School counselors do a variety of tasks to help students. They assist in the decision making process. These decisions affect the academic and personal lives of the students. Thus, counselors play an important role in students lives. Counselors work as part of a team with teachers, nurses, administrators, and other psychologists or psychiatrists to resolved student’s learning and/or behavior problems.
They also, if the job entails, evaluate the effectiveness of progams and procedures. School counselors work in all types and levels of schooling. This includes both private and public elementary schools, junior high schools, senior high schools, colleges, and universities.
Counselors who work in junior and senior high schools mainly help students decide what they will do after high school. They also make information readily available to students.
Counselors working in elementary schools deal mainly with students who have learning and/or behavior problems.
College counselors help students with a variety of issues. They help students plan and further their college education. They make information and other valuable resources available to students. Counselors offer guidance, both academic and personal, to students. They often teach college classes, in addition to counseling.
Educational requirements vary by state and change quite often.
Most states require certification which needs a master’s degree in a related field such as counseling, psychology, education, or social work. A one year internship might be required in some states.
Advancement possibilities are limited due to the fact that school counselors are already at the top of their profession. Some may become the coordinator for their school in a specialized area of expertise. They may become administrators or get supervisory positions. School counselors are qualified, if desired, to work in other areas such as a mental health department, in a probation department, a juvenile detention center, a half-way house, as a drug and alcohol abuse counselor, or as a teacher of any grade level with about six months additional schooling.
Depending on the type of degree a counselor has, the typesof work environments they are qualified for is a variety of many settings. Counselors face considerable competition for jobs which is likely to increase due to the expected decline in the overall number of jobs for school counselors.
Full-time counselors work longer than teachers do. Some counselors work only part-time or counsel part-time and teach. Usually they have their own offices for privacy reasons.
Important qualities a school counselor should possess are patience, resourcefulness, stability, and good people relations skills.
Starting salaries range from $20,000-$25,000 a year. This depends on qualifications and location. Experienced school counselors earn from $26,000-$31,000 a year. They receive full benefits as well.
Overall, schoolcounseling can be a very rewarding and satisfying career, according to those I have spoken with. Ron Chesley, a school counselor at Merced College, says that the worst part of the job is paperwork andthe stressful pace during registration.
The best part, according to Ron, is working with the people. I like working with people and helping others. I also like paperwork and often enjoy a stressful pace. I am highly considering school counseling as a career posibility.