Research Summary. After extensive research, interviews, and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:
Salaries have increased 7% for guidance counselors in the last 5 years
Projected job growth for guidance counselors is 8% from 2018-2028
There are over 21,516 guidance counselors currently employed in the United States
There are 75,740 active guidance counselor job openings in the US based on job postings
The average salary for a guidance counselor is $48,154
Yes, guidance counselor jobs are in demand. The job market for analysts is projected to grow 8% from 2018 to 2028.
|Year||# Of Jobs||% Of Population|
|Year||Avg. Salary||Hourly Rate||% Change|
Mouse over a state to see the number of active guidance counselor jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where guidance counselors earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.
|Rank||State||Population||# of Jobs||Employment/1000ppl|
|2||District of Columbia||693,972||173||25%|
|Rank||City||# of Jobs||Employment/1000ppl||Avg. Salary|
We spoke to professors and experts from several universities and companies to get their opinions on where the job market for recent graduates is heading, as well as how young graduates entering the industry can be adequately prepared. Here are their thoughts.
School Counseling Program
Lisa Brown: School counselors have always worked with issues beyond academic performance and college admission. School counselors may be the first to hear of child abuse in the home, deaths occurring in the family, parents struggling with a medical issue, and so forth. Today, school counselors address more social-emotional, mental health, and behavioral issues than ever before. Students are concerned about the socio-political climate, systemic racism, school shootings, bullying, and teen suicide. Therefore, a school counselor who has additional training in these areas would be an asset to a school. Our national professional organization, American School Counseling Association (ASCA), provides resources and training on these topics to ensure the school counselors remain competent to address these concerns. School counselors with knowledge and training on crisis and trauma response are especially helpful as many students have experienced various traumas due to COVID-19.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training and experiences are also highly sought after. School counselors are agents of change with an ethical obligation to serve as advocates and leaders in combatting systemic discrimination and education barriers. This is not restricted to race but does include other multicultural factors. During COVID-19, school counselors have seen an increase in the number of students identifying as non-binary. School counselors collaborate with parents, teachers, coaches, and administrators to ensure that these individuals are respected and a valued part of the school.
Lisa Brown: School counselors must be efficient. They may have large caseloads of students for which they are responsible. Being able to prioritize, manage their time, and have a strong work ethic are necessary components to success. Attitude is also key. School counselors are to be empathic, approachable, and nonjudgmental. This means school counselors need to be open to learning from others and be willing to confront any bias or prejudice they may hold.
School counselors are collaborators within the school system and may work as part of a large team that may include the student, parents, teachers, coaches, deans, social workers, psychiatrists, and so forth. School counselors must understand and demonstrate teamwork and conflict resolution.
Lisa Brown: Because of the prevalence of social/emotional issues within K-12, especially in the last few years, school counselors need to have assessment skills. School counselors need to identify any red flags in their students that may indicate the student is struggling. This goes beyond academics and includes aspects such as interpersonal skills and self-worth.
Similar to assessment is data analysis. The gathering of data does not stop after a student is assessed but rather is just beginning. School counselors are held accountable to demonstrate the interventions they are utilizing are working. Data is also used to secure future funds. If an intervention used within the fall resulted in little change, a school district might not allocate funds to continue to use the same program. School counselors utilize data to demonstrate how effective they are and advocate for additional resources to address social/emotional issues within their student body.
As we learned during COVID-19, school counselors need to be tech-savvy. Many students are still learning remotely or are utilizing a hybrid format. While this has been quite helpful for some students, others are falling through the cracks. School counselors have had to get creative in checking in with their students and are doing so through technology.
Lisa Brown: Earning potential for school counselors is not likely to vary based on skillset, but rather the state or school district. Salary may vary based on the type of degree (master's versus doctorate) and level of experience. I am unsure of what skills may increase one's salary. As a counselor educator, I advise my students to remain relevant. Part of being successful in our field understands how current events shape the lives and needs of our students. Currently, there is a great need for school counselors to understand trauma, LGBTQ+ identities, and how to establish an anti-racist school.