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Become A Residence Counselor

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Working As A Residence Counselor

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $43,361

    Average Salary

What Does A Residence Counselor Do

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists help people manage and overcome mental and emotional disorders and problems with their family and other relationships. They listen to clients and ask questions to help the clients understand their problems and develop strategies to improve their lives.

Duties

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists typically do the following:

  • Diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, such as anxiety and depression
  • Encourage clients to discuss their emotions and experiences
  • Help clients process their reactions and adjust to difficult changes in their life, such as divorce and layoffs
  • Guide clients through the process of making decisions about their future
  • Help clients develop strategies and skills to change their behavior and to cope with difficult situations
  • Refer clients to other resources or services in the community, such as support groups or inpatient treatment facilities

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists use a variety of techniques and tools to help their clients. Many apply cognitive behavioral therapy, a goal-oriented approach that helps clients understand harmful thoughts, feelings, and beliefs and teaches how to replace them with positive, life-enhancing ones. Furthermore, mental health counselors use cognitive behavioral therapy to teach clients to eliminate unwanted and damaging behaviors and to replace them with more productive ones.

Although some disorders can be overcome, others need to be managed. With the latter, mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists help the client develop strategies and skills to minimize the effects of their disorders or illnesses.

Many mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists work in private practice. They must spend time marketing their practice to prospective clients and working with insurance companies and clients to get payment for their services.

Mental health counselors provide treatment to individuals, families, couples, and groups. Some work with specific populations, such as the elderly, college students, or children. Mental health counselors deal with a variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, grief, low self-esteem, stress, and suicidal impulses. They also help with mental and emotional health issues and relationship problems. 

Marriage and family therapists work with individuals, couples, and families. Unlike other types of mental health professionals, they bring a family-centered perspective to treatment, even when treating individuals. They evaluate family roles and development, to understand how clients’ families affect their mental health. They treat the clients’ relationships, not just the clients themselves. They address issues, such as low self-esteem, stress, addiction, and substance abuse.

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists coordinate patient treatment with other professionals, such as psychiatrists and social workers.

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How To Become A Residence Counselor

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists are typically required to have a master’s degree and a license to practice.

Education

To become a mental health counselor or a marriage and family therapist, applicants typically need a master’s degree in psychology, clinical mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, or a related mental health field. A bachelor’s degree in most fields is acceptable to enter a master’s program.

Counseling programs prepare students to recognize symptoms of mental and emotional disorders and to use effective counseling strategies. Marriage and family therapy programs teach students about how marriages, families, and relationships function and how these relationships can affect mental and emotional disorders.

Many employers prefer to hire counselors who have graduated from programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs.

Training

Candidates gain hands-on experience through postdegree supervised clinical work, sometimes referred to as an internship or residency. In training, they learn to provide family therapy, group therapy, psychotherapy, and other therapeutic interventions, under the supervision of a licensed counselor.

Licenses

All states require mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists to be licensed in the state in which they practice. Licensure requires a master’s degree and 2,000 to 4,000 hours of postdegree supervised clinical experience, sometimes referred to as an internship or residency. In addition, counselors and therapists must pass a state-recognized exam and complete annual continuing education classes.

Contact information for state boards regulating mental health counselors is available through the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Contact and licensing information for marriage and family therapists is available through the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Counselors and therapists often work with people who are dealing with stressful and difficult situations, so they must be compassionate and empathize with their clients.

Interpersonal skills. Being able to work with different types of people is essential for counselors and therapists. They spend most of their time working directly with clients and other professionals and must be able to encourage good relationships.

Listening skills. Good listening skills are essential for mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists, both of whom need to give their full attention to their clients to understand their problems, values, and goals.

Organizational skills. Good organizational skills are especially important for counselors and therapists in private practice, who must keep track of payments and work with insurance companies.

Speaking skills. Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists need to be able to communicate with clients effectively. They must express ideas and information in a way that clients can understand easily.

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Residence Counselor Jobs

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Residence Counselor Career Paths

Residence Counselor
Program Manager Clinical Director
Administrative Director, Behavioral Health Services
11 Yearsyrs
Direct Support Professional Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Care Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Therapist
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Direct Support Professional Program Coordinator Clinical Supervisor
Clinical Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Residential Counselor Case Manager Registered Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Clinician Clinical Social Worker School Counselor
Counseling Director
5 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Therapist Program Director
Director Of Residential Services
7 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Social Worker
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Counselor Case Manager Social Worker
Director Of Social Work
7 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Social Worker Clinician
Health Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Counselor Instructor Case Manager
Medical Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Specialist Program Director Clinical Director
Outpatient Services Director
10 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Front Desk Coordinator Front Office Manager
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Residential Counselor Specialist Direct Support Professional
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Program Coordinator Program Supervisor
Residential Program Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Program Director
Unit Director
5 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor Utilization Review Coordinator
Utilities Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Residence Counselor?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Residential Worker 2.1 years
Resource Counselor 2.1 years
Group Counselor 2.1 years
Counselor 2.0 years
Program Counselor 1.9 years
Relief Counselor 1.9 years
Youth Counselor 1.8 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 16.0%
Cashier 9.2%
Counselor 5.4%
Volunteer 5.2%
Teacher 3.3%
Server 3.1%
Top Employers After
Case Manager 12.0%
Internship 9.2%
Counselor 7.1%
Teacher 4.5%
Cashier 3.9%
Volunteer 3.7%
Clinician 3.3%
Specialist 3.0%

Do you work as a Residence Counselor?

Residence Counselor Demographics

Gender

Female

65.9%

Male

31.9%

Unknown

2.2%
Ethnicity

White

63.7%

Hispanic or Latino

13.3%

Black or African American

12.4%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

3.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

49.0%

French

18.3%

Italian

4.6%

Portuguese

4.6%

Korean

3.3%

Hindi

2.6%

Russian

2.6%

German

2.6%

Arabic

2.0%

Indonesian

1.3%

Braille

1.3%

Greek

1.3%

Japanese

1.3%

Dakota

1.3%

Dutch

0.7%

Hmong

0.7%

Ukrainian

0.7%

Wolof

0.7%

Armenian

0.7%

Bengali

0.7%
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Residence Counselor Education

Schools

Mohawk Valley Community College

20.5%

University of Phoenix

7.2%

Liberty University

6.4%

State University of New York Buffalo

5.4%

Rockland Community College

4.8%

Hudson Valley Community College

4.8%

Capella University

4.8%

State University of New York Albany

4.5%

University of Northern Iowa

4.1%

New York University

3.9%

Utica College

3.9%

Walden University

3.9%

University of Louisville

3.9%

State University of New York Empire State College

3.7%

Monroe Community College

3.5%

Syracuse University

3.1%

University of Wisconsin - Stout

3.1%

Ashford University

3.1%

Roberts Wesleyan College

2.7%

Schenectady County Community College

2.7%
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Majors

Psychology

16.7%

Social Work

12.9%

Human Services

8.6%

Criminal Justice

8.5%

Business

8.2%

Nursing

5.1%

Mental Health Counseling

5.0%

School Counseling

4.8%

Education

3.9%

Liberal Arts

3.6%

Sociology

3.4%

Counseling Psychology

2.8%

Health Care Administration

2.7%

Human Development

2.4%

Medical Assisting Services

2.0%

Communication

1.9%

Special Education

1.9%

English

1.8%

Elementary Education

1.8%

Clinical Psychology

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.1%

Masters

24.9%

Other

19.0%

Associate

11.1%

Certificate

3.7%

Doctorate

2.5%

Diploma

1.1%

License

0.7%
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Job type you want
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Residence Counselor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Residence Counselor St. Stanislaus College MS Aug 01, 2011 $59,480
Residence Evening Counselor YAI-National Institute for People With Disabilitie New York, NY Aug 01, 2009 $40,363
Residence Counselor Delaware State University Dover, DE Mar 15, 2011 $39,600 -
$65,000
Residence Counselor Delaware State University Dover, DE Mar 15, 2011 $37,600 -
$50,000
Residence Counselor Bethel University McKenzie, TN Aug 03, 2010 $36,689
Residence Evening Counselor YAI-National Institute for People With Disabilitie New York, NY Aug 01, 2009 $35,437
Resident Minister/Counselor Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA Aug 27, 2010 $32,620
Resident Minister/Counselor Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA Aug 28, 2010 $32,620

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Top Skills for A Residence Counselor

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  1. Independent Living
  2. Crisis Intervention
  3. Safe Environment
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Supervised students in residential areas - encouraged positive social interactions and fostered independent living skills, e.g.
  • Administer individual substance abuse counseling and crisis intervention at a Men's Treatment Facility.
  • Maintained a physically safe environment.
  • Designed and presented educational seminars regarding addiction and mental health, pharmacology, drug interactions, and designed question/answer forums.
  • Conducted individual and group counseling with court-referred clients, conducted diagnostic assessment, wrote treatment plans and maintained professional records

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Top Residence Counselor Employers

Jobs From Top Residence Counselor Employers

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