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School Counselor Careers

Also known as guidance counselors, school counselors help students achieve the academic and social skills that they need to succeed in school and in life. They guide students through maintaining academic standards, setting goals for academic success, and improving their study habits and time management skills. They use assessments to identify students' interests, strengths, and aptitudes as well.

School counselors also help students work through personal problems that may affect their academics or relationships and help them cope with school or community related violence, accidents, and trauma.

To do this, they often offer individual counselling to help students resolve personal and interpersonal problems and group counselling to help students enhance their listening and social skills and learn how to empathise with others.

Becoming a school counselor requires a bachelor's degree in psychology, counselling, or social work, but some schools might also prefer a master's degree. School counselors also need to obtain the relevant certifications from the state where they're working. They earn an average salary of $54,913 a year.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a school counselor. For example, did you know that they make an average of $22.62 an hour? That's $47,048 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 27,200 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a School Counselor Do

There are certain skills that many school counselors have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, compassion and interpersonal skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a school counselor, we found that a lot of resumes listed 7.5% of school counselors included mental health, while 6.6% of resumes included counselors, and 5.9% of resumes included community resources. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the school counselor job title. But what industry to start with? Most school counselors actually find jobs in the education and non profits industries.

How To Become a School Counselor

If you're interested in becoming a school counselor, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 25.0% of school counselors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 49.7% of school counselors have master's degrees. Even though most school counselors have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a school counselor. When we researched the most common majors for a school counselor, we found that they most commonly earn master's degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on school counselor resumes include high school diploma degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a school counselor. In fact, many school counselor jobs require experience in a role such as teacher. Meanwhile, many school counselors also have previous career experience in roles such as internship or school counseling internship.

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Average Salary
$47,048
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
18,670
Job Openings

School Counselor Career Paths

Top Careers Before School Counselor

Teacher
11.6 %

Top Careers After School Counselor

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a School Counselor

School Counselors in America make an average salary of $47,048 per year or $23 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $61,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $36,000 per year.
Average Salary
$47,048

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Santa Rosa, CA
Salary Range51k - 72k$61k$61,167
Nashua, NH
Salary Range48k - 71k$59k$58,676
Newington, CT
Salary Range46k - 69k$57k$56,604
Philadelphia, PA
Salary Range41k - 63k$51k$51,457
Paterson, NJ
Salary Range41k - 62k$51k$50,967
New York, NY
Salary Range41k - 61k$50k$50,242
$29k
$72k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
School-Wide Check & Connect Counselor/Mentor
School-Wide Check & Connect Counselor/Mentor
Fond Du Lac Reservation
Fond Du Lac Reservation
03/31/2021
03/31/2021
$30,00003/31/2021
$30,000
School Counselor
School Counselor
Falcon School District 49
Falcon School District 49
03/20/2021
03/20/2021
$37,11603/20/2021
$37,116
SY School Counselor-Mental Health Support (DHS)
SY School Counselor-Mental Health Support (DHS)
Dysart Unified School District
Dysart Unified School District
03/12/2021
03/12/2021
$40,87303/12/2021
$40,873
Certified/Licensed School Counselor (Miami
Certified/Licensed School Counselor (Miami
Catapult Learning
Catapult Learning
03/10/2021
03/10/2021
$52,17503/10/2021
$52,175
School Counselor (Temporary Position)
School Counselor (Temporary Position)
Greenfield Union School District
Greenfield Union School District
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$68,73801/29/2021
$68,738
See More Recent Salaries

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School Counselor Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a School Counselor. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a School Counselor Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless School Counselor resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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School Counselor Demographics

Gender

female

69.4 %

male

25.5 %

unknown

5.1 %

Ethnicity

White

70.8 %

Hispanic or Latino

11.4 %

Black or African American

10.8 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

69.8 %

French

11.0 %

Mandarin

2.3 %
See More Demographics

School Counselor Education

Majors

Degrees

Bachelors

43.7 %

Masters

32.0 %

Certificate

9.0 %

Top Colleges for School Counselors

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

4. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

5. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

6. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

7. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

8. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

9. University of Maryland - College Park

College Park, MD • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,595
Enrollment
30,184

10. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,816
Enrollment
6,840
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a School Counselor

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 7.5% of school counselors listed mental health on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and compassion are important as well.

Best States For a School Counselor

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a school counselor. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, California, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. School counselors make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $63,978. Whereas in California and New Hampshire, they would average $59,054 and $58,324, respectively. While school counselors would only make an average of $56,500 in Connecticut, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Connecticut

Total School Counselor Jobs:
479
Highest 10% Earn:
$82,000
Location Quotient:
2.14
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Hampshire

Total School Counselor Jobs:
159
Highest 10% Earn:
$84,000
Location Quotient:
1.34
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Pennsylvania

Total School Counselor Jobs:
944
Highest 10% Earn:
$74,000
Location Quotient:
1.2
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top School Counselor Employers

1. YMCA of Greater Indianapolis
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$45,320
School Counselors Hired: 
792+
2. YMCA of Greater Houston
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$44,423
School Counselors Hired: 
83+
3. YWCA USA
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$43,565
School Counselors Hired: 
49+
4. Potomac High School
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$52,909
School Counselors Hired: 
32+
5. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$52,375
School Counselors Hired: 
29+
6. Fairfax County Public Schools
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$52,360
School Counselors Hired: 
29+

School Counselor Videos

Updated October 2, 2020