School kids need guidance and support, especially when it comes to dealing with academic, personal, parental and societal pressures. Helping them reach their potential is the goal of every good school counselor, and they do that by being caring, patient and flexible.
School counselors help students at all levels, from elementary school to college. They act as advocates for students' well-being and are a valuable resource for their educational advancement. Counselors help students with issues such as bullying, dealing with disabilities, low self-esteem, poor academic performance and relationship problems. They refer students to a school psychologist for further treatment if necessary.
In addition, they evaluate students' abilities, interests and personalities to help them develop academic and career goals. They also administer aptitude tests and show students different paths to success.
Learn which personality traits and professional skills you’ll need to be a successful school counselor.
You should have…
Licensing and certification guidelines for school counselors vary by state. Make sure to check the guidelines in your state before you start your studies.
Get a Bachelor's Degree
Earn an undergraduate degree in teacher ed or psychology. You'll also need a master's degree in school counseling or a related degree.
Earn a Master's Degree
A master's degree in counseling will teach you about academic and career development, counseling, and working with parents, teachers and school staff.
Supervised Work Experience
Most master's degrees require you to get work experience in an internship or practicum. Ask about this before applying to programs.
Apply for Licensure in Your State
Public school counselors must have a state-issued license. This credential may be called a certification, a license or an endorsement, depending on state requirements.
Compared to other counselors, school counselors make a good living. But salaries do vary a lot based on location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.
You’ll need patience and tolerance in your role as a school counselor but students will thrive under your guidance.
Earning a four-year undergraduate degree is the first step in your education toward becoming a school counselor.
School counselors help and encourage students develop the skills they’ll need to succeed in school and in life. They also earn a great salary.