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Guidance Counselor Careers

Contrary to what your high school experiences may have you believe, guidance counselors aren't there for when you get in trouble. Their job is to offer helpful advice to students who are having a tough time. Counselors are also responsible for helping parents help their kids.

They help kids navigate the confusing phase of adolescence and the impending changes from finishing school. These professionals aren't just there for emotional and mental support, however. Guidance counselors also help students with academic, career, social, and even personal issues.

Guidance counseling is a challenging and rewarding career path, and it begins with a major in any field related to human services and psychology. A background in statistics may also help interpret standardized test results and guide students on a suitable career path. Most states also require a master's degree in counseling and sufficient work experience.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a guidance counselor. For example, did you know that they make an average of $22.92 an hour? That's $47,680 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 Guidance Counselor Do

There are certain skills that many guidance counselors 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, interpersonal skills and listening skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a guidance counselor, we found that a lot of resumes listed 7.9% of guidance counselors included crisis intervention, while 5.6% of resumes included special education, and 4.7% of resumes included student records. 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 guidance counselor job title. But what industry to start with? Most guidance counselors actually find jobs in the education and non profits industries.

How To Become a Guidance Counselor

If you're interested in becoming a guidance counselor, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 47.1% of guidance counselors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 35.4% of guidance counselors have master's degrees. Even though most guidance counselors 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 guidance counselor. When we researched the most common majors for a guidance counselor, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on guidance counselor resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a guidance counselor. In fact, many guidance counselor jobs require experience in a role such as teacher. Meanwhile, many guidance counselors also have previous career experience in roles such as counselor or internship.

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Average Salary
$47,680
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
41,994
Job Openings

Guidance Counselor Career Paths

Top Careers Before Guidance Counselor

Teacher
19.4 %

Top Careers After Guidance Counselor

Counselor
12.0 %
Teacher
9.1 %

Guidance Counselor Jobs You Might Like

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 Guidance Counselor

Guidance Counselors in America make an average salary of $47,680 per year or $23 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $62,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $36,000 per year.
Average Salary
$47,680
Find Your Salary Estimate
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Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Bruno, CA
Salary Range53k - 74k$63k$63,252
Cambridge, MA
Salary Range48k - 69k$58k$57,865
Paterson, NJ
Salary Range45k - 67k$55k$55,229
New York, NY
Salary Range42k - 62k$51k$51,301
Providence, RI
Salary Range41k - 60k$50k$49,857
Silver Spring, MD
Salary Range39k - 58k$48k$48,338
$30k
$74k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Middle School Counselor
Middle School Counselor
Black Hills Special Services Cooperative
Black Hills Special Services Cooperative
06/25/2021
06/25/2021
$52,00006/25/2021
$52,000
Guidance Counselor (#011450) Camille Graham Corr Inst, Columbia Senior
Guidance Counselor (#011450) Camille Graham Corr Inst, Columbia Senior
Sc Department of Public Safety
Sc Department of Public Safety
06/25/2021
06/25/2021
$50,00006/25/2021
$50,000
SY: Counselor at Milagro Middle School
SY: Counselor at Milagro Middle School
Santa Fe Public Schools
Santa Fe Public Schools
06/07/2021
06/07/2021
$50,00006/07/2021
$50,000
Instructor-Guidance Counselor
Instructor-Guidance Counselor
State of Louisiana
State of Louisiana
05/30/2021
05/30/2021
$63,71605/30/2021
$63,716
Guidance Counselor
Guidance Counselor
Francis Howell School District
Francis Howell School District
05/27/2021
05/27/2021
$48,55205/27/2021
$48,552
See More Recent Salaries

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Guidance Counselor Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Guidance Counselor. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Guidance Counselor Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Guidance Counselor resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Guidance Counselor Demographics

Gender

female

64.0 %

male

30.6 %

unknown

5.4 %

Ethnicity

White

70.8 %

Hispanic or Latino

11.4 %

Black or African American

10.8 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.8 %

French

7.0 %

Filipino

3.9 %
See More Demographics

Guidance Counselor Education

Majors

Education
11.1 %

Degrees

Bachelors

47.1 %

Masters

35.4 %

Certificate

7.6 %

Top Colleges for Guidance Counselors

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

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

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

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

4. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

5. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

6. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

7. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

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

8. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

9. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,816
Enrollment
6,840

10. University of Maryland - College Park

College Park, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,595
Enrollment
30,184
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Guidance Counselor That You May Like

Certified Financial Health Counselor (Exam Included)
ed2go

Certified Financial Health Counselor (Exam Included)...

Certified Credit Counselor and Certified Financial Health Counselor (Exam Included)
ed2go

Certified Credit Counselor and Certified Financial Health Counselor (Exam Included)...

Career Counselor
ed2go

Career Counselor...

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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Guidance Counselor

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, 7.9% of guidance counselors listed crisis intervention on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and interpersonal skills are important as well.

Best States For a Guidance Counselor

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a guidance counselor. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, Connecticut, California, and Massachusetts. Guidance counselors make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $63,331. Whereas in Connecticut and California, they would average $61,369 and $60,265, respectively. While guidance counselors would only make an average of $57,977 in Massachusetts, 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. Connecticut

Total Guidance Counselor Jobs:
470
Highest 10% Earn:
$88,000
Location Quotient:
1.49
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. Massachusetts

Total Guidance Counselor Jobs:
1,813
Highest 10% Earn:
$82,000
Location Quotient:
2.07
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. California

Total Guidance Counselor Jobs:
3,656
Highest 10% Earn:
$81,000
Location Quotient:
1.31
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 Guidance Counselor Employers

1. United States Army
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$44,567
Guidance Counselors Hired: 
116+
2. YMCA of Greater Indianapolis
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$46,003
Guidance Counselors Hired: 
24+
3. City of Roseville
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$52,497
Guidance Counselors Hired: 
22+
4. Clark County School District
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$51,477
Guidance Counselors Hired: 
20+
5. Hillsborough County Public Schools
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$49,595
Guidance Counselors Hired: 
20+
6. Pinellas County Schools
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$48,259
Guidance Counselors Hired: 
10+

Guidance Counselor Videos

Updated October 2, 2020