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5 Careers for Guidance and Career Counselors

The world of counseling can offer a career path for practically any type of interest. As long as a student is willing to work hard and is dedicated to helping people, they will thrive in the ever growing field of mental health professionals. A degree in career and guidance counseling is quickly becoming one of the more popular educational programs that students are pursuing.

A degree in guidance or career counseling will give you many options to choose from for your own vocation. Vocational guidance services can look different for every professional. Throughout your training and career planning, you will have gained skills to help individuals with personal, emotional, and/or behavioral issues. There are a variety of institutions that use the specific skills of a guidance or career counselor to help others. But before we get too far into guidance and career counseling services, let’s take a look at the basics…

What Are Guidance and Career Counselors?

A guidance and career counselor is a hard working, empathetic, and highly educated professional. Often also referred to as a school counselor, they teach life skills to both students and other clients over the course of their career counseling sessions. School counselors and career counselors are provide educational and social services in a multitude of ways. While many people may think the only role of guidance and career counselors is to help with career development, this is far from true. Their other duties include but are not limited to…

  • Helping new students choose an educational path
  • Assist students in developing a career plan for after graduation
  • Encourage students to succeed
  • Developing academic skills
  • Developing social skills
  • Exploring occupation options
  • Aid in finding internship opportunities
  • Helping with job search
  • Helping to boost confidence and self worth
  • Helping clients find a new career path

What Are Some of the Educational Requirements for Guidance and Career Counselors?

As with all career paths, entering this field takes a great deal of dedication, effort, and time. Guidance counselors, career counselors and advisors have done the work during their college degree programs and are highly qualified to provide life advice and share their career development techniques. According to Careers in Psychology, “Most career counseling careers start with bachelor’s degrees in areas such as psychology, counseling, or vocational psychology. Many schools also offer graduate degree programs in career counseling, which can lead to more job opportunities with higher salaries.

Generally, career counselors should also be licensed, particularly if they choose to open private practice. Along with completing several strict education requirements, you will also usually need to complete about 3,000 hours of supervised fieldwork, depending on what state you choose to practice in. Be sure to check with your state’s licensing board.”

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Coincidentally enough, guidance and career counselors are a great help for students looking for internship and employment opportunities. Earning a degree and getting hands on experience in training programs is crucial for a career counselors work.

Career Options for Guidance and Career Counselors…

Hospital Setting

Hospitals are a good place to use a degree in counseling. Guiding families as a grief counselor, assisting patients with behavioral or psychological issues, or even working in administration are all potential career options with a counseling degree. Providing patients and their families with resources and guidance is a fulfilling way to use your degree in guidance or career counseling. You could also be assigned to help a specific patient and their family to overcome obstacles related to his or her illness.

Correctional Facilities

As a counselor at a correctional facility, you would assist inmates with setting goals for rehabilitation and you might also be in charge of counseling or education groups for inmates. Most likely, you would be assisting inmates by monitoring their progress, recommending disciplinary action, and preparing reports. Administrative and office procedures are a common duty as well. Writing detailed and accurate case notes would be an important administrative part of your occupation so the course of action taken to help each patient is correct.

Educational Setting

There are many options within an educational setting for someone who has a degree in guidance or career counseling. As a guidance counselor, you are able to help students navigate a path for future success. You can choose to work in an elementary school, middle school, high school, or college setting. For college students, progress and notes on the counseling sessions are typically kept just between the school counselor and the student. For younger students, a school counselor will likely discuss children’s progress with parents or guardians. Oftentimes, there is a career center within a college or university that requires a counselor. A master’s degree is usually preferred in a counseling position, but sometimes counselors with a bachelor’s degree will be able to find a position in an educational setting.

Residential Care Facilities

There are numerous types of residential care facilities including group homes, shelters, or halfway houses. At a residential care facility, you would be counseling people living in a temporary situation where they would receive constant or partial supervision. People with mental and physical disabilities, autistic children, or at-risk youth are all types of people you may interact with at a residential care facility. There are residential care facilities for the elderly who need someone to help them with everyday care. Your job description will greatly depend on the type of facility setting.


There are many opportunities to write when you are a counselor. Some counselors choose to write for journals, textbooks or books. Counseling publications want writers who have experience in the professional field of counseling or are a practicing counselor. Writing is something that can be done full-time or as a side job to one of the aforementioned occupations in career or guidance counseling.

Interested in Entering the World of Guidance and Career Counselors?

There is a broad range of facilities to work in for someone who has a degree in guidance or career counseling. You should contemplate what your strengths, empathies, and attributes are and then choose the type of facility where you would like to begin guidance or career counseling. There are many career counselor positions available now a days…best of luck on finding the right one for you! For tips on employment services be sure to check out Bureau of Labor Statistics website. You can also seek additional assistance on the U.S. Department of Education website.

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