- Professional Career Counselor Job Description Template
- Career Counselor Job Summary
- Job Responsibilities
- Career Counselor Job Specifications
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- School or Career Counselor
- Work Schedules
- Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
- Work Experience in a Related Occupation
- Job Prospects
- Employment Counselor Job Description, Career as an Employment Counselor, Salary, Employment
- Definition and Nature of the Work
- Education and Training Requirements
- Getting the Job
- Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook
- Working Conditions
- Earnings and Benefits
Professional Career Counselor Job Description Template
Career counselors are usually employed in academic settings, aiding students in building future educational or career paths.
They typically help clients evaluate their abilities and interests, overcome challenges and obstacles, and develop necessary skills.
Moreover, they may assist people in learning how to job hunt, including associated activities such as interviewing, writing resumes and crafting cover letters.
When writing your career counselor job description, be sure to emphasize several crucial and necessary skills. You’ll need to attract candidates who are excellent communicators, as well as compassionate listeners who can express true empathy toward clients.
Finally, your career counselor job description should mention educational and licensing requirements. Most ideal applicants should hold a master’s degree in counseling or a related field, as well as state-issued credentials. Look at our example to get an idea of what essentials to include in your own job posting.
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Career Counselor Job Summary
Your next opportunity to help people and make a difference might lie in our open career counselor position.
As part of the career services center for a large public university, you’ll provide a wealth of useful information in key areas such as career discovery and planning, interviewing skills, resume writing and more.
You’ll also have the chance to work one-on-one with individual students, playing an important role as a leader or mentor in helping these individuals shape their futures.
Interaction with our diverse student body in an affirming, positive environment affords you the intangible benefits of putting your interpersonal communication talents to work in coaching and guiding our students. In addition, you’ll enjoy a competitive pay and benefits package along with opportunities for growth and advancement.
- Guide students in determining their interests and abilities using a wide range of methods, such as aptitude assessments, interviews and planning materials
- Counsel individual learners, working with them to aid in the development of both hard and soft skills
- Conduct group workshops on a variety of topics, including writing resumes and cover letters, successful job interviewing, using university employment databases and career development resources, researching graduate programs, and more
- Work with students to overcome issues that could undermine their academic or career success
- Help students craft a long-term plan for reaching their career objectives
- Connect learners to additional resources such as financial aid, vocational training, extensive counseling and therapy services, medical care providers, or other state and local assistance as needed
- Plan and publicize the career services center’s programs and events such as workshops, job fairs, and orientation sessions
- Collaborate with faculty, staff and other student services divisions to help achieve university-wide goals and contribute to its long-range planning
- Master’s degree in education, career counseling or similar field
- Pass a background check and drug screening
- Hold a current state-issued Resident Educator License
- Two years of classroom teaching experience or prior experience as a career counselor
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Hiring a career counselor means finding a candidate with a delicate balance of skills and the sensitivity needed to guide students in making job choices that will decide the rest of their lives.
Your hiring choices are no less critical, and perhaps your most valuable tool in your recruitment process is a skillfully crafted, thoughtfully designed job responsibilities section within your career counselor job description.
Many employers make the mistake of providing either too much or too little information in job descriptions.
Too much information and candidates won’t bother to read the data dump, but too little and your ideal candidate might pass you by without the information needed to know if they want the job.
Strike a balance by breaking your career counselor job description down into 8-10 effective bullets, then make those bullets count by beginning each sentence with a dynamic action verb.
To see how this works in practice, review our sample career counselor job responsibilities:
- Advise undergraduate and graduate level students on career development and prospects after university graduation
- Provide insight on useful coursework and degree programs supporting career aspirations
- Offer focus and clarity to struggling students in selecting career paths and majors
- Monitor student progress and reports to determine potential problems
- Prepare weekly reports for submission to department head
Career Counselor Job Specifications
You already have a good idea of what you do and don’t want in a candidate. The next step is to convey that in your career counselor job description.
By including a job qualifications and skills section in the job description, you can cut down on unwanted applications from candidates who just aren’t suited for the position.
Save yourself time and effort by deciding on the traits you absolutely can’t live without in a career counselor, and condense them into a list of 5-6 criteria candidates can screen themselves against.
If you’re not sure what qualifications to use for the role, consider factors such as education level, experience and the type of personality most suited for the job.
Combine these ideas with feedback from people the career counselor will work with and your knowledge of the skills that best suit your organization’s culture.
Using these techniques, you can refine your career counselor job description.
Here’s how we wrote our example career counselor job specifications:
- Master’s degree in psychology, sociology, psychiatry, education or related discipline required
- Ph.D. preferred
- At least 5 years of experience working with undergraduate and graduate level students in a university setting
- Ability to remain neutral when dealing with sensitive situations
- Excellent tact, diplomacy and conflict resolution skills
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School or Career Counselor
School counselors help students develop the academic and social skills that lead to success in school. Career counselors help people develop skills, explore a career, or choose an educational program that will lead to a career.
School counselors typically do the following:
- Evaluate students’ abilities and interests through aptitude assessments, interviews, and individual planning
- Identify issues that affect school performance, such as poor classroom attendance rates
- Help students understand and overcome social or behavioral problems through classroom guidance lessons and counseling
- Counsel individuals and small groups on the basis of student and school needs
- Work with students to develop skills, such as organizational and time management abilities and effective study habits
- Help students create a plan to achieve academic and career goals
- Collaborate with teachers, administrators, and parents to help students succeed
- Teach students and school staff about specific topics, such as bullying, drug abuse, and planning for college or careers after graduation
- Maintain records as required
- Report possible cases of neglect or abuse and refer students and parents to resources outside the school for additional support
The specific duties of school counselors vary with the ages of their students.
Elementary school counselors focus on helping students develop certain skills, such as those used in decisionmaking and studying, that they need in order to be successful in their social and academic lives.
School counselors meet with parents or guardians to discuss their child’s strengths and weaknesses, and any special needs and behavioral issues that the child might have.
School counselors also work with teachers and administrators to ensure that the curriculum addresses both the developmental and academic needs of students.
Middle school counselors work with school staff, parents, and the community to create a caring, supportive environment for students to achieve academic success. They help the students develop the skills and strategies necessary to succeed academically and socially.
High school counselors advise students in making academic and career plans. Many help students overcome personal issues that interfere with their academic development. They help students choose classes and plan for their lives after graduation.
Counselors provide information about choosing and applying for colleges, training programs, financial aid, and internships and apprenticeships.
They may present career workshops to help students search and apply for jobs, write résumés, and improve their interviewing skills.
Career counselors typically do the following:
- Use aptitude and achievement assessments to help clients evaluate their interests, skills, and abilities
- Evaluate clients’ background, education, and training, to help them develop realistic goals
- Guide clients through making decisions about their careers, such as choosing a new profession and the type of degree to pursue
- Help clients learn job search skills, such as interviewing and networking
- Assist clients in locating and applying for jobs, by teaching them strategies that will be helpful in finding openings and writing a résumé
- Advise clients on how to resolve problems in the workplace, such as conflicts with bosses or coworkers
- Help clients select and apply for educational programs, to obtain the necessary degrees, credentials, and skills
Career counselors work with clients at various stages of their careers. Some work in colleges, helping students choose a major or determine the jobs they are qualified for with their degrees. Career counselors also help people find and get jobs by teaching them job search, résumé writing, and interviewing techniques.
Career counselors also work with people who have already entered the workforce. These counselors develop plans to improve their clients’ current careers. They also provide advice about entering a new profession or helping to resolve workplace issues.
Some career counselors work in outplacement firms and assist laid-off workers with transitioning into new jobs or careers.
School and career counselors held about 324,500 jobs in 2018. The largest employers of school and career counselors were as follows:
|Elementary and secondary schools; state, local, and private||44%|
|Junior colleges, colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private||35|
|Healthcare and social assistance||8|
|Other educational services; state, local, and private||4|
School counselors often have private offices so that they can have confidential conversations with students.
Most school and career counselors work full time. Some school counselors do not work during the summer when school is not in session.
Most school counselors must have a master’s degree in school counseling or a related field and have a state-issued credential. Some states require licensure for career counselors.
Nearly all states and the District of Columbia require school counselors to have a master’s degree in school counseling or a related field.
Degree programs teach counselors the essential skills of the job, such as how to foster academic development; conduct group and individual counseling; work with parents, school staff, and community organizations; and use data to develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive school counseling programs for all students. These programs often require counselors to complete an internship.
Some employers prefer that career counselors have a master’s degree in counseling with a focus on career development. Career counseling programs prepare students to assess clients’ skills and interests and to teach career development techniques.
Many master’s degree programs in counseling require students to have a period of supervised experience, such as an internship.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Public school counselors must have a state-issued credential to practice. This credential can be called a certification, a license, or an endorsement, depending on the state.
Licensure or certification typically requires a master’s degree in school counseling, an internship or practicum completed under the supervision of a licensed professional school counselor, and successful completion of a test.
Some states require applicants to have classroom teaching experience, or to hold a teaching license, prior to being certified. Most states require a criminal background check as part of the credentialing process. Information about requirements for each state is available from the American School Counselor Association.
Some states require licensure for career counselors; check with your state for more information. Contact information for state regulating boards is available from the National Board for Certified Counselors.
Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Some states require school counselors to have 1 to 2 years of experience as a teacher, or to hold a teaching license, prior to being certified.
Personality and Interests
School and career counselors typically have an interest in the Helping interest area, according to the Holland Code framework. The Helping interest area indicates a focus on assisting, serving, counseling, or teaching other people.
If you are not sure whether you have a Helping interest which might fit with a career as a school and career counselor, you can take a career test to measure your interests.
School and career counselors should also possess the following specific qualities:
Compassion. Counselors often work with people who are dealing with stressful and difficult situations, so they must be compassionate and empathize with their clients and students.
Interpersonal skills. Being able to work with different types of people is essential for counselors. They spend most of their time working directly with clients and students or other professionals and need good working relationships.
Listening skills. Good listening skills are essential for school and career counselors. They need to give their full attention to their students and clients to understand their problems.
Speaking skills. School and career counselors must communicate effectively with clients and students. They should express ideas and information in a way that their clients and students understand easily.
The median annual wage for school and career counselors was $57,040 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $34,380, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $96,090.
In May 2019, the median annual wages for school and career counselors in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:
|Elementary and secondary schools; state, local, and private||$64,060|
|Other educational services; state, local, and private||51,880|
|Junior colleges, colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private||51,120|
|Healthcare and social assistance||40,620|
Most school and career counselors work full time. Some school counselors do not work during the summer when school is not in session.
Employment of school and career counselors is projected to grow 8 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations.
Rising student enrollments in elementary, middle, and high schools is expected to increase demand for school counselors. As enrollments grow, schools will require more counselors to respond to the developmental and academic needs of their students. Colleges will need to hire additional counselors to meet the demand for career counseling services from their students.
Demand for career counseling is projected to increase in universities as an increasing number of campuses open onsite career centers to help students develop skills and prepare for transition to the workforce.
Career counselors also will be needed to assist those who change careers, to help laid-off workers find employment, and to help military personnel transition into the civilian job market.
Job prospects are expected to be good for those with counseling degrees, especially in schools and colleges, because of the need to replace the workers who leave the occupation each year.
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Where does this information come from?
The career information above is taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. This excellent resource for occupational data is published by the U.S. Department of Labor every two years. Truity periodically updates our site with information from the BLS database.
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There is no published author for this page. Please use citation guidelines for webpages without an author available.
I think I have found an error or inaccurate information on this page. Who should I contact?
This information is taken directly from the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Truity does not editorialize the information, including changing information that our readers believe is inaccurate, because we consider the BLS to be the authority on occupational information.
However, if you would to correct a typo or other technical error, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am not sure if this career is right for me. How can I decide?
There are many excellent tools available that will allow you to measure your interests, profile your personality, and match these traits with appropriate careers. On this site, you can take the Career Personality Profiler assessment, the Holland Code assessment, or the Photo Career Quiz.
Employment Counselor Job Description, Career as an Employment Counselor, Salary, Employment
Education and Training: College
Salary: Median—$45,570 per year
Employment Outlook: Very good
Definition and Nature of the Work
Employment counselors work with individuals, and sometimes with groups, to assist them in making wise career decisions. To help their clients find the right type of job, counselors collect and assess information about education, previous employment experience, skills, interests, and personal information.
Counselors may also administer a variety of tests to get further information about their clients. These may include aptitude and skills tests and personality assessments. These tests are also helpful in giving clients a better understanding of their vocational interests.
After assessing all of this information, employment counselors identify possible career options. They also discuss with their clients specific jobs within these areas, the type of work that is performed, and entry requirements.
Clients then use this information to conduct a job search on their own, or they seek the services of a job placement agency. Some employment counselors may also provide job placement assistance.
They will search files of job orders from employers and try to match these with their clients' qualifications.
They may also contact prospective employers to find out whether suitable job openings exist.
The number of jobs for employment counselors in private industry is growing. These counselors have detailed knowledge of their company and the requirements for the different jobs within it.
They may meet with employees from time to time to discuss performance and offer suggestions for improvement when necessary.
When employees wish to change jobs, the counselor may work with them to find a suitable position within the company.
Employment counselors must have excellent interpersonal skills. They must have a thorough understanding of the world of work and up-to-date information about trends that affect the employment outlook.
Education and Training Requirements
Entry requirements for employment counselors vary greatly depending on the type of position and each state's licensing. The minimum requirement is a bachelor's degree in psychology, vocational guidance, or counseling.
Related degrees may also be acceptable if the counselor has experience in interviewing, job placement, or personnel work. Some state agencies and many private agencies require that their employment counselors have master's degrees.
In many states a master's degree is required to receive a license to practice privately. A newly hired employment counselor is often given a period of on-the-job training.
Getting the Job
The placement office of a student's college is the best source of information about job openings. Individuals may also apply directly to private agencies that hire employment counselors.
Those interested in federal and state agencies should register to take the necessary civil service examinations.
Professional associations, Internet job banks, and publications may also be useful sources of information.
Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook
Employment counselors in federal and state agencies may advance to supervisory and administrative positions. Those in private practice can work to build their practices. In private business, counselors may move into other personnel and management positions.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 248,000 employment, school, and educational counselors held jobs in 2004. Employment of employment counselors was expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2014.
Many job openings will result from the need to replace counselors who advance to other positions or transfer to other fields.
Employment for counselors in private industry is also expected to grow due to the fact that people are switching jobs and careers more frequently.
Employment counselors usually work a forty-hour week. In some agencies evening work is required to suit clients' schedules.
Self-employed counselors often offer evening appointments and fit their schedules to the number of clients they have. Because privacy is an important part of the counseling process, counselors have their own offices.
These are usually pleasant, well-lighted places to work, away from noise and other distractions.
Earnings and Benefits
The earnings of employment counselors vary greatly. Salaries of those working for state agencies vary considerably from state to state. The median salary for employment, school, and educational counselors was $45,570 per year in 2004, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Counselors usually receive paid holidays and vacations, health insurance, and retirement benefits.