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Become A Youth Counselor

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Working As A Youth Counselor

  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • $29,635

    Average Salary

What Does A Youth Counselor Do

A Youth Counselor provides counseling services to children and teenagers through helping them to improve their academic performance or behavior. They work for schools, correctional facilities, or religious organizations.

How To Become A Youth Counselor

Although most social workers need a bachelor’s degree in social work, clinical social workers must have a master’s degree and 2 years of post-master’s experience in a supervised clinical setting. Clinical social workers must also be licensed in the state in which they practice.


A bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) is the most common requirement for entry-level positions. However, some employers may hire workers who have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as psychology or sociology.

A BSW prepares students for direct-service positions such as caseworker or mental health assistant. These programs teach students about diverse populations, human behavior, social welfare policy, and ethics in social work. All programs require students to complete supervised fieldwork or an internship.

Some positions require a master’s degree in social work (MSW), which generally takes 2 years to complete. Master’s degree programs in social work prepare students for work in their chosen specialty by developing clinical assessment and management skills. All programs require students to complete a supervised practicum or an internship.

A bachelor’s degree in social work is not required in order to enter a master’s degree program in social work. Although a degree in almost any major is acceptable, courses in psychology, sociology, economics, and political science are recommended. Some programs allow graduates with a bachelor’s degree in social work to earn their master’s degree in 1 year.

In 2015, there were more than 500 bachelor’s degree programs and more than 200 master’s degree programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Some universities offer doctoral programs in social work, where students can earn a Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) or a Ph.D. Most doctoral programs in social work require students to have a master’s in social work and experience in the field. Many doctor’s students go on to work as postsecondary teachers.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most states have licensure or certification requirements for nonclinical social workers. Requirements vary by state.

All states require clinical social workers to be licensed. However, some states provide exemptions for clinical social workers who work in government agencies. Becoming a licensed clinical social worker requires a master’s degree in social work and a minimum of 2 years of supervised clinical experience after graduation. After completing their supervised experience, clinical social workers must pass a clinical exam to be licensed.

Because licensing requirements vary by state, those interested should contact their state board. For more information about regulatory licensure boards by state, contact the Association of Social Work Boards.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Clients talk to social workers about challenges in their lives. To effectively help, social workers must be able to listen to and understand their clients’ needs.

Empathy. Social workers often work with people who are in stressful and difficult situations. To develop strong relationships, they must have compassion and empathy for their clients.

Interpersonal skills. Being able to work with different groups of people is essential for social workers. They need strong people skills to foster healthy and productive relationships with their clients and colleagues.

Organizational skills. Social workers must help and manage multiple clients, often assisting with their paperwork or documenting their treatment.

Problem-solving skills. Social workers need to develop practical and innovative solutions to their clients’ problems.

Time-management skills. Social workers often have many clients and administrative responsibilities. They must effectively manage their time to provide adequate service to all of their clients.

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Youth Counselor jobs

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Youth Counselor Career Paths

Youth Counselor
Direct Care Staffer House Manager Direct Care Worker
Assistant Program Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Counselor Case Manager
Career Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Program Director Pastor Family Service Counselor
Case Management Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Counselor Instructor
Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Case Manager
Clinical Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Therapist
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Social Worker Therapist
Clinical Supervisor
8 Yearsyrs
Therapist Program Director
Director Of Residential Services
7 Yearsyrs
Residential Counselor Social Worker
Director Of Social Work
7 Yearsyrs
Direct Support Professional Licensed Practical Nurse Nurse Manager
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Therapist
Lead Therapist
5 Yearsyrs
Residential Counselor Mental Health Technician Case Manager
Mental Health Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Security Officer Direct Support Professional
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Technician Case Manager
Senior Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Therapist Clinician
Senior Clinician
7 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Program Manager
Service Program Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Instructor Social Worker
Social Services Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Assistant Director Social Worker
Social Services Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Juvenile Probation Officer Child Protective Investigator Dependency Case Manager
Targeted Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Direct Support Professional Program Coordinator Therapist
Therapist And Program Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Youth Counselor Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Portuguese

  • Italian

  • Arabic

  • German

  • Russian

  • Chinese

  • Mandarin

  • Korean

  • Vietnamese

  • Hmong

  • Japanese

  • Hindi

  • Cantonese

  • Greek

  • Swedish

  • Swahili

  • Hebrew

  • Urdu

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Youth Counselor

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Youth Counselor Education

Youth Counselor

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Real Youth Counselor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Youth Counselor II Danbury Youth Services, Inc. Danbury, CT May 15, 2013 $48,001 -
Youth Counselor Bethel Ministries of Orange County Seattle, WA Oct 23, 2013 $45,434
Youth Counselor New York Asian Women's Center NY Jun 17, 2016 $40,000
Case Manager-Youth Counselor Asian Counseling and Referral Service Seattle, WA Jul 31, 2016 $38,099 -
Youth Counselor Tampa Korean Evangelical Church, Incorporated Lutz, FL Sep 12, 2015 $35,526
Youth Development Counselor Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc. Lenox, MA Dec 12, 2016 $34,436
Bilingual Youth Counselor Friends of Youth Renton, WA Apr 26, 2016 $33,280 -
Youth Development Counselor Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc. Great Barrington, MA Sep 05, 2016 $31,514
Youth Development Counselor Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc. Lenox, MA Dec 12, 2016 $31,514
Youth Development Counselor Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc. Lenox, MA Jun 25, 2015 $30,992
Youth (Adolescence) Counselor New Vision Youth Community Center Glenside, PA Oct 01, 2014 $30,616
Youth (Adolescence) Counselor New Vision Youth Community Center Glenside, PA Oct 01, 2011 $30,616
Youth Development Counselor Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc. Lenox, MA Dec 12, 2016 $30,262
Youth Development Counselor Good Shepherd Services New York, NY Nov 24, 2014 $30,025
Youth Development Counselor Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc. Lenox, MA Nov 07, 2016 $29,948
Youth Development Counselor Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc. Lenox, MA Aug 22, 2016 $29,948
Youth Development Counselor Hillcrest Educational Centers, Inc. Lenox, MA Jun 20, 2016 $29,948

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Top Skills for A Youth Counselor


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Top Youth Counselor Skills

  1. Behavioral Issues
  2. Crisis Intervention
  3. Direct Supervision
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Perform as a constructive role model for residents in the program ages 15 to 21 with behavioral issues and mental disorders.
  • Responded to incoming telephone calls, provided information, crisis intervention, and produce written documentation.
  • Provided direct supervision and interaction with residents to include participation in all shelter activities.
  • Assist in developing individual treatment plans and provide skills following a highly structured protocol involving behavioral rehearsal.
  • Position Overview Teaches the children necessary life skills and provide for their physical daily care.

Top Youth Counselor Employers

Youth Counselor Videos

Youth Counselor

A Day in the Life of a School Counselor

High School Counselor