Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Sign Up

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

Become A School Counselor

Where do you want to work?

To get started, tell us where you'd like to work.
Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.

Working As A School Counselor

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • $50,695

    Average Salary

What Does A School Counselor Do

School counselors help students develop academic and social skills and succeed in school. Career counselors assist people with the process of making career decisions by helping them develop skills or choose a career or educational program.

Duties

School counselors typically do the following:

  • Evaluate students’ abilities and interests through aptitude assessments, interviews, and individual planning
  • Identify issues that impact school performance, such as poor classroom attendance rates
  • Help students understand and overcome social or behavioral problems through classroom guidance lessons and counseling
  • Counsel individuals and small groups on the basis of student and school needs
  • Work with students to develop skills, such as organizational and time management abilities and effective study habits
  • Help students create a plan to achieve academic and career goals
  • Collaborate with teachers, administrators, and parents to help students succeed
  • Teach students and school staff about certain topics, such as bullying, drug abuse, and planning for college or careers after graduation
  • Report possible cases of neglect or abuse and refer students and parents to resources outside the school for additional support

The specific duties of school counselors vary with the ages of their students.

Elementary school counselors focus on helping students develop certain skills, such as those used in decisionmaking and studying, that they need in order to be successful in their social and academic lives. They meet with parents or guardians to discuss their child’s strengths and weaknesses, and any possible special needs and behavioral issues. School counselors also work with teachers and administrators to ensure that the curriculum addresses both the developmental and academic needs of students.

Middle school counselors work with school staff, parents and the community to create a caring, supportive climate and atmosphere for students to achieve academic success. They help the students develop the skills and strategies necessary to succeed academically and socially.

High school counselors advise students in making academic and career plans. Many help students overcome personal issues that interfere with their academic development. They help students choose classes and plan for their lives after graduation. Counselors provide information about choosing and applying for colleges, training programs, financial aid, and internships and apprenticeships. They may present career workshops to help students search and apply for jobs, write résumés, and improve their interviewing skills.

Career counselors typically do the following:

  • Use aptitude and achievement assessments to help clients evaluate their interests, skills, and abilities
  • Evaluate clients’ background, education, and training, to help them develop realistic goals
  • Guide clients through making decisions about their careers, such as choosing a new profession and the type of degree to pursue
  • Help clients learn job search skills, such as interviewing and networking
  • Assist clients in locating and applying for jobs, by teaching them strategies to find openings and how to write a résumé
  • Advise clients on how to resolve problems in the workplace, such as conflicts with bosses or coworkers
  • Help clients select and apply for educational programs, to obtain the necessary degrees, credentials, and skills

Career counselors work with clients at various stages of their careers. Some work in colleges. They may help students choose a major or help students determine what jobs they are qualified for with their degrees.

Career counselors also work with people who have already entered the workforce. These counselors develop plans to improve their client’s current career. They also provide advice about entering a new profession.

Some career counselors work in outplacement firms and assist laid-off workers with transitioning into new jobs or careers. Others work in corporate career centers to assist employees in making decisions about their career path within the company.

Career counselors who work in private practice must spend time marketing their practice to prospective clients and working with clients to receive payments for their services.

Show More

Show Less

How To Become A School Counselor

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.

Show More

Show Less

School Counselor jobs

Add To My Jobs
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real School Counselor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, Inc. New York, NY May 14, 2012 $65,000
Educational, Vocational & School Counselors West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester, PA Mar 30, 2011 $63,031
Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, Inc. New York, NY Aug 29, 2012 $62,000
Lower School Counselor French American International School San Francisco, CA Aug 01, 2014 $62,000
School Counselor The Kew-Forest School Inc. Hillsdale, NY Jan 09, 2016 $60,000
School Counselor The Kew-Forest School, Inc. Hillsdale, NY Jan 09, 2016 $60,000
Educational, Vocational, and School Counselor San Mateo County Community College District San Bruno, CA Dec 06, 2007 $59,571 -
$77,000
School Counselor Dallas Independent School District Dallas, TX Dec 07, 2007 $57,622
Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH Dec 29, 2010 $57,340
Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors University of Central Oklahoma Edmond, OK Jun 23, 2010 $55,352
School Counselor Norris School District Bakersfield, CA Mar 31, 2016 $53,819
School Counselor Norris School District Bakersfield, CA Apr 04, 2016 $53,819
School Counselor Paterson Charter School for Sci and Tech Paterson, NJ Feb 01, 2011 $53,800
School Counselor New York City Department of Education New York, NY May 15, 2015 $53,792
Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors California College of Communications San Jose, CA Jan 28, 2011 $50,565
School Counselor New York Film Academy Burbank, CA Sep 08, 2015 $50,168
Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors Research Foundation of Cuny New York, NY Apr 20, 2009 $50,130
School Counselor LFNO, Inc. New Orleans, LA Jul 30, 2015 $50,000
Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors The Ohio University Athens, OH Aug 13, 2012 $49,790
Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors West Contra Costa Unified School District Richmond, CA Feb 25, 2014 $49,544
Educational, Vocational and School Counselors Suny-Buffalostate College Buffalo, NY Aug 19, 2010 $49,129
Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors Amherst Regional School District Amherst, MA May 01, 2008 $48,872
School Counselor Suika Education, Inc. Torrance, CA Sep 28, 2013 $41,886
School Counselor Suika Education, Inc. Torrance, CA Sep 04, 2013 $41,886
School Counselor Suika Education, Inc. Torrance, CA Oct 01, 2013 $41,886
Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors Wright State University Dayton, OH Apr 19, 2012 $41,071
Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors Appalachian State University Boone, NC May 26, 2010 $40,600
School Counselor Rosemead College of English Rosemead, CA Sep 07, 2014 $40,592
Educational Vocational & School Counselors Bertie County Schools Windsor, NC Feb 12, 2010 $40,220
School Counselor Rosemead College of English Rosemead, CA Sep 03, 2015 $40,196

No Results

To get more results, try adjusting your search by changing your filters.

Show More

Top Skills for A School Counselor

CrisisInterventionBehavioralIssuesGuidanceCurriculumSmallGroupCounselorsChildAbuseIEPSocialSkillsSpecialEducationMentalHealthConflictResolutionFinancialAidSuperviseCommunityResourcesCharacterEducationLessonPlansProfessionalDevelopmentAngerManagementMasterScheduleKindergarten

Show More

Top School Counselor Skills

  1. Crisis Intervention
  2. Behavioral Issues
  3. Guidance Curriculum
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide crisis intervention counseling to all students where students would feel safe to share concerns.
  • School based counselor providing individual, group and family therapies to students identified as having emotional and behavioral issues.
  • Implement the elementary guidance curriculum.
  • Worked with individuals, small groups on weekly basis.
  • Conferred with parents, teachers, other counselors, and administrators to resolve students' behavioral and academic issues.

Top School Counselor Employers

School Counselor Videos

A Day in the Life of a School Counselor

Job Shadowing a School Counselor

High School Counselor

×