What is a Career Counselor?

There are moments in life when we are all faced with making big decisions. One of the biggest decisions is choosing the right career.

Career counselors are trained to help uncover all the things we need to think about, along with useful tips that will hopefully lead us to making the right choice.

What does a Career Counselor do?

A career counselor is trained to help people with their career choice. Whether the person is new to the working world, or simply desires a change of profession, a career counselor will be able to guide them in the best possible direction.

A career counselor is trained to aid people with their career choice.

A thorough history of client employment, education, skills, personality, and interests is necessary to ensure the best possible result, all of which is gained through the thorough interviewing process of the clients. The information is then applied in suggesting post secondary education options, or in job searches using all available technology and resources.

Career counselors are responsible for having knowledge of the skills needed in various fields, the average salary of each field, and the requirements of each field. After they have assessed a client they will then match them up with a field suitable for their skills and personality, creating the most profitable match possible in terms of job satisfaction and monetary earnings.

Career counselors will not, however, simply match up a client with a profession and send them on their way. They work with their clients, helping them to research the right job, as well as helping to locate resources for strengthening the skills needed for the job desired.

Many successful career counselors go on to further their own learning and join the fields of social work, coaching, and vocational counseling in schools. Some counselors even move on to outplacement positions and professional recruitment for corporate offices.

Are you suited to be a career counselor?

Career counselors have distinct personalities. They tend to be social individuals, which means they’re kind, generous, cooperative, patient, caring, helpful, empathetic, tactful, and friendly. They excel at socializing, helping others, and teaching. Some of them are also enterprising, meaning they’re adventurous, ambitious, assertive, extroverted, energetic, enthusiastic, confident, and optimistic.

Does this sound like you? Take our free career test to find out if career counselor is one of your top career matches.

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What is the workplace of a Career Counselor like?

Career counselors may work in a private practice or even in a college or university. The positions available vary by region, state and country. Some can be found as social workers, life coaches, therapists, corporate recruitment staff, teachers, and many other positions where a firm understanding of psychology is helpful or required.

A career counselor at a school would work with students to help them research which career is best for them, while taking into consideration their peer and familial pressures. Career counselors will work with the students to encourage them to pursue careers that match their skills and desires, with thought given to monetary earnings and the satisfaction level of the chosen field.

Career counselors who enjoy the business applications of the field often choose employment in outplacement, corporate recruitment, and professional headhunting - finding employees for their clients that will suit their workforce. This is the same job they would do otherwise, simply in reverse. Instead of finding clients jobs that match their skills, they find employees to match their client's requirements based on an applicant's skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become a Career Counselor?

Because of the breadth of the counseling field, it is difficult to give a definitive, comprehensive answer to this question. What can be said is that in the vast majority of counseling disciplines require practitioners to hold a master’s degree. This means that the minimum time needed to prepare to enter a professional counselor role is typically between five and six years:

• Bachelor’s Degree – four years
• Master’s Degree – one or two years

In addition to this time to be dedicated to a formal education track, most disciplines require some level of clinical experience attained in an internship or voluntary capacity.

Are Career Counselors happy?

Counselors rank highly among careers. Overall they rank in the 87th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores. Please note that this number is derived from the data we have collected from our Sokanu members only.

This high happiness quotient among counselors is a testament to the value, to the simple goodness of the work they do.

Should I become a Career Counselor?

American attorney Laura Wasser wrote:

Sometimes, just the act of venting is helpful. Counseling provides a safe haven for precisely that kind of free-ranging release: You can say things in the therapist's office, with the therapist present, that would be incendiary or hurtful in your living room.

It takes a certain, special kind of person to step into the vocation of counselor. And counseling is indeed a vocation. It is more than a job. It is a calling, a bent, an urge – one that is best served by people with these very specific talents:

Interpersonal skills
These skills characterize how you relate to other people in a supportive and positive environment – verbally, with body language, how you listen, how you collaborate, how you empathize, how you inquire, and how you lead.

Communication skills
Communication is more than just listening and talking. Authentic communicators practise active listening. They are aware of body language cues like facial expressions and hand motions.

Each client’s challenge, struggle, personality, and background are different. Counselors who always take the same approach are doomed to fail. Those who always see an individual and customize their approach are destined to make a significant difference in the life of every one of their clients.

Research skills
Counselors who are genuinely committed to their work are curious. They seek out information; the latest data, theories, and summaries; and feedback on specific subjects, issues, behaviors, and disorders. In short, the best counselors are also accomplished researchers.

Critical thinking skills
Accomplished counselors think analytically. They are able to compare and contrast treatment options, make inferences, reach conclusions, envision outcomes, and adapt along the way.

What are Career Counselors like?

Based on our pool of users, Counselors tend to be predominately enterprising people. This is a finding that is both expected and encouraging. The professionals entrusted with identifying human challenges and providing support and direction must surely be innovative and enterprising in identifying how to best communicate and engage with their clients.

Career Counselors are also known as:
Career Guidance Counselor Career Guide Career Exploration Counselor Career Change Counselor Personal Career Development Counselor