Often referred to as a career counselor, a vocational counselor is a specially trained counseling professional who focuses their services on helping clients with the process of making career decisions, choosing a career training program, and developing the necessary skills to land the desired job.
After receiving a master's degree in counseling, many graduates are interested in putting their newly acquired knowledge and skills to use in the in-demand field of career counseling to ensure individuals reach their fullest career potential. Therefore, the following is a brief overview of the typical day in the life of a vocational counselor to help you determine if this rewarding career path is the right fit for your interests and goals.
Vocational Counselor Job Description
Similar to employment agencies, vocational counselors are responsible for determining whether clients are a suitable fit for hiring organizations and providing counseling services to increase marketability for certain job openings. However, rather than working to make a profit off job placements, career counselors have the goal of helping unsuccessful job seekers find work to obtain employment. As a result, vocational counselors are often employed at colleges, universities, corporations, prisons, state government career centers, long-term residential treatment facilities, and private practices. In most cases, vocational counselors work full-time schedules during normal business hours, but some must work irregular evening or weekend shifts to accommodate their clients' needs.
Daily Duties for Vocational Counselors
When initially meeting with clients, vocational counselors spend their time assessing the abilities and skill levels of the individual. Often times, this involves the counselor spending considerable time reviewing the client's resume, discussing professional or educational experience, interviewing clients on what kind of work they prefer, ascertaining their technical proficiency, and gathering information about any other special skills of career importance. Once the career counselor has a firm understanding on the client's background, he or she then works with related companies to find potential employment matches.
Either in person, by phone, or electronically, vocational counselors often spend much of their workday meeting with hiring managers to discuss the positive or negative aspects of hiring their client for an available position. While the purpose is to find the individual permanent work, the counselor must provide truthful information about their abilities to not mislead the company. When career counselors determine that a client is not ready for a certain career path, counselors will assist their clients with finding educational training programs to develop skills, work on strategies to increase marketability, provide tips on creating a professional resume, and even lead mock interviews to offer advice on ways to improve.
If you are committed to working with clients on a career change to strengthen their communication skills, increase their self-awareness, and renew their self-confidence in the job search, it is an excellent time to get on the right track to a career as a vocational counselor. While it is typically required that vocational counselors have a master's degree and are licensed with the completion of at least 2,000 to 3,000 hours of supervised experience, the job outlook for career counselors is very promising as growth is expected to be faster than average. Once you take the steps toward becoming a vocational counselor, you will have the ability to truly make a difference in the lives of clients in various stages of their careers.