Updated February 9, 2022
Average Counselor Salary
$42,000 yearly
To create our salary estimates, Zippia starts with data published in publicly available sources such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Foreign Labor Certification Data Center (FLC) Show More
$20.48 hourly

Entry level Salary
$28,000 yearly
$28,000
10 %
$42,000
Median
$64,000
90 %
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What is a Counselor's Salary?

PercentileAnnual SalaryMonthly SalaryHourly Rate
90th Percentile$64,000$5,333$31
75th Percentile$52,000$4,333$25
Average$42,602$3,550$20
25th Percentile$34,000$2,833$16
10th Percentile$28,000$2,333$13

Average Counselor Salary By State

The darker areas on the map show where counselors earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

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Average Salary:

Counselor average salary by State

StateAvg. SalaryHourly RateJob Count
Alabama$40,070$19.26162
Alaska$45,701$21.9766
Arizona$46,142$22.18509
Arkansas$39,853$19.16147
California$48,121$23.142,149
Colorado$40,307$19.38458
Connecticut$43,582$20.95309
Delaware$41,307$19.8688
District of Columbia$40,083$19.27121
Florida$42,341$20.361,141
Georgia$38,938$18.72609
Hawaii$50,351$24.2162
Idaho$42,631$20.50110
Illinois$38,411$18.47943
Indiana$37,968$18.25381
Iowa$37,614$18.08224
Kansas$38,311$18.42120
Kentucky$37,333$17.95159
Louisiana$42,993$20.67209
Maine$43,895$21.10103
Maryland$40,436$19.44442
Massachusetts$44,248$21.271,941
Michigan$40,422$19.43478
Minnesota$39,161$18.83419
Mississippi$41,191$19.8095
Missouri$37,593$18.07243
Montana$40,007$19.2387
Nebraska$37,551$18.05129
Nevada$46,543$22.38109
New Hampshire$44,195$21.2589
New Jersey$42,630$20.50509
New Mexico$44,158$21.23104
New York$42,951$20.651,058
North Carolina$37,499$18.03365
North Dakota$39,378$18.9357
Ohio$39,196$18.84476
Oklahoma$40,762$19.60119
Oregon$45,975$22.10270
Pennsylvania$41,641$20.02924
Rhode Island$44,145$21.2272
South Carolina$38,124$18.33301
South Dakota$38,032$18.2835
Tennessee$38,165$18.35295
Texas$44,012$21.16951
Utah$42,753$20.55137
Vermont$43,623$20.9745
Virginia$38,966$18.73478
Washington$44,141$21.22592
West Virginia$38,682$18.6064
Wisconsin$39,356$18.92269
Wyoming$39,498$18.9942

How much should you get paid?

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Highest Paying Cities For Counselor

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CityAvg. SalaryHourly Rate
Perris, CA$47,622$22.90
New York, NY$42,889$20.62
Gainesville, FL$41,471$19.94
Springfield, VA$39,945$19.20
Kingsport, TN$37,271$17.92

And if you’re looking for a high-paying job, here are jobs in the top places hiring now:

  1. Counselor Jobs In Perris, CA
  2. Counselor Jobs In New York, NY
  3. Counselor Jobs In Gainesville, FL
  4. Counselor Jobs In Springfield, VA
  5. Counselor Jobs In Kingsport, TN

How much does a Counselor make?

The average Counselor salary is $42,602 per year, or $20.48 per hour, in the United States. People on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $28,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $64,000. As most things go, location can be critical. Hawaii, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Oregon provide the highest Counselor salaries.

Average Counselor Salary Over Time

Compare salaries for individual cities or states with the national average.

    Counselor Salary By Year

    YearAvg. SalaryHourly Rate% Change
    2022$42,600$20.48+6.2%
    2021$40,000$19.22+1.9%
    2020$39,200$18.86-2.9%
    2019$40,400$19.41-2.3%
    2018$41,300$19.85-2.7%

    How Much Do Counselors Make In Different Industries?

    The salary for a Counselor can vary depending on what industry the job is in. The highest salaries for Counselors tend to be found in Government, Retail, and Health Care companies. In fact, Counselors can make a yearly salary of $43,337 while working for Government companies.

    Highest Paying Industries For Counselors

    RankIndustryAverage Counselor SalaryCounselor Salary Range
    1Government
    $43,337
    $34k
    $49k
    2Retail
    $41,169
    $34k
    $49k
    3Health Care
    $40,374
    $34k
    $49k
    4Professional
    $40,251
    $34k
    $49k
    5Education
    $40,077
    $34k
    $49k
    6Non Profits
    $39,393
    $34k
    $49k

    High Paying Counselor Jobs

    Average JOB Salary by Field

    Counselor Salary
    Substance abuse counselors act as a support system for people with drug and alcohol problems and other behavioral issues. They help the patients control their behavior until they achieve a full recovery. The mental health counselors aid patients to overcome their chemical dependencies and become self-sufficient individuals. Part of their duty includes meeting clients to evaluate their health and substance issues while creating goals and treatment plans. They teach clients coping mechanisms, refer them to support groups, and engage them in group therapy sessions. Once the patient is stable, they help them re-establish their careers and give updates and reports of progress to the courts. Requirements for the job include a master's degree in counseling and social work.
    Elementary School Counselor

    Avg. salary: $37,548

    An elementary school counselor is primarily in charge of providing support and counseling to students as they navigate through their academic, social, and personal lives. Their responsibilities typically revolve around developing and executing programs for students' welfare, conducting student evaluations and interviews, mediating on various issues, and assisting students in preparing and processing scholarship applications. Furthermore, there are instances when an elementary school counselor must refer students and parents to social services and conduct interventions when necessary. Should there be any signs of abuse or neglect, It is essential to report to the authorities right away.
    Community Health Counselor

    Avg. salary: $44,693

    A community health counselor typically provides health and welfare support to the disadvantaged members of a community. Their responsibilities revolve around devising strategies to reach out to community members, coordinating with schools and other institutions, and building positive relationships with the communities that they serve. They may also provide counseling sessions to individuals of all ages, conduct observations and assessments, perform interventions, and identify any signs of abuse or neglect, reporting to the authorities right away. Furthermore, they may refer families or individuals to other social services unit if necessary.
    Alcohol And Drug Counselor

    Avg. salary: $43,660

    A drug alcohol counselor treats addicts in either one-on-one or group settings. They help by educating and developing possible treatment plans for patients to support them in coping with their addictive personalities. A drug and alcohol counselor will evaluate to determine the progress has been successfully made towards recovery. They help patients better understand and overcome their addictions. Counselors help through offering support, rehabilitation, and guidance by using various techniques. Drug alcohol counselors seek to help an addict find the source of their addiction.
    Student Services Counselor

    Avg. salary: $42,567

    Student Services is a part of the school program that focuses on helping students in their studies. A Student Services Counselor handles this task and is the contact person for all students who need help or who have problems and issues requiring solutions and answers. In a culturally diverse population in schools, it is the student service counselor's job to connect each student to relevant student service programs available in the school. Ultimately, the welfare of the students and their success in school is the goal of this position.
    Student Support Counselor

    Avg. salary: $40,071

    A student support counselor is responsible for identifying the students' strengths and challenges through one-on-one counseling and establishing solutions to help them overcome difficulties and achieve their educational goals and aspirations. Student support counselors assist the faculty in determining appropriate programs and activities to develop the students' capabilities, especially as a way of preparing them with their career objectives. They also coordinate with the students' families for extended guidance and support for their growth and development.
    Substance Abuse Counselor

    Avg. salary: $40,380

    Substance abuse counselors act as a support system for people with drug and alcohol problems and other behavioral issues. They help the patients control their behavior until they achieve a full recovery. The mental health counselors aid patients to overcome their chemical dependencies and become self-sufficient individuals. Part of their duty includes meeting clients to evaluate their health and substance issues while creating goals and treatment plans. They teach clients coping mechanisms, refer them to support groups, and engage them in group therapy sessions. Once the patient is stable, they help them re-establish their careers and give updates and reports of progress to the courts. Requirements for the job include a master's degree in counseling and social work.

    Average Salary By Related Field

    Job TitleAnnual SalaryMonthly SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
    Elementary School Counselor$37,548$3,129$18.0581,141
    Community Health Counselor$44,694$3,724$21.49131,239
    Alcohol And Drug Counselor$43,661$3,638$20.9936,072
    Student Services Counselor$42,567$3,547$20.46148,564
    Student Support Counselor$40,072$3,339$19.27159,446
    Substance Abuse Counselor$40,381$3,365$19.4137,756
    Job Openings

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    Counselor Jobs You Might Like

    And if you're looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

    1. Children's Aid Society Jobs (77)
    2. Boys & Girls Clubs of America Jobs (751)
    3. Phoenix House Jobs (104)
    4. Jewish Community Center Jobs (75)
    5. The GEO Group Jobs (53)

    Which Companies Pay Counselors The Most?

    If you insist on knowing when your check is going to come and for how much, then you'd be better off working for companies like Albemarle County and University of Florida as they offer the highest salaries for Counselors.

    Highest Paying Companies For Counselors

    RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Counselor SalaryAverage Salary
    1
    1.Albemarle County
    $45,004
    2$44,052
    3$42,189
    4
    4.Abraxas
    $39,809
    5$38,908
    6$37,009

    And if you're looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

    1. Children's Aid Society Jobs (77)
    2. Boys & Girls Clubs of America Jobs (751)
    3. Phoenix House Jobs (104)
    4. Jewish Community Center Jobs (75)
    5. The GEO Group Jobs (53)

    How much should you get paid?

    Tell us about yourself to get a free, personalized Zippia Salary Report and suggestions on how to increase your pay.

    Average Counselor Salary by Demographic

    Counselor Gender Pay Gap

    male-income
    Male Income
    $41,878
    female-income
    Female Income
    $39,514
    GenderIncome
    Male$41,878
    Female$39,514
    Median Counselor Income by Race
    Hispanic or Latino Counselors have the highest average salary compared to other ethnicities. Asian Counselors have the lowest average salary at $39,709.
    $45,000
    $36,000
    $27,000
    $18,000
    $9,000
    $0
    White
    Black or African American
    Asian
    Hispanic or Latino

    Counselor Income by Race

    EthnicitySalary
    White$40,734
    Black or African American$41,202
    Asian$39,709
    Hispanic or Latino$42,054
    Average Counselor Salary by Education Level
    Counselors with a Masters degree earn more than those without, at $46,542 annually. With a Doctorate degree, Counselors earn a median annual income of $46,250 compared to $39,608 for Counselors with an Associate degree.
    $50,000
    $40,000
    $30,000
    $20,000
    $10,000
    $0
    Master's Degree
    Bachelor's Degree
    Doctorate Degree
    Some College/ Associate Degree

    Counselor Salary by Education Level

    EducationSalary
    Master's Degree$46,542
    Bachelor's Degree$39,514
    Doctorate Degree$46,250
    Some College/ Associate Degree$39,608

    Counselor Salaries FAQs

    What is a good starting salary for a Counselor?

    A good starting salary for a counselor is $28,000 in the United States. That puts you in the 10th percentile of annual income for a counselor in the U.S., which is about what you would expect if you were new to the field. The average salary for counselors is $42,602, but that normally requires some level of experience to achieve. Furthermore, a good starting salary for a counselor can vary by state.

    Do counselors make good money?

    Yes, counselors make good money. The average salary for a counselor is around $56,310 per year ($25.54 an hour).

    The range in earning for a counselor, however, can range from as low as $16 an hour to as high as $42 an hour -- factors such as experience, type of counselor, and location all impact earning potential.

    Years of experience and earning potential for a counselor:

    • Entry Level (zero to one year of experience) averages $43,900 a year

    • An Early Level (one to four years of experience) averages $46,400 a year

    • Mid Level (five to nine years of experience) averages $51,630 a year

    • Experienced (over ten years of experience) - $58,700 a year

    Type of counselor and earning potential.

    • School Counselor

      • Entry level - $43,900 a year

      • Early career - $46,400 a year

      • Mid career - $51,630 a year

      • Experienced - $58,700 a year

    • Career Counselor

      • Entry level - $40,500 a year

      • Early career - $43,410 a year

      • Mid career - $46,890 a year

      • Experienced - $49,650 a year

    • Mental Health Counselor

      • Entry level - $39,190 a year

      • Early career - $40,970 a year

      • Mid career - $45,530 a year

      • Experienced - $49,180 a year

    • Addiction Counselor

      • Entry level - $37,980 a year

      • Early career - $39,110 a year

      • Mid career - $38,630 a year

      • Experienced - $41,970 a year

    Examples of varying pay rates by states for counselors.

    • California - $37.62 an hour ($78,250 a year)

    • Connecticut - $31.68 an hour ($65,890 a year)

    • Massachusetts - $32.94 an hour ($68,520 a year)

    • Oklahoma - $22.34 an hour ($46,480 a year)

    • South Dakota - $21.44 an hour ($44,590 a year)

    • Missouri - $24.13 an hour ($50,180 a year)

    What counselors get paid the most?

    The counselors that get paid the most depend on the type of counselor and location of practice; however, school counselors are some of the highest-paid counselors.

    They work with students on developing educational goals, devising steps to move toward a rewarding career, or creating strategies to cope with personal issues. The average salary of a school counselor is $58,120 a year.

    Another position among the highest-paying counselor jobs is career counseling. Career counselors can be valuable resources to professionals who need guidance with changing or starting out in a career. The average salary of a school counselor is $58,120 a year.

    Other high paying counselors include;

    • Marriage Counselor - $51,340 a year

    • Family Counselor - $51,340 a year

    • Mental Health Counselor - $47,660 a year

    • Pediatric Counselor - $47,660 a year

    • Grief Counselor - $47,660 a year

    • Veteran Counselor - $47,660 a year

    Highest paying states for counselors include.

    • California - $37.62 an hour ($78,250 a year)

    • Delaware - $32.11 an hour ($66,790 a year)

    • Connecticut - $31.68an hour ($65,890 a year)

    • Maryland - $33.84 an hour ($70,380 a year)

    • Massachusetts - $32.94 an hour ($68,520 a year)

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