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Career Profile: Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors

Advise and assist students and provide educational and vocational guidance services.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 322,000 people employed as educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors in the United States. The median annual salary is $58,100. Entry level employees earn approximately $35,620 per year and senior employees earn approximately $97,910 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Teach classes and present self-help or information sessions on subjects related to education and career planning.
  • Provide special services such as alcohol and drug prevention programs and classes that teach students to handle conflicts without resorting to violence.
  • Conduct follow-up interviews with counselees to determine if their needs have been met.
  • Review transcripts to ensure that students meet graduation or college entrance requirements and write letters of recommendation.
  • Provide students with information on topics, such as college degree programs and admission requirements, financial aid opportunities, trade and technical schools, and apprenticeship programs.
  • Instruct individuals in career development techniques, such as job search and application strategies, resume writing, and interview skills.
  • Plan and promote career and employment-related programs and events, such as career planning presentations, work experience programs, job fairs, and career workshops.
  • Plan and conduct orientation programs and group conferences to promote the adjustment of individuals to new life experiences, such as starting college.
  • Evaluate students' or individuals' abilities, interests, and personality characteristics, using tests, records, interviews, or professional sources.
  • Collaborate with teachers and administrators in the development, evaluation, and revision of school programs and in the preparation of master schedules for curriculum offerings.
  • Observe students during classroom and play activities to evaluate students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
  • Establish and enforce administration policies and rules governing student behavior.
  • Address community groups, faculty, and staff members to explain available counseling services.
  • Prepare reports on students and activities as required by administration.
  • Interview clients to obtain information about employment history, educational background, and career goals, and to identify barriers to employment.
  • Sponsor extracurricular activities, such as clubs, student organizations, and academic contests.
  • Provide crisis intervention to students when difficult situations occur at schools.
  • Confer with parents or guardians, teachers, administrators, and other professionals to discuss children's progress, resolve behavioral, academic, and other problems, and to determine priorities for students and their resource needs.
  • Identify cases of domestic abuse or other family problems and encourage students or parents to seek additional assistance from mental health professionals.
  • Counsel individuals to help them understand and overcome personal, social, or behavioral problems affecting their educational or vocational situations.
  • Counsel students regarding educational issues, such as course and program selection, class scheduling and registration, school adjustment, truancy, study habits, and career planning.
  • Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
  • Prepare students for later educational experiences by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and to persevere with challenging tasks.
  • Attend meetings, educational conferences, and training workshops and serve on committees.
  • Compile and study occupational, educational, and economic information to assist counselees in determining and carrying out vocational and educational objectives.
  • Plan, direct, and participate in recruitment and enrollment activities.
  • Supervise, train, and direct professional staff and interns.
  • Refer students to degree programs based on interests, aptitudes, or educational assessments.
  • Assess needs for assistance, such as rehabilitation, financial aid, or additional vocational training, and refer clients to the appropriate services.
  • Establish and supervise peer counseling and peer tutoring programs.
  • Provide information for teachers and staff members involved in helping students or graduates identify and pursue employment opportunities.
  • Establish contacts with employers to create internship and employment opportunities for students.
  • Provide disabled students with assistive devices, supportive technology, and assistance accessing facilities, such as restrooms.
  • Refer qualified counselees to employers or employment services for job placement.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
322,000
Annual Openings:
35,000
Increase in Openings by 2030:
12%
Annual Salary Range:
$35,620 - $97,910
Education Requirements:
Master's degree or higher