Child Guidance Counselor Career Field

Career Overview

Child guidance counselors provide assistance to students at all levels of education from elementary school to postsecondary schooling. Generally, child guidance counselors are more prone to be found working in the elementary school level, grades kindergarten through sixth grade in the traditional public school systems of the United States. Guidance counselors are also sometimes called educational, vocational, or school counselors. Elementary school counselors or child guidance counselors generally provide individual, classroom, and small group teaching experiences and counseling services for students. They also observe students during classroom and play situations and consult with parents and teachers providing evaluations of a student’s strengths, special needs, and difficulties. They work with teachers and administrators to assist in fulfilling both the academic and developmental needs of students. They do not generally provide vocational counseling like secondary school counselors.

Education Requirements

Master’s Degree in Education or School Counseling Field

Educational requirements for becoming a child guidance counselor vary by state. However, many states require school guidance counselors to have a master’s degree in the field of school counseling, education, or a related field. School counselors often participate in graduate studies, workshops, and personal study programs to increase their skills and maintain licenses.


Elementary or Secondary School Counseling
Group Work
Counseling Techniques
Research and Program Evaluation
Career Advisement
Academic Counseling

Licensing Requirements

Licensing requirements for child guidance counselors varies by state. Many states do require school counselors to hold a state school counseling license, which may include graduate work or a graduate degree.  Some states require school counselors to have both counseling and teaching certificates and some teaching experience. Requirements vary by state.

School Recommendations

Liberty University
Walden University
Kaplan University
University of Phoenix
Capella University

Employment Trends

Job Availability as of May 2008: 275,800
Projected Employment in 2018: 314,400
Average Annual Salary for Guidance Counselors in 2008: $51,500

Related Jobs

Counselors, all other
Marriage and family therapists
Mental health counselors
Rehabilitation counselors
Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors

Article Reference: Bureau of Labor Statistics






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