Academic Advisor Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Academic Advisor, or College Advisor, is responsible for working with students in high schools, colleges and universities to help them meet the requirements to graduate and earn their desired degree. Their duties include helping students pick a potential career path, recommending courses for students to take and staying updated on course requirements.

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Academic Advisor Duties and Responsibilities

An Academic Advisor’s duty is primarily to students who attend the high school, college or university where they are employed. The advisor needs to have a thorough understanding of the various degree programs and the necessary classes for those programs. Students will seek the help of advisors as they plan for their future careers. Academic Advisors also help students who are transferring from other schools and make sure that they go through orientation and get their credits transferred. 

Here’s a sample list of academic advisor duties and responsibilities:

  • Meet with students regularly to review degree progress and graduation requirements
  • Review placement tests and certifications with students to ensure they are fulfilling requirements and are placed in the proper classes or programs
  • Keep up with registration deadlines and help make sure students register on time
  • Assist students with any changes in their course of study
  • Attend college fairs to meet with potential students
  • Review career goals with students and help them follow the proper track to reach their goals

Academic Advisor Job Description Examples:


Academic Advisor

Academic Advisor, Upward Bound Program

The Academic Advisor for the Upward Bound (TRiO) program is a 12-month position serving low-income, first generation youth with activities and guidance to provide opportunities for precollegiate academic success. The Upward Bound program assists students in gaining the knowledge and skills required to graduate from high school, and enroll in and graduate from post-secondary institutions.

This position works cooperatively with Upward Bound colleagues, Buffalo Public School district staff, and local partners to recruit and select eligible participants, advise a caseload of participants, and design intrusive services, including tutoring, financial aid, and college preparatory guidance.

A Bachelor’s degree with emphasis in psychology, education, or closely related field required; Master’s degree preferred. Applicant must possess at least one year of experience working with low-income youth and have knowledge of the financial aid process, postsecondary admission procedures, and community relations.

Medaille is a growing, private, four-year, liberal arts-based college in Buffalo, New York, serving the educational needs of a diverse student body in Western New York and Southern Ontario through a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs [website]

Cover letter, resume and three references should be electronically submitted to Barbara Bilotta, Director of Human Resources, Medaille College. Please refer to [website] to apply.

  • Review of applications will continue until position is filled. No phone calls please.

Medaille College invites applications from all qualified individuals. We are an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse faculty, staff and student body.

Job Type: Full-time


  • Post secondary admissions: 1 year (Required)
  • Community Relations: 1 year (Required)
  • education: 1 year (Preferred)
  • Financial Aid: 1 year (Required)


  • Master's (Preferred)


  • Buffalo, NY 14214 (Required)

Work authorization:

  • United States (Required)


  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Paid time off


  • Other

Benefit Conditions:

  • Waiting period may Temporarily due to Covid-19

Academic Advisor

Job Responsibilities:

  • Assesses secondary school students' stage of academic development and promotes student growth by determining suitable academic plans
  • Monitors academic progress of students; analyzes progress reports from instructors; identifies current and potential needs or problem areas [website] study skills, tutoring)
  • Communicates findings to administrators and parents.


  • Strong sense of responsibility
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in Chinese and English
  • Study or work experience in the United States preferred
  • Work experience in the education field or with students preferred

Location, Work Hours and Salary:

  • Currently physically present in the United States
  • Work from home, online (email, video call, WeChat messaging, etc.)
  • Part-time, flexible schedule
  • Competitive salary

To Apply:

Send your resume with a brief cover letter.

Job Type: Type: Mandarin and English (Required)


Academic Advisor

Perdoceo Education is a global educational company committed to quality outcomes and career opportunities for a diverse student population. We're looking for individuals who enjoy the entrepreneurial thrill of invention and who enjoy working as a team to create satisfying outcomes for our students and customers.

If you would enjoy working in a dynamic environment and are looking for an opportunity to become part of a stellar team of professionals, we invite you to apply today.

As an academic advisor, you will act as the coach and mentor for students throughout their program. You will be there to inspire, motivate, and challenge them. You will support enrollment, student development and retention services while ensuring high quality learning in accordance with school and company policies and procedures and federal, state and regional regulatory requirements and accreditation standards.

  • Manage cohort of students and coach through degree program
  • Coach and inspire students with life or other circumstances to ensure online course attendance
  • Encourage and support students as they gain the skills and knowledge necessary for success
  • Provide a trusting environment where students can share their thoughts, aspirations, concerns, and interests
  • Provide students with the available resources to aid with their success here at the university
  • Act as the student liaison between other departments
  • Possess a thorough understanding of university policies, procedure, requirements, and effectively communicating them to students
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Required Skills

  • Exceptional counseling, coaching and mentoring skills
  • Commitment to student development and success
  • Encompass creative problem solving capabilities
  • Ability to drive results and meet team/department goals
  • High level of interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to work independently as well as function as part of a team
  • Able to multi-task efficiently and effectively

Required Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the [website] Department of Education (or International Equivalent) required
  • 2-3 years’ experience in academic/admissions support/ human services/and counseling field required
  • Prior knowledge of academic policies and procedures preferred

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: $43,000.00 to $48,000.00 /hour


  • Higher Education: 2 years (Required)

Work Location:

  • One location


  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Parental leave
  • Tuition reimbursement

This Job Is Ideal for Someone Who Is:

  • Dependable -- more reliable than spontaneous
  • People-oriented -- enjoys interacting with people and working on group projects
  • Adaptable/flexible -- enjoys doing work that requires frequent shifts in direction
  • Detail-oriented -- would rather focus on the details of work than the bigger picture
  • -- enjoys taking on challenges, even if they might fail
  • Innovative -- prefers working in unconventional ways or on tasks that require High stress tolerance -- thrives in a high-pressure environment

What does an Academic Advisor do?

Academic Advisors are typically employed by high schools or colleges to provide guidance to students and help them successfully graduate from the institution. They work closely with students to gauge their academic interests to help them pick courses and academic programs that are well suited for them. The Academic Advisor’s job is to build a course schedule for students and track their progress throughout their academic career to ensure they’re on track to graduate. Some Academic Advisors travel to job and college fairs to meet potential students and build strong relationships with employers and other institutions.

Academic Advisor Skills and Qualifications

Qualified applicants have these skills and qualifications in order to assess whether they have the necessary skills to be a good candidate for the position. You’ll want to include education and experience requirements, as well as desirable interpersonal skills and character traits.

A successful Academic Advisor candidate will show these skills and qualifications, which are necessary to fulfill the duties explained in the job description:

  • A bachelor’s degree or master’s degree
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • 2-3 years of advising experience
  • Knowledge and understanding of education and degree requirements for students wanting to graduate
  • Superb communication skills 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, especially with students
  • Understanding of the skills and education necessary for students to enter various professions 

Academic Advisor Salary Expectations

An Academic Advisor makes an average of $42,393 per year. Salary expectations depend on the candidate’s level of education and experience.  Typically advising positions that require higher education and more experience will pay more. Tenure for an Academic Advisor takes up to 3 years.

Academic Advisor Education and Training Requirements

Education and training requirements for Academic Advisors vary depending on their specific position and the type of institution they work for. An Academic Advisor at a university usually holds a master’s degree and has several years of experience in advising. Academic Advisors at community colleges and high schools can hold advising positions with only a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Undergraduate degrees in marketing, psychology, social work, counseling and other similar subjects prepare a person well for advising. Many Academic Advisors will begin their position with a bachelor’s degree and later earn a master’s degree for an opportunity to advance.

Academic Advisor Experience Requirements

A good candidate for your business’s available position will have the level of experience you need. If you are interested in finding a candidate who won’t need a lot of training or who might be able to act as a trainer or supervisor for others, you’ll need to specify the need for three to five or more years of experience. For entry-level positions, candidates might only need one or two years of experience. If you’re okay with providing a lot of training, you can put “no experience necessary” in the experience requirement section of the job description. 

Job Description Samples for Similar Positions

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Frequently asked questions about Academic Advisors


What are the qualities of a good Academic Advisor?

Strong Academic Advisors are dedicated to the wellbeing and success of their students. Common characteristics of a good Academic Advisor include:

  • Highly knowledgeable about the career path and degree programs their students are pursuing
  • Effective communication skills to regularly reach out to students and learn their academic needs and goals
  • Organizational and time management skills to build a productive class schedule for students, sign them up for courses on time and help them effectively balance their course loads
  • Positive and encouraging attitude to motivate students to succeed and advance in their educational careers


What is the difference between an Academic Advisor and a Guidance Counselor?

A Guidance Counselor works with students and sometimes staff and faculty members to advise them on their personal and academic lifestyles. They handle social, behavioral and educational issues students or instructors may be facing. Most Guidance Counselors have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in psychology or a related field. Similar to Academic Advisors, Guidance Counselors may also help students with their career and educational goals.

Academic Advisors mainly handle issues that are academic-related, like problems with class schedules, tough course loads or earning enough credits to graduate on time.


Why is it important to hire a strong Academic Advisor?

Academic Advisors work to make sure students feel supported and cared for by members of their institution. Academic Advisors often dedicate time to helping students find roles well-suited for their skills, abilities and preferences. A strong Academic Advisor at a university can help boost enrollment and graduation rates, which can attract more students to that institution. 


Do Academic Advisors have different responsibilities in various industries?

Most Academic Advisors work in the education industry and all hold similar responsibilities. There are some Academic Advisors who work in high schools helping students grasp an idea of what career to pursue. They helps students find the best trade school, university or other academic institution to gain the necessary qualifications to work in their desired field. 

Other Academic Advisors work in colleges to help freshman meet their general education requirements and provide guidance on selecting the best major for the student’s skills and goals. 

Some Academic Advisors work in a college’s department and specialize in a certain major. They usually have a degree in the major they’re advising for. This helps them give in-depth guidance and advice on career paths within specific majors. 

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