Become a Guidance Counselor

Guidance counselors, also known as school counselors, facilitate the academic, social, and personal development of youth. They collaborate with parents, teachers, and school administrators to address students’ strengths, troubles, and special needs.

Guidance counselors may work at all grade levels. Those who work as high school guidance counselors play a key role in the transition of high school seniors into the work force or academia.

A degree in guidance counseling will not only prepare you to address the wide-range of issues common to many youth, but will also provide the psychology skills needed to counsel particularly troubled students and those dealing with unique family or social issues.

Guidance Counselor Job Description

Guidance counselors may work at the elementary, junior high, or high school level; job duties vary depending on these different settings. Those who work in elementary schools typically focus on children with learning or behavior problems. Middle school and high school guidance counselors assist with vocational and career planning in addition to counseling students with social and emotional issues.

Some common responsibilities of a guidance counselor include:

  • Monitoring students’ academic progress and determining if there are external or internal factors contributing to those with below average or failing grades
  • Providing individual or group counseling to students
  • Addressing behavior problems and referring students to outside resources if necessary
  • Helping students with course and curriculum selection
  • Facilitating future college or vocational training decisions among high school juniors and seniors
  • Identifying and working with “at-risk” students
  • Seeking out and maintaining relationships with family and community outreach programs
  • Raising students’ awareness of scholarships and other academic opportunities

The duties of a guidance counselor can be both challenging and rewarding. An online degree in counseling can provide you with the education necessary to succeed in this popular field.

Guidance Counselor Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, guidance counselors or school counselors earn a median annual salary of $52,550, while the top 10% of school counselors could earn up to $84,080.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that job prospects should be good for guidance counselors over the next several years. Education, vocational and school counselors will enjoy a 13% increase in positions. While guidance counselor jobs in suburban schools will remain competitive, those in rural and urban areas should be plentiful.



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