Looking at the average salary for career counselors is a great way to find out if working in this job field provides enough financial support for you. After leaving school, you'll likely have student loans that you pay back, and you may have utility bills, credit cards and even car payments that you need to make. The amount you can make usually depends on your experience, education level and even where you work in the country.
What is a Career Counselor?
A career counselor is similar to a guidance counselor. While guidance counselors help students apply to college and think about their futures, career counselors specifically assist students in finding, preparing for and obtaining jobs. They might give students tests designed to show them the type of skills they have and which professions will best make use of those skills. They can also help students apply for admission to vocational and career training schools that offer programs designed to help graduates find jobs. Career counselors will also listen to students, help them identify their goals and assist them in reaching their goals.
Where Do They Work?
Career counselors can and do work in a variety of settings. Some work in vocational schools and offer students information about the career paths available to them. Many work in colleges as well. The career development office in a college provides students with help finding internships and jobs on or off campus. Counselors working in a college may help students write their resumes and create cover letters too. Unemployment offices may hire career counselors to guide unemployed workers and help them enter career training programs or find new jobs.
How to Become a Counselor
The path to becoming a career counselor isn't an easy one. While some employers will hire workers who have a bachelor's degree, many employers now require that career counselors have a master's degree.
- Top 10 Online Master's Degrees in Student Affairs and College Counseling
- Top 10 Accredited Online Master's in School Counseling Degrees Ranked by Affordability
- The 50 Best Online Schools for a Graduate Degree in Counseling 2015
If you want to work for a public school, you may need a license from your state too. Most states will only give a license to those who have a college degree and successfully pass a criminal background check. The National Board for Certified Counselors offers professional certification for those who meet the basic requirements and pass a certification test.
How Much Do Career Counselors Make?
Before you finish school, you may want to know more about the average salary for career counselors. No one wants to spend years in school and later find that they cannot make as much as they need. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the median salary for school and career counselors at $25.66 an hour or $53,370 a year. After doing research into this career field, the BLS discovered that the field will grow at a rate of 8%, which means that there will be more than 22,000 new career counselor jobs available by 2024.
Career counselors provide assistance to those who are unsure of what they want to do in the future and those who need guidance choosing a future career. While you will need a minimum of a bachelor's degree to work in one of these jobs, the average salary for career counselors is high enough that you can live comfortably once you leave school.