To become a senior counselor, you usually need a bachelor's degree and 1-2 years of experience. The most common jobs before becoming a senior counselor are associate, counselor, and internship. It takes an average of less than 1 month of job training to become a senior counselor.

The national average salary for senior counselors is $127,405, but with the right certifications and experience, they can make up to $200,000. Getting a certification as a Pastoral Counseling Certification will help you to earn more as a senior counselor.

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 33,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

How to become a Senior Counselor in 7 steps:

  • Step 1: Explore senior counselor education
  • Step 2: Develop senior counselor skills
  • Step 3: Complete relevent training/internship
  • Step 4: Get senior counselor certifications
  • Step 5: Research senior counselor duties
  • Step 6: Prepare your resume
  • Step 7: Get senior counselor experience

Key Steps To Become a Senior Counselor

  1. Explore Senior Counselor Education

    If you're interested in becoming a senior counselor, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 55.6% of senior counselors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 12.9% of senior counselors have master's degrees. Even though most senior 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 senior counselor. When we researched the most common majors for a senior counselor, we found that they most commonly have law, psychology and business.

    Senior Counselor Degrees


    55.6 %


    18.0 %


    12.9 %

    Senior Counselor MajorPercentages
    Political Science6.40%
    Other Degrees46.90%

  2. Develop Senior Counselor Skills

    It'll be a good idea to develop senior counselor skills before applying for a job. Here are some skills commonly requested in senior counselor job descriptions:

    Legal Advice9.99%
    Legal Issues7.47%
    Legal Support5.27%

  3. Complete Relevent Training/Internship

    Senior counselors spend an average of Less than 1 month on post-employment, on-the-job training. During this time, new senior counselors learn the skills and techniques required for their specific job and employer. The chart below shows how much time it takes to gain competency as a senior counselor based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and data from real senior counselor resumes.

    Average Amount Of Time At Training


    Less than 1 month

    1-3 months

    3-6 months

    6-12 months

    1-2 years

    2-4 years

    More than 10 years

  4. Get Senior Counselor Certifications

    Certifications can show employers you have a baseline of knowledge expected for this position. They can also make you a more competitive candidate. Even if employers don't require a certification, having one may help you stand out in an application. Plus, the process of getting a certification can teach you new skills that you can bring to your work. We determined the most common certifications for senior counselors. The most common certification is Pastoral Counseling Certification, but Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC) is also frequently seen in senior counselors resumes.

    1. Pastoral Counseling Certification
    2. Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC)
    3. Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor
    4. First Aid, CPR and AED Instructor
    5. Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC)
    6. Certified Professional Counselor
    7. Certified Manager Certification (CM)
    8. National Certified Counselor (NCC)

    More About Certifications

  5. Research Senior Counselor Duties

    When you decide to become a senior counselor, It's important to know what duties and responsibilities are required for this position. Some common responsibilities are a part of most senior counselor jobs. Here is a list of the main duties that define the role:

    • Manage team of IP professionals in patent, trademark and copyright protection matters.
    • Provide supervision and manage delinquent youthful offenders, in a secure residential correctional treatment facility.
    • Manage outside counsel in connection with merger/acquisition/business development activity, litigation matters, and the resolution of third party disputes.
    • Lead educational initiatives to patients such as education in safety, assertive communication, appropriate boundaries, personal hygiene and nutrition.
    • Manage the dispute resolution/litigation process; responding to and resolving threaten litigation; responding to subpoenas and regulatory inquiries and investigations.
    • Assist with ADL's, teaching/mentoring, advocating and community integration.

  6. Get Senior Counselor Experience

    Generally, it takes 1-2 years to become a senior counselor. The most common roles before becoming a senior counselor include associate, counselor team lead and internship.

  7. Prepare Your Resume

    Finally, when you already have checked the skills and responsibilities for this role, you can start creating your resume. Everything that goes into creating a perfect resume can take hours, days, or even weeks. No worries, we created a resume builder to make this process as easy as possible with tips and examples of skills, responsibilities, and a summary.

    Choose From 10+ Customizable Senior Counselor Resume templates

    Build a professional Senior Counselor resume in minutes. Browse through our resume examples to identify the best way to word your resume. Then choose from 10+ resume templates to create your Senior Counselor resume.

    Senior Counselor Resume
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  8. Apply For a Senior Counselor Job

    With your ready resume, it's time to start searching for a new job. Consider the tips below for a successful job search:

    1. Browse job boards for relevant postings
    2. Consult your professional network
    3. Reach out to companies you're interested in working for directly
    4. Watch out for job scams

    Senior Counselor Jobs

  9. How To Become a Senior Counselor
    How To Become a Senior Counselor Career Overview

Average Salary for a Senior Counselor

Senior Counselors in America make an average salary of $127,405 per year or $61 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $200,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $81,000 per year.
Average Senior Counselor Salary
$127,405 Yearly
$61.25 hourly

What Am I Worth?