A Program Counselor is an essential part of a school's faculty. It's the counselor's responsibility to ensure that students are benefiting from the school's educational curriculum. This person is also tasked to help students resolve issues and problems that may hinder any educational progress. They are also part of the disciplinary team intended to instill good morals, ethics, and decency in students. The Program Counselor is one of the teacher or professor who has expertise or has a high educational degree in a particular subject or field.

Program Counselor Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real program counselor resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Mentor and/or counsel students throughout their program to achieve an acceptable level of graduates to meet accreditation standards.
  • Receive CPR and first aid certifications.
  • Attend and receive CPR and basic restraint technique certifications.
  • Complete any necessary paperwork require for periodic monitoring of clients and maintain detailed log book of clients activities within respect pod.
  • Minimize conflict that may result in crisis using CPI techniques and physical restraint if necessary to ensure safety.
  • Assist the program director in maintaining consistency in program implementation and communication with staff and interdisciplinary team members.
  • Resolve interpersonal conflict among youth using conflict management and communication tools such as mediation and peer-review decision making.
  • Provide case management including treatment planning, home visitation and resources for families of adolescents experiencing runaway and truant behavior.
Program Counselor Traits
Analytical skills have to do with gathering information from various sources and then interpreting the data in order to reach a logical conclusion that benefits the business.
Compassion is a skill that is necessary for working with others as you're able to put aside your differences and show genuine kindness toward others.
Interpersonal skills involves being able to communicate efficiently with multiple people regarding your thoughts, ideas and feedback.

Program Counselor Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a program counselor is "should I become a program counselor?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, program counselor careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 8% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a program counselor by 2028 is 27,200.

Program counselors average about $17.46 an hour, which makes the program counselor annual salary $36,325. Additionally, program counselors are known to earn anywhere from $27,000 to $48,000 a year. This means that the top-earning program counselors make $21,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

Once you've become a program counselor, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include a counselor internship, student support counselor, substance abuse counselor, and rehabilitation counselor.

Program Counselor Jobs You Might Like

Program Counselor Resume Examples

Program Counselor Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 13% of Program Counselors are proficient in Intellectual Disabilities, Crisis Intervention, and Community Integration. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Compassion, and Interpersonal skills.

We break down the percentage of Program Counselors that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Intellectual Disabilities, 13%

    Consult with a multidisciplinary team to ensure optimal provision of care for clients with intellectual disabilities.

  • Crisis Intervention, 10%

    Conducted post-crisis intervention planning through brief intensive individual and family counseling directly after a psychiatric hospitalization discharge

  • Community Integration, 8%

    Provide Care to individuals with developmental/physical disabilities* Pass medications* Provide community integration

  • CPR, 8%

    Maintain training in CPR, First Aid, Rule 40, OSHA, Vulnerable Adults and medical equipment.

  • Medication Administration, 6%

    Support residents with daily activities that may include medication administration.

  • Personal Care, 5%

    Provided personal care and advocated for four residents with physical and developmental disabilities.

"intellectual disabilities," "crisis intervention," and "community integration" aren't the only skills we found program counselors list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of program counselor responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Analytical skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a program counselor to have. According to a program counselor resume, "school and career counselors interpret assessments to match interests and abilities with potential careers. " program counselors are able to use analytical skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "direct staff to disabled persons, medication administration, peri-cares, logging information in therap database. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform program counselor duties is the following: compassion. According to a program counselor resume, "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." Check out this example of how program counselors use compassion: "direct support personnel * deliver compassionate care for group homes. "
  • Program counselors are also known for interpersonal skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a program counselor resume: "school and career counselors must be able to work with people of all backgrounds and personalities" We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "increased the safety of patients and staff members by effectively diffusing intrapersonal and interpersonal conflict of patients. "
  • In order for certain program counselor responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "listening skills." According to a program counselor resume, "school and career counselors need good listening skills" As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "communicated effectively with summer campers, parents, and staff members. "
  • Yet another important skill that a program counselor must demonstrate is "speaking skills." School and career counselors must communicate effectively with clients and students This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a program counselor who stated: "conducted crisis intervention assessments within emergency room setting on individuals who presented with possible substance abuse issues. "
  • See the full list of program counselor skills.

    We've found that 60.2% of program counselors have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 15.4% earned their master's degrees before becoming a program counselor. While it's true that most program counselors have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every eight program counselors did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    The program counselors who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied psychology and social work, while a small population of program counselors studied criminal justice and business.

    When you're ready to become a program counselor, you might wonder which companies hire program counselors. According to our research through program counselor resumes, program counselors are mostly hired by The Salvation Army, Geo Group, and Achieve. Now is a good time to apply as The Salvation Army has 3 program counselors job openings, and there are 2 at Geo Group and 1 at Achieve.

    Since salary is important to some program counselors, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Catholic Charities USA, Center For Family Services, and University of Tennessee. If you were to take a closer look at Catholic Charities USA, you'd find that the average program counselor salary is $49,229. Then at Center For Family Services, program counselors receive an average salary of $47,967, while the salary at University of Tennessee is $41,832.

    View more details on program counselor salaries across the United States.

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at Camp Systems International, YMCA of Greater Omaha, and Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego. These three companies have hired a significant number of program counselors from these institutions.

    For the most part, program counselors make their living in the non profits and education industries. Program counselors tend to make the most in the government industry with an average salary of $42,341. The program counselor annual salary in the education and hospitality industries generally make $39,693 and $38,173 respectively. Additionally, program counselors who work in the government industry make 18.5% more than program counselors in the non profits Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious program counselors are:

      What Counselor Internships Do

      When it comes to Counselor Internship, among the primary responsibilities is to assist in dealing with various activities such as preparing and verifying necessary documentation, observing consultations and outreach programs, guide clients and help develop multiple helpful strategies, and provide assessments. Furthermore, one can conduct counseling and consultation only under supervision. It is also essential to track the information gathered and coordinate with assigned personnel to adhere to the company's regulations and policies.

      We looked at the average program counselor annual salary and compared it with the average of a counselor internship. Generally speaking, counselor interns receive $6,605 higher pay than program counselors per year.

      Even though program counselors and counselor interns have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require crisis intervention, substance abuse, and behavioral issues in the day-to-day roles.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a program counselor responsibility requires skills such as "intellectual disabilities," "community integration," "cpr," and "medication administration." Whereas a counselor internship is skilled in "counselors," "clinical supervision," "new clients," and "support groups." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      Counselor interns tend to make the most money in the education industry by averaging a salary of $46,282. In contrast, program counselors make the biggest average salary of $42,341 in the government industry.

      The education levels that counselor interns earn is a bit different than that of program counselors. In particular, counselor interns are 33.9% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a program counselor. Additionally, they're 1.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Student Support Counselor?

      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.

      The next role we're going to look at is the student support counselor profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $1,404 lower salary than program counselors per year.

      While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both program counselors and student support counselors are known to have skills such as "intellectual disabilities," "crisis intervention," and "community integration. "

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, program counselor responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "patience," "program activities," "relapse prevention," and "program participants." Meanwhile, a student support counselor might be skilled in areas such as "student records," "professional development," "special projects," and "financial aid." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      It's been discovered that student support counselors earn lower salaries compared to program counselors, but we wanted to find out where student support counselors earned the most pay. The answer? The technology industry. The average salary in the industry is $40,101. Additionally, program counselors earn the highest paychecks in the government with an average salary of $42,341.

      When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, student support counselors tend to reach similar levels of education than program counselors. In fact, they're 1.4% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 1.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Substance Abuse Counselor Compares

      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.

      The third profession we take a look at is substance abuse counselor. On an average scale, these workers bring in higher salaries than program counselors. In fact, they make a $661 higher salary per year.

      While looking through the resumes of several program counselors and substance abuse counselors we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "crisis intervention," "substance abuse," and "staff meetings," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

      Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from program counselor resumes include skills like "intellectual disabilities," "community integration," "cpr," and "medication administration," whereas a substance abuse counselor might be skilled in "appropriate referrals," "chemical dependency," "methadone," and "drug screens. "

      Additionally, substance abuse counselors earn a higher salary in the government industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $64,773. Additionally, program counselors earn an average salary of $42,341 in the government industry.

      When it comes to education, substance abuse counselors tend to earn higher education levels than program counselors. In fact, they're 20.5% more likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.9% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Rehabilitation Counselor

      Rehabilitation counselors are professional counselors who are responsible for helping individuals cope with their disabilities to live independently. These counselors are required to consult other professionals, family members, and individuals when developing a treatment plan based on the goals, strengths, limitations, and personal values of their clients. They must make connections with community support so that individuals with disabilities can avail of the types of services that are available. Rehabilitation counselors must also find employers and educate them in understanding the needs and abilities of disabled people.

      Rehabilitation counselors tend to earn a lower pay than program counselors by about $3,247 per year.

      While both program counselors and rehabilitation counselors complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like intellectual disabilities, crisis intervention, and community integration, the two careers also vary in other skills.

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "behavioral issues," "patience," "program activities," and "relapse prevention" are skills that have shown up on program counselors resumes. Additionally, rehabilitation counselor uses skills like vocational rehabilitation, counselors, community agencies, and community partners on their resumes.

      Rehabilitation counselors earn a higher salary in the government industry with an average of $35,967. Whereas, program counselors earn the highest salary in the government industry.

      Rehabilitation counselors reach higher levels of education when compared to program counselors. The difference is that they're 22.4% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 0.9% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.