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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 Guidance Counselor
Top Careers After Guidance Counselor
Hispanic or Latino9.3%
Black or African American0.7%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
University of Phoenix12.7%
Nova Southeastern University5.3%
New York University4.8%
University of Dayton4.6%
University of Florida3.8%
West Chester University of Pennsylvania3.8%
University of West Alabama3.8%
Grand Canyon University3.8%
Old Dominion University3.3%
Wayne State University2.8%
Michigan State University2.8%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Guidance Counselor||Princeton International School of Mathematics and||Princeton, NJ||Sep 16, 2013||$68,786|
|Guidance Counselor||Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan||New York, NY||Dec 31, 2016||$62,610|
|Guidance Counselor||Baltimore City Public Schools||Baltimore, MD||Aug 25, 2011||$62,217|
|Guidance Counselor||Ecole Internationale de Boston||Cambridge, MA||Oct 01, 2010||$56,996 -
|Guidance Counselor||San Carlos Unified School District No. 20||San Carlos, AZ||Jul 13, 2015||$55,000|
|Guidance Counselor||Mary's Center for Maternal and Child Care||Washington, DC||Jul 02, 2015||$52,853|
|Guidance Counselor||Bertie County Schools||Windsor, NC||Aug 20, 2009||$50,112|
|Guidance Counselor||International Education Partners LLC||Providence, RI||Sep 18, 2014||$50,000|
|Guidance Counselor||California Preparatory College Education Group, In||Redlands, CA||Apr 01, 2012||$48,000|
|Guidance Counselor||Bertie County Schools||Windsor, NC||Feb 17, 2011||$45,940|
|Senior Guidance Counselor||Bertie County Schools||Windsor, NC||Mar 29, 2012||$45,940|
|Senior Guidance Counselor||Olivet University||San Francisco, CA||Jul 21, 2015||$43,805|
|International Guidance Counselor||The University of Findlay||Findlay, OH||May 14, 2015||$43,633|
|Guidance Counselor||Edico USA, Inc.||Dover, DE||Apr 02, 2016||$42,619|
|International Guidance Counselor||The University of Findlay||Findlay, OH||May 14, 2012||$42,000|
|Guidance Counselor||Berties County Schools||Windsor, NC||Oct 05, 2010||$42,000|
|Guidance Counselor||Christian Family International||Silver Spring, MD||Oct 01, 2011||$41,823|
|Guidance Counselor||Olivet University||San Francisco, CA||May 01, 2016||$41,400|
|Guidance Counselor; Elementary||Hudson School District||Hudson, NH||Aug 23, 2016||$40,798|
|Guidance Counselor||Olivet University||San Francisco, CA||Jan 05, 2013||$40,140|
|Guidance Counselor||Olivet University||San Francisco, CA||Oct 31, 2012||$40,140|
|Guidance Counselor||Astar Education Institute||Manassas, VA||Oct 01, 2012||$40,000|
|Guidance Counselor||Astar Education Institute||Manassas, VA||Sep 28, 2012||$40,000|
|Guidance Counselor; Elementary||Hudson School District||Hudson, NH||Aug 26, 2014||$39,184|
|Educational Guidance Counselor||MSM International Inc.||MD||Jul 26, 2011||$39,100|
|Educational Guidance Counselor||MSM International Inc.||Springfield, VA||Aug 20, 2012||$38,500|
|Educational and Guidance Counselor||Advanced California Innovative Institute, Inc.||Alhambra, CA||Aug 26, 2016||$38,192|
|Guidance Counselor||Yeshiva Ohr Torah Community School, Inc.||New York, NY||Mar 03, 2014||$36,627|
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Guidance Counselor - Career Conversation
Career Planning : How to Become a Career Guidance Counselor