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School Counselor Job Description & Career Outlook

A school counselor provides students with academic, career and college advice, as well as personal and social guidance. This is accomplished through group counseling, individual counseling, developing a school’s counseling curriculum and the annual academic planning for each student.

School Counselor Requirements And Common Tasks

For those seeking information on how to become a school counselor, the first step is to get a bachelor’s degree. Some courses that will help gain the skills needed for the profession are child psychology, communication skills and social science. Next, many states ask persons to complete graduate work or a Master’s degree to become a school counselor. Suitable fields of study include education, secondary school counseling and related fields. Many public school systems also need a person to have a license to become a school counselor. In order to keep this license, the counselor will have to complete ongoing educational courses. Some states also need candidates to have a teaching certificate and a few years of teaching experience before becoming a school counselor. Finally, many states also need a counselor to get certification in the state they will be working in. The rules for this certification vary from state to state.

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The job of a school counselor is to help students make positive decisions that will affect their academic and personal development. The main responsibility of a school counselor is to help students find their abilities and effectively work towards long-term goals. In middle schools and high schools, the counselor plays an important role in advising students about possible colleges and careers. Counselors mainly work in an office setting, but they also work in classrooms as well, observing students to define their needs. They are also required to guide troubled students and work with handicapped students. Strong communication skills and compassion for others are essential in the career of counseling.

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School Counselor Salary And Job Outlook

The salary of a school counselor varies depending on such things as the type of school (elementary, middle, high school or college), the school itself, location and experience. However, the average salary ranges from about $31,000 per year to $51,000. Some school systems offer benefits, as well, such as health insurance and paid vacations. The demand for qualified School Counselors is growing rapidly in that many states are not only requiring all schools to use them, but the schools are increasing the responsibilities of the job, as well. For persons with strong communication skills and a compassion for children, this job is an ideal choice.

Counseling and Psychology Degrees and Programs

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