Counseling Jobs and Careers

This article discusses Counseling Jobs and Careers, particularly for those pursuing an advanced degree in Counseling, such as a Masters in Counseling.

Counselors play a significant role as they help people deal with and cope with their issues in life. They do a valuable job by listening to people’s problems and finding solutions to enable them to move on with their lives.

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It is important to understand that there are different types of counselors today in a variety of specialized areas. They work in various settings as well and most enjoy better salaries compared to other occupations.

If you’re one of those who desire to pursue a career in counseling, you need to obtain the appropriate college education first and foremost. There are varied degrees being offered by community or vocational schools, colleges and universities these days in both the traditional on campus and online formats.

The associate and bachelor’s degrees provide the basic foundation. A bachelor’s degree in psychology, sociology or social work, biology, statistics or human development is most ideal. But this has to be obtained in an accredited institution to ensure you qualify to enroll in a master’s degree in counseling.

Students aspiring to become counselors are required to continue earning their master’s degree in order to be able to work as a full-fledged and licensed counselor. Most states in the U.S. are particular about this prerequisite.

A post-graduate program allows students to choose their specialization. This can be in the area of school or education counseling, mental health, community, substance abuse, rehabilitation, guidance or vocational counseling. Completing this advanced degree enables graduates to start their own private practice or work in hospitals, nursing care facilities, rehabilitation centers, schools and government agencies.

School or guidance counselors are trained to help in the academic, social and career development of students. They work in educational institutions.

Mental health counselors are responsible for helping people cope with depression, stress, their fears or loss of a loved one. Anything to do with emotions and mental trauma, this type of counselor has the capability to able to provide solutions.

Marriage and family counselors work with couples and families to assist and guide them on the right steps to solve their issues concerning their relationships. They use therapeutic methods to treat individuals, couples and families facing problems.

Rehabilitation counselors are the authorities in helping people suffering from disabilities cope with their condition. They cover the personal, social and vocational aspects.

It should be understood that counselors differ from psychologists. While licensed counselors hold a master’s degree, psychologists need to complete a doctorate degree in psychology. This post-graduate degree takes 5 to 7 years.

To be able to work legally as a National Certified Counselor (NCC), one needs to pass the exam given by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) after completing his master’s degree and two years of required fieldwork. Other certifications can be obtained from other organizations depending on one’s specialization.

Salaries of counselors vary and they enjoy better wages compared to other occupations outside of the healthcare industry. A Bureau of Labor Statistics survey done in 2009 revealed that their median annual salary ranges from nearly $38,000 to more than $106,000 for those who belong to the top 10 percent.