How Can I Become A School Counselor?

School CounselorIf you find the field of counseling to be interesting and want to pursue a career in this sector, you may have asked yourself at some point: “How do I become a school counselor?” Below you will find an answer to this question and several others that pertain to the field of school counseling.

School Counselor – A Brief Overview

School counselors are individuals who act as informative guides and mentors for students. In working with a diverse set of students who possess their own unique interests and future objectives, school counselors help them devise realistic, attainable social, career, and academic goals. They will also help students develop the skills necessary for success and create the strategies necessary to attain their personal and professional objectives.

Becoming a School Counselor – Educational Requirements

The first step to becoming a school counselor is to earn a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. Some of those fields can include social work, psychology, or counseling. After obtaining the degree, individuals will need to earn a specialized degree in the field of school counseling. This is typically a state requirement for employment in the university or school setting.

Becoming a School Counselor – Training Requirements

After completing all of the educational and classroom training requirements, aspiring school counselors will complete a mentoring or internship program that provides him or her with hands-on experience and learning-through-observation opportunities. In some states, this mentorship element is a prerequisite to employment.


Most states will require aspiring school counselors to hold some type of license or certifications. By visiting the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), you can access links that provide specific information regarding the requirements for each state as well as data regarding professional development.

Work Environment

School counselors can work at the level of education that they choose, and this can include the elementary, middle, high school and post-secondary realms. They can also be employed at public or private school settings. Generally, school counselors will work full time, but they may take summers off if doing so is in compliance with a school’s calendar.

Roles and Responsibilities

The daily tasks that a school counselor will be required to perform from day to day will vary based on grade level. Generally, counselors who work for elementary schools will play an active role in grappling with overall student safety and health while also assisting with any behavioral issues that might exist. On the other hand, middle school counselors will generally aid students in the development of social skills as they attempt to make the transition from adolescence to young adulthood. At the high school level, counselors will typically spend a great deal of their time helping students select the right strategies to prepare for further education or entry into the world of work. High school counselors will also help students devise the right strategies to help them develop and accomplish their future goals. Finally, college counselors will provide students with assistance in sectors such as job skills, career selection, interviewing techniques, and resume-building. All of these efforts are designed to ensure that the college student makes a successful transition from the university into the world of work.

Related Resource: Marriage and Family Therapist


If you are seriously thinking about becoming a school counselor, you should know that doing so can provide you with a variety of personal and professional benefits. Now that you have a basic understanding of the requirements involved to become a school counselor, you can decide whether pursuing this career path would be appropriate or ideal for you.