Career counseling is the art of preparing a person for a career change or the entry into a career for the first time. This type of counseling involves assessing people’s personality types and using various strategies to fit them into the fields in which they would most likely succeed. The consensus is that a person will last longer in a field in which he or he has relevant skills and enjoys the work. Therefore, the career counselor sets out to ensure that every person enters into the right field. Some people will go willingly while others will need coaching as to why they would be perfect for a certain position type.
As a career counselor, you will expose yourself to a wide variety of people. You may deal with college or high school students, ex-convicts, people who have become recently unemployed, or individuals who are unhappy with their current positions. It is your job to collect data about their desires, thoughts and behaviors, so that you can help them to get on the right track to gainful employment. With your help, these bright individuals can become successful within their fields, or even become successful entrepreneurs.
Career Counseling Education
The best way to approach a career in career counseling is to obtain a high level of education in the field of psychology. You will want to gain training in research methods and introduction to psychology. These courses will help you to understand the basics of analyzing thoughts and behavior patterns. You will also need to gain education in social sciences and behavioral sciences. The goal is to obtain the highest level of education possible to increase your chances of finding employment. Many establishments will hire a person who has a master’s degree. Therefore, the objective should be to obtain at least a master’s degree in any or a few of the aforementioned fields.
The master’s degree program will teach you all of the mechanics that you need to be a successful career counselor. For example, you will learn specific counseling techniques as well as skills evaluation and test administration. This program will provide you with the tools necessary to perform as a counselor.
After you obtain the appropriate education, you will need to apply for certification in order to practice. Some states will require you to take an examination that displays your knowledge of the appropriate practices and procedures. Other states may require you to perform a certain amount of hours in a supervised setting before you can obtain licensing. In such cases, you would have to submit a copy of your transcript, and examination score, and proof of your unsupervised practice hours to potential employers.
Career Counseling Salary
The salary of a career counselor varies according to location, facility type, and educational background. A person who has a Ph.D in the field will earn more money. An individual who has a private practice will earn more than a person who works for a school. A person can find a career counseling job in many places such as schools, state offices and government sites. The salary is highest where the demand is the greatest.
The average salary for a career counselor is $46,000 as of July of 2013. Community counselors can earn up to $70,000 per year while a camp head counselor only earns about $20,000 per year. The positive aspect of this field is that the need for counselors is still on the rise. The U.S. Department of Labor claims that the field will grow by 19 percent over the next seven years. Therefore, opportunities for newly licensed individuals are vast.
What do Career Counselors Do?
Career counselors have many tasks and processes they must go through. A typical day with a client would most likely start with some assessments and conversations. The counselor may ask the client about his or her work history, current training, personal preferences, skills and talents. He or she may also ask this person where he or she will be in five years. This will give the counselor an indication of whether the person has chosen the right path. Next, the counselor may administer actual tests that score the person’s compatibility with a certain position or field. Such assessments may be skill-based assessments or personality based assessments.
The counselor will use the inventories to make suggestions to the client on the fields in which he or she should apply. A counselor may also refer a client to an educational source or vocational program in which he or she can obtain additional skills. Additionally, a career counselor may offer a client advice on how to obtain a promotion at his or her current job, how to successfully pass an interview, or how to complete an effective resume. Another element that a career counselor may provide is guidance on how to perform relaxation techniques during stressful times. This person has a background in psychology. Therefore, he or she can help a person to work through difficult situations in his or her current position. A career counselor’s duties are extensive.
Career Counseling Resources
Holland Code Career Test: This is a free test that matches a person with the best suitable jobs. Such matching is based on several occupational themes. The individual will either fall within the realistic, investigative, artistic, conventional, or enterprising theme.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook: This guide will help a career counselor to assess the occupational outlook of hundreds of job descriptions. The resource can be very successful in matching people with job opportunities that have the most probability of increasing in the years to come.
America’s Job Bank: America’s Job Bank contains a list of job opportunities across the United States. A career counselor can help a client to search for job opportunities using this tool as a reference.
The Keirsey Temperament Sorter: This tool is personality assessment tool that can assist in figuring out how well a person’s personality matches with the career that he or she desires.