College Counselor

College counselors provide guidance, therapy, and crisis intervention to college students. They help ease the transition into university life and provide mental health support for students facing a number of issues.

College counselors are trained to recognize troubles that often plague university students such as depression, eating disorders, acute stress, adjustment problems, and substance abuse.

An online degree in counseling educates candidates in the therapeutic techniques necessary to address these issues and work toward resolving them before they become barriers to academic and personal growth.

College Counselor Job Description

University student populations have unique developmental, personal, and social needs. Many college students are away from home for the first time and encountering new demands and stressors. Others bring unresolved emotional issues from home with them and are often seeking counseling for the first time.

Mental health college counselors typically work in the university’s student infirmary or wellness center. They may provide a variety of services, including:

  • Individual counseling for students suffering from depression, anxiety, and other psychosocial issues
  • Group therapy on topics such as eating disorders, peer problems, stress, and sexuality
  • Presentations to staff and faculty members on common issues students are facing
  • Workshops on drug and alcohol prevention and abuse
  • Determining what mental health resources and literature should be available for students

A master’s degree is the minimum requirement for a career as a college counselor. Those with doctorate degrees could have more job opportunities.

College Counselor Salary

The salary of a college counselor varies based on several factors-location, education, and years of experience. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median annual salary of $49,050 for a college counselor. Those with several years of experience under their belt could earn a median salary of up to $84,080.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the job outlook for counselors should be very good over the next several years. Additionally, in April of 2009, the American Counseling Association wrote about new legislation introduced in the senate that would provide more funding for mental health programs in colleges. It is an excellent time to pursue a career in college counseling.

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