What does a Guidance Counselor do?
Guidance Counselors are professionals who work in schools or other educational institutions providing academic, personal and career advice to students. They work to examine and assess any potential or skills students may have and communicate this to them to help boost their self-esteem and wellbeing. Guidance Counselors typically conduct either group or individual counseling sessions with students to learn about any social or academic challenges the student is facing and provide advice to help them succeed at school or in their personal lives.
As they speak with students during each session, the Guidance Counselor identifies any behavioral problem and societal or cultural issues that may be negatively impacting the child’s personal or social life.
Guidance Counselor skills and qualifications
Considering how much is expected of a Guidance Counselor, there are extensive skills and qualifications candidates need. While there are many interpersonal and academic skills required that may be different depending on the school or district, the following skills and qualifications are the most important to consider when crafting an effective job description:
- Many students come to get help with problems, so a quality Guidance Counselor will need to have exceptional problem-solving skills to address a variety of issues.
- A Guidance Counselor needs great listening skills to fully understand the students’ issues before offering help.
- The smallest details can make all the difference in solving a problem for a student, so a good Guidance Counselor will be able to identify the details and adjust solutions accordingly.
- Students need to feel comfortable and welcome when talking with a Guidance Counselor, so applicants should have a friendly and personable attitude about them.
Guidance Counselor salary expectations
A Guidance Counselor makes an average of $49,103 per year. Salary may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location
Guidance Counselor education and training requirements
Education is essential for Guidance Counselors. A bachelor’s degree in counseling is the most common essential education requirement, though higher degrees may be preferable or required for some Guidance Counselor positions. A master’s degree or Ph.D. in social services or psychology, for example, can go a long way towards making a candidate more experienced.
Guidance Counselor experience requirements
Most Guidance Counselor positions will require some experience in counseling or general social work. For applicants with only general social work experience, they must also be able to demonstrate knowledge of academic counseling in order for the experience to be relevant. Specifically, about three years of experience is a common minimum required for mid-level positions that pay near the average salary.
Job description samples for similar positions
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