School counselors help students develop social skills and succeed in school. Elementary school counselors help students develop decision-making and study skills they need to be successful in their social and academic lives. Middle school counselors work with students and parents to help students develop and achieve career and academic goals, and to develop skills and strategies needed to succeed academically and socially. High school counselors advise students in making academic and career plans. Many help students with personal problems that interfere with their education. They help students choose classes and plan for their lives after graduation. Counselors provide information about choosing and applying for colleges, training programs, financial aid, and apprenticeships. They may present career workshops to help students search and apply for jobs, write résumés, and improve interviewing skills.
Education and Certification Requirements
Most states require school counselors to have a master’s degree in school counseling or a related field. Programs in school counseling teach students about fostering academic development; conducting group and individual counseling; and working with parents, teachers, and other school staff. These programs often require students to gain experience through an internship or practicum.
The median annual wage for school counselors was $62,100 in May 2016.
Employment of school and career counselors is projected to grow 8 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Rising student enrollments in elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as colleges and universities, may increase demand for school counselors