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What Types of Jobs are Available for Counselors?

The counseling profession is an admirable career choice. It includes mental health professionals who spend their work days helping people work through difficult situations from both the past and present that may be promoting personal issues, mental health issues, etc. It also includes other professionals who help individuals achieve their career and academic goals. The counseling profession also takes a great deal of dedication and hard work to enter. Students have earned bachelor’s degrees, likely master’s degrees, and various certifications and licenses. There is no choice but for aspiring counselors to give their studies their full attention.

As for the job outlook, there are many types of counseling jobs available to job candidates who have an accredited bachelor’s degree related to psychology, social work, education, counseling and human services. Individuals who have a master’s degree and state-based credentials can apply for licensed counseling positions. Whether you are a student or a graduate looking for job openings in one of the top industries, we are here to help. Keep reading as we provide additional information about the types of jobs available for counselors.

Admissions Counselor

While admissions counselors may not be mental health counselors, their counseling services are still very important. Admissions counselors work in a variety of educational environments that include private and public schools as well as colleges and state-sponsored job corps programs for vulnerable youths. Job corps programs need enthusiastic admissions and outreach counselors to recruit and coordinate the arrival of new students. They identify and develop organizational-beneficial partnerships that contribute to the success of students and programs. They are tasked with determining a potential student’s eligibility and suitability for job corps enrollment and must ensure the strict confidentiality of sensitive student data. They support educators and management with the collective goal of educating and empowering youth for success in life.

Student Support Specialist

Similarly to admissions counselors, student support specialists are not technically mental health counselors. However, they do offer a broad range of support for students in need. Student support specialists work in collaboration with college campus staff to coordinate new students and manage various programs. They use a case management approach to identify appropriate students for service programs. They organize and deliver regular seminars and plan and implement new student orientation sessions. They also hire and supervise student peer mentors together with academic support managers. At the end of semesters and academic school years, they interview students for the purpose of program evaluation through surveys and focus groups. Student support specialists must have considerable knowledge of the practices and techniques used in higher education student retention programs and must also have a broad knowledge of available school and community resources for students. Student support specialists will need to have a bachelor’s degree in education, counseling or social work.

Crisis Counselor

A crisis counselor is a mental health counselor and licensed professional who has an appropriate behavioral health services certification related to hospital pre-admission screenings for mental health hospitalizations. They must understand the state’s codes and policies related to voluntary and involuntary hospitalizations for mental health crises. They are responsible to assess incoming patients in crisis situations for imminent risks because of mental illness, intellectual disability and co-occurring substance abuse problems. They also must asses a possible behavioral disorder. These patients are generally a danger to themselves or others and are unable to care for themselves.

Crisis counselors also conduct mental health diagnostics of individuals presented by law enforcement and emergency response personnel. They are in charge of providing risk status, current functioning and behavior plan updates to decision makers. They also provide supportive intervention service and carry a small caseload of short-term crisis counseling clients and can qualify with a master’s degree and an active RN license.

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Substance Abuse Therapist

Substance abuse therapists are responsible for providing confidential addiction support, education and counseling to individuals and groups struggling with alcoholism, mental illness and chemical dependence. They may work for in a hospital, treatment center, private practice, or any other setting that require a substance abuse counselor.

Their duties include intake assessments, treatment planning, client advocacy and case management. They provide clients with individual psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and psycho-educational classes. They complete initial assessments with clients and seek their input to develop treatment plans. They add progress notes and update individual treatment plans after weekly meetings. They must effectively manage assigned caseloads and support multidisciplinary team efforts to treat clients. They provide emergency crisis intervention and assessments and monitor their clients for risk and self-harm indicators. A substance abuse therapist may also conduct group sessions such as support groups to help their clients feel less alone, make friends, and help with stress management.

A Profession with Many Opportunities

According to labor statistics, there are many opportunities for students and professionals looking to offer their counseling services to a booming industry. While the jobs we went into detail about are very popular, they are not the only ones available. Other counseling jobs include clinical therapist, family counselor, vocational rehabilitation counselor, and more. Additional resources are readily available on the American Counseling Association website which can be found here.

Related Resources:

What are the Different Types of Counselors?

What is a Community Mental Health Counselor?

5 Biggest Challenges for Licensed Mental Health Counselors