What is school counseling?
School counselors work at all educational levels, from elementary school through middle school and high school, helping students improve their academic and social performance, as well as assisting them in developing their plans for the future. They work with parents, teachers, and organizations to facilitate student success.
In this article, we’d discuss who school counselors are, what they do, their average annual salary, job outlook, requirements for becoming one, and how long it takes to become a professional school counselor.
What does a school counselor do?
School counseling professionals offer direct and indirect services to students at different levels. They usually develop and implement extensive counseling programs that are centered around student outcomes. Via direct student services, school counseling programs and counselors provide:
- Core School Counseling Curriculum: Lessons that are patterned to aid students to achieve competencies, knowledge, attitudes, and skills suitable for their grade of development.
- Individual Student Planning: Activities patterned to aid students in initiating goals and developing their future plans.
- Responsive Services: matching the immediate needs and concerns of students in both individual and small-group settings or crisis counseling.
The Indirect services for students include every activity that is done on behalf of the students. Such as referrals, consultation, and collaboration with stakeholders such as administrators, teachers, parents, and community organizations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, school counseling professionals also participate in the evaluation of student abilities, identifying issues that hinder school participation, and preparing and presenting workshops on specific topics such as bullying and drug abuse.
Students in difficulties
School counselors generally work with students who are experiencing academic, developmental, or personal problems.
Elementary school counselors observe students in their school environment and discuss any problems with teachers and parents so that they can work together and come up with solutions.
Middle and high school
Counselors in middle and high schools help students assess their interests and abilities so that they can develop academic and career goals according to their abilities.
Focus on the future
Counselors in middle and high schools provide information regarding colleges, academic degrees, exchange schools, and employment.
School counselors can direct substance abuse prevention programs and provide guidance to students who are experiencing these problems at home.
How to Become a School Counselor
- Complete a bachelor’s degree in a behavioral, social science, or education field
- Earn a master’s degree in school counseling
- Complete graduate internship experience for certification/licensure requirements
- Pass any required exams for certification/licensure
- Apply for and earn additional certifications
- Continue your education and stay up to date on school counseling trends and changes.
School counselor Job outlook and salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment of educational, school, and vocational counselors is predicted to grow 8 percent from 2018 to 2028.
As of may 2021, The bureau of labor statistics also recorded that California employs school counselors the most, closely followed by Texas, New York, Florida and Illinois.
While the national annual average salary for a professional school counselor is $61,000 USD, and this is dependent on experiences, location, tenure and setting as some states like California averages a $78,250 per annum.
What degree do you need to become a school counselor?
To become a school counselor it’s mandatory to hold a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. Your Bachelor’s degree may fall under psychology, counseling, social work, educational psychology, and sociology.
How long does it take to become a school counselor?
The time it takes to become a professional school counselor usually varies by state. As an earlier state, all school counselors ought to hold a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, which normally takes about four years to complete. School counselors are also mandated to have a master’s degree, which should take another two years to complete. Depending on your state, you may or may not require an examination for certification and if you do, then you’ve to use factor in the time you’d need to pass the exam.
How can you become a school counselor with a psychology degree?
A bachelor’s degree in psychology is one of the options for individuals aiming to be a professional school counselor that may help prepare them for what’s to come. School counselors typically get their master’s in either counseling or school psychology, but this requirement depends on their state.
Do school counselors get paid in the summer?
School counselors just like teachers and many other employees in school districts can allot some of their wage to a ‘savings’ that is then spread across the summer period so they always receive paychecks. Some school counselors work all through the summer in summer schools or summer programs or find other employment that is within their field during the summer.