National Avg. Salary

$56,490 More Salary Data →

Job Growth Rate

8.2% More Growth Data →

Recommended Degree

Programs & Degrees →

Attributes

  • Dependable Daily Workload
  • Don't Take Work Home
  • Job Security
  • Office Work Environment

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Career counselors assist individuals in making decisions related to their careers. They may help students choose classes, programs, and degrees that are prerequisites for chosen careers, or they may work with unemployed or underemployed adults to assist in finding suitable future employment opportunities.

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Checkmark Job Description

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in career counselor roles:

  • Work with individuals to understand career goals and interests in order to recommend educational or work-experience needs for fulfillment of career goals
  • Administer aptitude, interest, or skills tests to determine appropriate career recommendations
  • Train individuals in resume writing, interviewing, networking, and other job-seeking skills
  • Assist individuals in finding and applying for jobs and educational programs they qualify for

A Day in the Life

Career counselors can work in a number of different institutions, and the responsibilities of the role will vary depending on the employing organization. Some career counselors choose to work for either public or private high schools. These counselors work with students to help determine career interests and recommend classes, colleges, and programs that will allow students to secure jobs later in life that match their interests and fulfill their career goals.

Other career counselors work in colleges and universities. College career counselors work with students in their early years to aid in choosing a major and program applicable to their interests and career goals. As students near graduation, career counselors provide training in resume-writing, interviewing, and networking techniques and may assist students in locating internships and summer jobs that provide relevant experience for chosen careers, and finding employment after graduation.

Outside of educational environments, career counselors may work for government or private agencies that help unemployed or underemployed individuals create a plan for securing more suitable employment. They may recommend educational programs, help individuals secure financial aid, train individuals on job application techniques, or assist individuals in finding and applying for desired positions. These individuals generally work with adults that are seeking career and life guidance.

Typical Work Schedule

In general, career counselors work day shifts, Monday through Friday. If working in a school, career counselors may enjoy summers off. Most career counselors that work for colleges or government/private agencies are off for all major holidays. Career counselors in colleges and universities may be required to work over the summer even though fewer classes are in session during that time.

Typical Employers

Career counselors can be employed by a number of institutions, including public and private high schools, junior colleges, colleges, and universities. Additionally, some government agencies hire career counselors to provide job-seeker guidance for departments like the unemployment office or public libraries. Additionally, certain non-profit agencies that provide career and employment guidance keep career counselors on staff to counsel individuals working with the organization for assistance.

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Wallet Career Counselor Salary Data

We've provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Annual Salary

Low Range Low Range

$41,120

Average Average

$56,490

High Range High Range

$87,640

National Hourly Wage

Low Range Low Range

$20/hr

Average Average

$27/hr

High Range High Range

$42/hr

How do Career Counselor salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Career Counselor's can make an average annual salary of $56,490, or $27 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $41,120 or $20 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #308 Nationally for All Careers

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Clipboard How To Become

The amount of education needed to become a career counselor varies by state and is dependent on the organization you want to work for. In some cases, only a bachelor’s degree in a related field and experience as a career counselor is required to obtain employment. For example, individuals who want to be career counselors in high schools may pursue bachelor’s degrees in secondary education. Those wanting to work in government or private sectors may find that a bachelor’s in psychology is sufficient.

However, some states and institutions may have more stringent requirements. In many cases, a master’s degree in counseling is required, and state licensure may also be required. Individuals in bachelor’s degree programs may be able to pursue their initial degrees in the field most applicable to their future goals and obtain internships in their school’s career center to gain applicable experience.

After earning a bachelor’s degree, you may be able to secure relevant employment while earning the necessary master’s degree if you find that graduate degree is necessary for securing your ideal position. Before choosing any program, it’s good to check state laws and look into jobs you’d be likely to apply for later to determine exactly what requirements are necessary. This process will provide insight into the research you’ll need to do later when offering guidance to others how to achieve career goals.


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Quick Summary

  • Optional

    It may be possible to work as a career counselor for a private school or junior college with only a bachelor’s degree in a related field and relevant work experience.

  • Recommended Min. Degree

Graduation Cap Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Career Counselor. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Chart Highest Education Among Career Counselor

  • 5.4%   Doctorate
  • 48%   Masters
  • 25.1%   Bachelors
  • 5.4%   Associates
  • 10.1%   College
  • 5%   High School
  • 1%   Less than High School

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Chart Up Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

273,400

2024 Est. Jobs

295,900

Job Growth Rate

8.2%

Est. New Jobs

22,500

How does Career Counselor job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 22,500 jobs for a total of 295,900 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 8.2% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #270 Nationally for All Careers

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Employee What Companies Employ The Most Career Counselors

IndustryCurrent JobsNew Jobs Needed% Increase
Elementary and secondary schools; local 109,600 6,400 6%
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; private 36,600 7,000 7%
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state 30,800 2,800 3%

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