School Counselor

A school counselor is essential to a student’s academic and developmental success. They collaborate with students to ensure that their needs are met and that they can excel in their studies on the way to their future careers. Counselors also assist students with social, behavioral and emotional issues.

Job Responsibilities

A school counselor provides guidance to students to help them succeed academically and socially. They work with the student through one-on-one conversations and aptitude testing to determine how their abilities and interests can be applied toward a future education and career path. The counselor assists students with cultivating effective skills, such as productive study habits, time management and organization. They also help students with social and behavioral issues.

The school counselor’s duties may vary slightly depending on students’ age. In an elementary school, a counselor may work with a student’s parents on their child’s weaknesses, strengths and behavioral issues. A counselor also collaborates with teachers and administrators to make sure the curriculum helps a student’s academic and developmental demands. In middle schools, counselors ensure students’ academic and social success. High school counselors prepare students for planned careers and help them plan for life post-graduation.

Pursue a Career in Counseling

Explore advanced counseling theory and strategies for connecting with students with the online Master of Arts in Education in School Counseling.

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School and Career Counselor Salary

Salaries can differ depending on where a counselor is employed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the median annual wage for school and career counselors was $60,140 in 2022. Counselors in elementary and secondary schools earned a median wage of $65,930 per year, while those at junior colleges and other post-secondary institutions earned a median salary of $50,370. The BLS projects that employment for school counselors will grow 5 percent through 2032, faster than the national average for all occupations.

For prospective school counselors, a master’s degree in school counseling or a related field is required in almost every state. The graduate program teaches counselors how to work with students, parents and staff members to help promote academic development. Counselors at public schools need to have a state-issued license, which usually requires a master’s degree, an internship or a completed supervised practicum and passing an exam. Prior teaching experience might also be necessary in order to acquire a certification or license.

An online master’s in school counseling from Campbellsville University teaches future school counselors how to help students with career, emotional, and social challenges. Program topics include group counseling, substance abuse, cultural competency and college readiness taught by faculty who have real-world experience in guidance counseling. The fully online program allows students to complete a degree while maintaining their personal and professional schedules.