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
School Counselor Clinician Clinical Supervisor
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
School Counselor Lead Teacher Assistant Director
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
School Counselor Lead Teacher Education Director
Campus Director
7 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Counselor Ambulatory Care Coordinator Registered Nurse Case Manager
Medical Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Counselor Adjunct Professor Assistant Principal
School Director
6 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Counselor Clinician
Family Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Coach Senior Technician Specialist Program Director
Director Of Outreach
6 Yearsyrs
Coach Adjunct Professor Education Consultant
Student Dean
7 Yearsyrs
Professor Associate Dean Academic Dean
Student Services Director
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Counselor, Instructor?

Counselor, Instructor Demographics

Gender

Male

46.2%

Female

42.3%

Unknown

11.4%
Ethnicity

White

62.4%

Hispanic or Latino

15.0%

Black or African American

12.4%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.4%

French

13.9%

German

6.9%

Mandarin

5.0%

Chinese

4.0%

Portuguese

2.0%

Japanese

2.0%

Arabic

2.0%

Dutch

1.0%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Hebrew

1.0%

Braille

1.0%

Greek

1.0%

Korean

1.0%

Italian

1.0%

Gujarati

1.0%

Czech

1.0%
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Counselor, Instructor Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.6%

Capella University

7.7%

Walden University

7.1%

Florida State University

6.4%

Michigan State University

5.8%

New York University

5.1%

Temple University

4.5%

Georgia State University

4.5%

Nova Southeastern University

4.5%

James Madison University

4.5%

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

4.5%

Liberty University

4.5%

Central Michigan University

4.5%

University of Alabama

3.8%

Andrews University

3.8%

Webster University

3.8%

Northern Illinois University

3.8%

West Virginia University

3.8%

University of Missouri - Columbia

3.8%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

3.8%
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Majors

Psychology

13.1%

Business

11.9%

School Counseling

11.5%

Counseling Psychology

7.1%

Social Work

6.2%

Education

5.2%

Elementary Education

4.9%

Educational Leadership

4.8%

Communication

4.1%

Criminal Justice

3.4%

Kinesiology

3.0%

Music

3.0%

Sociology

3.0%

Nursing

2.9%

Computer Science

2.8%

Mental Health Counseling

2.8%

Biology

2.8%

Marketing

2.6%

Management

2.5%

Fine Arts

2.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.1%

Masters

28.2%

Other

16.5%

Doctorate

6.4%

Associate

4.3%

Certificate

2.5%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.2%
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Top Skills for A Counselor, Instructor

  1. Community Outreach
  2. Classroom Management
  3. Curriculum Development
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Enforce classroom management techniques most conducive to overall student achievement,
  • Developed curriculum and executed lesson plans for conversational and intermediate Japanese language studies.
  • Provided counseling and educational services in an alternative high school for students with special needs.
  • Organized daily activities and lessons for the cabin and worked with other counselors and directors on events for the whole camp.
  • Provided crisis intervention and referral to community-based resources when appropriate.

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Top Counselor, Instructor Employers

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