What Do Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors Do?
In order to give students their best chance in school and afterwards, institutes of learning hire educational and vocational counselors to offer assistance with problems related to learning and seeking employment after graduation. You’ll both counsel individual students, and plan and implement broader-reaching programs and policies to improve the educational environment for all students.While declines in school funding may impact hiring in some locations, increased school enrollment means that the number of educational and vocational counselor jobs is predicted to rise 12% from 2012 to 2022. An estimated 8,700 positions will be opening annually across the country.
Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors Skills and Abilities
Educational and vocational counselors need to have an extensive knowledge of therapy and counseling practices, as well as psychology and principles of education and instruction. Strong communication skills are a necessity, both verbal and written, and you must have a good understanding of people and their feelings. The ability to think critically, approaching situations from different angles and coming up with multiple solutions, is also key.
Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors Duties
As a counselor, your most important duty will be working with students in order to help them understand and overcome difficulties in their education or vocation. By observing clients in their school and social environment, conducting interviews and tests, and studying performance records, you will evaluate their skills, interests and personalities in order to counsel them in matters such as class registration, study habits and career planning. You’ll monitor their progress via follow-up interviews and keep accurate student records according to law and local policies. As a counselor you’ll have the responsibility to watch for signs of abuse or bullying and other major and minor stressors among students, and to mediate disputes if needed.In addition to counseling individuals, you’ll also collaborate with educators and administrators to develop appropriate disciplinary policies, drug-prevention programs, self-help sessions and other plans that will benefit the entire student body. To assist in finding employment, you’ll promote job fairs and similar career-related efforts, and will work with employers to create internships and employment opportunities. You may supervise peer counseling and support extracurricular activities.
Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors Tools and Technology
In order to keep accurate records of students and counseling sessions, educational and vocational counselors must be able to use databases and analytic software, as well as email and internet browsers. Presentation software is also needed for developing programs. Additionally, you may use digital camcorders and voice recorders to log counseling sessions, and videoconferencing systems both for communicating with students and collaborating with other program designers.
Education and Training for Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors
Most educational and vocational counselor positions require a master’s degree in counseling or psychology, or sometimes education or a related field. A limited number of positions may only ask for a bachelor’s degree, usually along with counselor credentials. Counselors are also expected to keep current on trends in education and counseling by attending training workshops and conferences during their employment.
Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors Salary
Typical salaries depend on location and whether the school is public or private. The average salary is $53,000 a year. While lower paying positions offer less than $32,000, you can potentially make more than $86,000 a year as a counselor.
Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselor Jobs by Geography
States with large populations and high numbers of students, such as California, Texas and the Northeast, tend to have the most educational and vocational counselor positions. The best-paying jobs, however, are found in a variety of places, with Arizona, New England and South Carolina offering the highest average salaries, though within any state there can be distinct differences between school districts.