School Counselor Careers
What Is School Counseling?
A person’s school years are often very influential on the rest of his life. It is during these years that a child will grow into adolescence, then into his teenage years. During this time, a person will often further develop his personality, make and break friendships, and decide what he wants to do for the rest of his life.
School, however, can also be a very stressful time in a person’s life. Students today have to worry about getting good test scores, completing copious amounts of homework on time, excelling in extracurricular activities, and getting along with their peers. Being pulled in so many directions and having this much on their plates can be very overwhelming for just about anyone, regardless of their age.
Depending on his experiences, a person’s school years might be either the best years of his life, or the worst.
School counseling, however, is a type of counseling that focuses on helping students make the best of their education. Professionals in this field are typically referred to as either school counselors or guidance counselors. They typically work with several different students over the course of a school year, and help them with a variety of different problems, from class scheduling to substance abuse.
Today, school counselors are some of the most important and prominent members of a school’s faculty. They’re caring, compassionate, and genuinely concerned with the well being of the children they deal with. if you’re looking to make a difference in a child’s life and want to help him form his future, a school counseling career might be exactly what you’re looking for.
How Do I Become a School Counselor?
To become a school counselor you will need to go through a rather rigorous amount of schooling. This includes obtaining a Bachelor's Degree, then a Master's Degree, and finally entering into a Doctorate or PhD program. Visit our school counseling degree page to learn more about the educational pathway.
Featured School Counselor Master's Programs:
Why Do We Need School Counselors?
While in school, it can be very easy to feel lost, confused, alone, and overwhelmed. School counselors, though, exist to help students through the maze of academia.
The main goal of a school counselor is to help mold today’s young minds into tomorrow’s productive members of society. These professionals work with students on a daily basis in order to help them make the right decisions, meet challenges, and move in the right direction. Without school counselors, a large number of students might slip through the cracks as they struggle with academics or make less than wise decisions.
What Does a School Counselor Do?
A school counselor has a number of different job duties and responsibilities; perhaps more responsibilities than any other member of a school faculty. On any given day, these professionals will usually work closely with students, teachers, parents, and school administrators.
Students are typically a school counselor’s first priority. In general, these professionals are trained to keep the best interests of each and every student in mind.
A school counselor will often start by evaluating a student’s skills, strengths, weaknesses,career goals, and interests. From there, the counselor can then help the student choose which classes to take. The counselor is also usually responsible for creating each student’s class schedule, which needs to include all of the necessary classes that are required for graduation.
Career counseling is also another important responsibility of a school counselor. These professionals can help students who are unsure of their career goals choose some possible careers that are right for them. They can also help students take courses and participate in activities that will help them get into good colleges or career programs after graduation.
Social, behavioral, mental, and emotional problems are also often addressed by school counselors as well. For instance, school counselors will often help students who are struggling academically; being bullied by peers; abuse drugs or alcohol; or experiencing abuse or other problems at home. School counselors might also help students who are dealing with issues such as low self-esteem and time management.
School counselors will also usually stay in close contact with the parents of each student. Parents are usually informed of any problems that students may be having in school, for example. School counselors may also send parents periodic progress reports and give them advice on how to help their children succeed in school and in life.
Teachers may enlist the help of school counselors at times as well. They may ask for help with a problem student, for instance, or work with a school counselor to help a student with a particular problem. School counselors may also be asked to help with ho to discipline students as well.
The advice and concerns of a school counselors are also usually taken into consideration when school administrators are creating or reorganizing school policies.
Where Do School Counselors Work?
As their title suggests, school counselors work in educational institutes of all types. They are employed at both public and private schools, from the elementary levels to college levels.
What Are the Education Requirements to Become a School Counselor?
|Education Requirements||Education Length||Available Programs|
|Undergraduate Work||Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Counseling||4 Years||Online or Campus|
|Graduate Work||Earn a Master's Degree in Counseling||5-6 Years||Online or Campus|
|PHD or Doctoral Work||Earn a Doctorate in Counseling||7-8 Years||Online or Campus|
In general, most school counselors begin their careers with a bachelor’s degree in areas such as counseling, education, or psychology. When pursuing a school counseling career, you’ll most likely also be required to earn at least a master’s degree in school counseling or education psychology.
Before becoming licensed, an aspiring school counselor will also usually need to complete a certain number of hours of supervised on the job training.
What Is the Median Annual Salary of a School Counselor?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of all school and career counselors is $60,140 as of May 2022. The top 10% earn upwards of $98,530. Salaries vary by location and are often dictated by the budget of your school system.
2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics job market trends and salary figures for school counselors are based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed June 2023.