How to Become a School Counselor

How to Become a School CounselorMany people who find that their hope and passion in life is to affect student’s lives every day in a positive way are interested in learning how to become a school counselor. School counselors work closely with other school workers and students to make the school a comfortable place for staff and students. If this is your calling, there are certain guidelines and requirements you need to meet to become a school counselor.

How to Become a School Counselor: About the Job

Most people understand school counselors work with students and teachers, but the details of the responsibilities of the job are great. School counselors base their job around the success of students. They work with students on class schedules, volunteer opportunities, standardized test schedules, and personal problems. They keep track of students’ academic life, family life, and career visualization by advising them through individual and group counseling. Often, school counselors form good relationships with students over the years because they are so involved in students’ lives. School counselors are employed at colleges, high schools, elementary schools, and middle schools. They ensure the learning environment is safe, and they protect the rights of students in school.

How to Become a School Counselor: Qualifications

School counselors must be licensed as educators and have a masters degree. Normally, school counselors hold a bachelor’s degree in psychology, sociology, or education. Individual states have certain qualifications designed for school counselors. Most guidelines require advanced degrees whose programs involve counseling for groups and individuals, testing and evaluation, development of humans, development of careers, and internships in fields with experience close to school counseling. Most school counselors have a masters in educational or child psychology and have completed internships during or after college. The experience gained from internships is a very important factor to employers looking for the right school counselor. Often, school counselors will become teachers first and advance their education on the side to become a certified school counselor. Online and traditional degrees are available to those who wish to become a school counselor.

Anyone learning about how to become a school counselor should be aware that school counselors have a plethora of responsibilities placed upon them by the school and by students, so the job can be very stressful. Being a school counselor is very rewarding, and almost any school counselor will say they love their job with confidence. Since they are able to make an impact on so many lives, they find their time spent at work to be well worth the stress.

How to Become a School Counselor: Expected Income

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook reported in the 2010-2011 Edition the median wage for school counselors is $51,050. The middle percent of wages is between $38,740 and $65,360, and the lowest percentile earns $29,360 or less. The highest percentile earns $82,330 or over. Professional school counselors have the ability to work through the summer break with the school system and earn a higher salary.

How to Become a School Counselor: Career Growth

The estimated growth for employment for school counselors is 14%. This is around average for employment growth. School counselors coming up can plan to deal with students’ involvement and association with learning and physical disabilities, death, suicide, family crisis, and substance abuse as well as school system duties such as class schedules.

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