How to Become a Career Counselor

Career counseling is certainly one of the finest career options of this age, where higher education has assumed significant importance. There are many reasons why counselors are in great demand. The number of students opting for higher education is rising at a very fast pace. Students have also realized the importance of seeking expert guidance and suggestions before they choose any career, to avoid wrong choices. Career counselors can get employment in top class educational institutes or can practice independently. Here’s how you can pursue this profession.

Education Requirements

In order to become a career counselor, you should have a master’s degree in the field of counseling. However, it has been observed that many people also get jobs with a bachelor’s degree if they have sufficient work experience. Having a sound academic experience in a reputed coaching center or institute can help greatly. This is because such professionals are aware of the needs of students and the educational system in general. To practice as a counselor it is important that you have a license. Getting certifications from International Coach Federation (ICF) or the National Board for Certified Counselors can increase your chances of getting a decent job to a great extent. Those who wish to serve in a school should obtain the state’s school counseling certification to get through the tough competition.

Counselors must study the following subjects deeply to meet high industry standards:

  • Career development
  • Professional identity
  • Human growth and development
  • Research and program evaluation

Counselors are known to conduct career tests that make students solve questions based on different subjects such as language, general knowledge, numerical ability, science, politics etc. They generally conduct online tests which have a specific time for students to attempt each question. From the results of the tests, they arrive at conclusions regarding the actual interest of the student. They assign marks to students based on the performance and suggest the careers in which they can do well in the future. At the same time, these counselors also tell students how they should approach their goals to succeed in a big way. They also guide the parents by giving them information about the course content, duration, fee structure, and future employment prospects for their child.

Career Prospects

The salary of career counselors largely depends on their experience, skills, qualifications, and place of job. The type of employer also plays a major role in deciding the salary. As per the available information and research conducted by job market experts, elementary school counselors earn around USD 60,000 per year whereas the college counselors can make between USD 50,000 to USD 65,000 per year. Those counselors providing management or consulting services can expect payment between USD 50,000 to USD 70,000 per year. Career counselors working in places like New York city can make the most and earn between USD 50,000 to USD 75,000 per year.

You should not enter this field just because of the high salary, but you should really be interested in the field of counseling to do well. With consistent efforts and good planning, you will be able to achieve great heights in your professional career.