Are you someone who is good at listening to others and knows the right questions to ask, or are you good at analyzing ideas and using logic to determine strengths and weaknesses? If you are this kind of person, then working as a vocational counselor might just be the perfect career for you. It is a rewarding job where you can help others match the position that suits them.

Vocational counselors assist clients who are looking for a role that suits their job experience, educational background, qualifications, and potential career aims. They are also known as career counselors or job counselors. They typically interview clients for qualifications and check job listings to match them with open positions. Some vocational counselors are trained in working with disabled individuals and veterans.

To work as a vocational counselor, you must possess a master's degree that focuses on fields like mental health or community counseling. As a pre-requisite for this degree, you must first finish your bachelor's degree in psychology or any other related field. It is important for the person filling this role to have knowledge in measuring skills and personalities.

What Does a Vocational 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.

Learn more about what a Vocational Counselor does

How To Become a Vocational 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.

Learn More About How To Become a Vocational Counselor

Vocational Counselor Career Paths

Average Salary for a Vocational Counselor

Vocational Counselors in America make an average salary of $39,135 per year or $19 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $50,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $30,000 per year.
Average Vocational Counselor Salary
$39,135 Yearly
$18.81 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?


Vocational Counselor Education

Vocational Counselor Majors

Vocational Counselor Degrees


62.4 %


24.2 %


8.3 %

Top Colleges for Vocational Counselors

1. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition

3. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

4. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

5. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

6. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

7. SUNY at Albany

Albany, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

8. San Jose State University

San Jose, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

9. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

10. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition

Top Skills For a Vocational 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, 14.9% of vocational counselors listed vocational rehabilitation on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and speaking skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Vocational Counselor Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Vocational Counselor templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Vocational Counselor resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Vocational Counselor Demographics

Vocational Counselor Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among vocational counselors, 70.2% of them are women, while 29.8% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among vocational counselors is White, which makes up 69.8% of all vocational counselors.

  • The most common foreign language among vocational counselors is Spanish at 58.3%.

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Best States For a Vocational Counselor

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a vocational counselor. The best states for people in this position are California, Massachusetts, Washington, and New York. Vocational counselors make the most in California with an average salary of $57,179. Whereas in Massachusetts and Washington, they would average $52,390 and $47,377, respectively. While vocational counselors would only make an average of $45,088 in New York, 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. Massachusetts

Total Vocational Counselor Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. California

Total Vocational Counselor Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Washington

Total Vocational Counselor Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Vocational Counselors

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Top Vocational Counselor Employers

Most Common Employers For Vocational Counselor

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Odyssey House Louisiana$44,012$21.166
3Genex Services$42,843$20.606
4Natural Resources Conservation$42,212$20.295
5Options For Youth$40,623$19.534
7Samaritan Daytop Village$38,782$18.654
8Praxis Housing$37,919$18.234
10Rubicon Programs$37,501$18.034