A person who is interested in a degree and license to practice as a school counselor may want to know, “How is the job outlook for school counselors?” The answer to this is important because it gives the student or new graduate an idea of what to expect in terms of job openings and competition. Understanding the job outlook for school counselors could help a person plan their career and decide which jobs to apply for upon graduation.
Current Employment Numbers for School Counselors
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 324,500 jobs as school counselors in May 2018. This job classification combines vocational, guidance, academic and school counselors into that number. A rise in student enrollment is expected to trigger an increased demand for school counselors between 2018 and 2028.
Projected Growth in the Number of School Counselor Jobs
The job outlook for school counselors is expected to have a growth rate of 8 percent between May 2018 and 2028. This is faster than the average for all occupations. There will be an increase of about 27,200 jobs for school counselors across the United States. The highest demand is expected to be at career centers that serve discharged members of the military, people in career transitions and students who attend a vocational program. Universities will also have a considerably high demand for counselors to help students plan their classes and prepare to enter the job market. All types of schools will need more counselors who are prepared to handle developmental and behavioral issues in the learning environment.
Cities and States With the Highest Concentration of School Counselors
The job outlook for people who work as a school counselor varies somewhat by geographic location. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the states with the highest numbers of jobs for school counselors include California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois. The states with the highest concentrations of school counselors include Vermont, Connecticut, Arizona, New York, and New Hampshire. The cities with the highest concentrations of school counselors are Ithaca, Columbia, Athens, College Station and Flagstaff.
How a Person Can Boost Their Job Prospects as a School Counselor
A person could increase their chances at getting a job as a school counselor in a competitive job environment by doing several things. Learning a second or third language could be helpful, especially in a city where there are a lot of children who speak English as a second language. Earning an advanced degree and seeking additional training or certification could also help. A person who is willing to work in under-served areas, including rural school systems and inner-city school systems, may also have a competitive edge.
The job outlook for people who work as a school counselor could change if the economy takes a nosedive, because schools might have to reduce their auxiliary staffing numbers. A person considering earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree in counseling and earning the certification and license to practice counseling in a school should be willing to attend continuing education and consider a doctorate degree in the social work, psychology or education. Knowing, “How is the job outlook for school counselors?” could also help a person choose a career path that is in line with their personal, financial and professional goals.