How to Become a Guidance Counselor

Projected Job Growth: 19%
Projected Employment Change: 53,400

Guidance counselors, or school counselors as they are also called, help guide students throughout their academic careers. This type of guidance includes, but is not limited to, helping students be successful in school, develop social skills, set academic goals, manage their time, and improve their study habits. One of counselors’ primary goals is to help students reach their potential through the evaluation and assessment of student abilities, interests, and aptitude. They may also suggest resources that can help students reach academic goals and provide one-on-one counseling tailored to student needs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment in this occupation will increase just about as fast as average for all occupations, as indicated in the figures above, it is among the faster growing careers in the field of education.

Why Guidance Counseling?

An increase in student enrollment is projected to increase the demand for guidance counselors in schools, according to the BLS. More of these types of counselors will be needed to meet student needs, which are becoming more and more complex in a demanding learning environment. This is an attractive occupation for those who desire to pursue a counseling career in an educational environment. While guidance counselor is one of the highest positions in this field, advancement opportunities may be possible with continued or specialized education. These types of educational opportunities are often available through schools with on campus or online college degree programs.

Getting Into Guidance Counseling

Guidance counselors are usually required to have a master’s degree in school counseling, typically preceded by a bachelor’s degree in a related area like education, counseling, or psychology. Many schools with online degree programs offer master’s degrees in school counseling or a related area. Therefore, online graduate degree programs are one way those interested in this field can receive the appropriate education. In addition, a state-issued credential, such as a certification or license, is required to practice.