Counselor Career Field

counselorCareer Overview

Counseling is a vast career field. Counselors work in a huge variety of setting to provide counseling, therapy, rehabilitation, and support to their clients. The responsibilities of a counselor vary depending on the type of clients they serve. School counselors generally work with school aged children. Vocational counselors may serve those who are seeking employment assistance. Other counselors specialize in working with those struggling with chemical dependency and alcohol issues. Some counselors assist a wide range of clients including children, teenagers, and families who may be dealing with multiple problems.

Education Requirements

Master’s Degree in Counseling, Educational Counseling, or Similar Field

The educational requirements for counseling vary by the type of counseling being done and also the state where one wishes to work. Most states require licensed counselors serving the public to have a master’s degree. Most master’s degree counseling programs require 48 to 60 semester hours of graduate work. They often also include a required supervised clinical course where students actually get firsthand experience working in the counseling field.


Counseling Techniques
Clinical mental health counseling
Social and cultural diversity
Group work
Human growth and development

Licensing Requirements

The licensing requirements for counselors vary by state and counseling type. Most states require school counselors to be licensed and have a master’s degree in educational counseling or a similar field and some even require them to have a teaching license as well. All 50 states require marriage and family therapists to have a state license. Career counselors working in the private sector may also need a license in some states. For those going into the counseling industry, it is very important to check the licensing requirements for the state where you wish to work and the particular counseling arena you wish to specialize in.

Employment Trends

Job Availability as of May 2008: 665,500
Projected Employment in 2018: 782,200
Average Annual Salary for educational, vocational, and school counselors in U.S. in 2008: $51,050

Top Colleges

University of Phoenix
Capella University
Walden University
Kaplan University
Northcentral University

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Article Reference: Bureau of Labor Statistics



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