Introduction to Career Counseling

Choosing a career can be a real challenge. How do you know what type of job is right for you? Is a particular career suitable for your personality, interests and goals? High school students, college graduates, and adults interested in career transitions must face these challenges, and this is where career counselors can help.

What is a career consultant?

Career consultants work with people who have questions about different careers and education paths. If you are a job seeker, working with a career adviser can help you make the most of the planning and decision-making process, and hopefully find the work path that best suits your needs.

Job responsibility

Career consultants perform a series of duties, including:

  • Manage personalities and interest lists
  • Use achievement and aptitude tests to help clients better understand what they are good at
  • Lawyers who are considering changing careers
  • Evaluate the client’s education and work background to help them determine what they need to do next to achieve their goals
  • Advise students on the courses and education plans they need to pursue a specific career
  • Help clients choose a school or course that suits their needs
  • Help students find sources of financial support to pay for school and other training programs
  • Teach and practice job skills such as interviews, resume writing and networking
  • Help clients in the job search process by teaching them where to find vacancies and connecting them with job search resources
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working environment

Career consultants usually work in various fields and work with a wide range of clients. Educational environments such as high schools and universities, government agencies, and private clinics are only a small part of the main employment areas for workers in this field.

Some counselors work in a high school environment to help students make college and career choices. Others work in higher education institutions and provide advice to college students who need help in choosing a major and deciding what they want to do after graduation.

Despite this, others focus on working with adults who are already part of the workforce. These people may seek help from career counsellors because they are considering changing careers, want to find ways to improve their current careers, or need help finding a new job after being fired.

In some cases, career counselors may also work with people with disabilities who need help to acquire job skills and find a job. These professionals are usually employed by private or government agencies that provide assistance to children and adults with a range of disabilities. Teaching basic work skills, connecting clients and community resources, and communicating with potential employers are just some of the tasks that consultants may perform when working in this field.

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Work location of career adviser

  • according to Career Outlook HandbookIn 2018, there were approximately 324,500 jobs in school and career counseling.
  • 44% of these jobs are in elementary and secondary schools.
  • 35% of people work in technical schools, colleges, professional schools and universities.
  • 8% are engaged in medical care and social assistance work.
  • Three percent are self-employed.


In 2018, the median annual salary for all schools and career counselors was $56,310. People employed in health care and social service organizations earn much lower incomes, with a median annual salary of $38,790.

Training and education requirements

Most employers prefer that school counselors have at least a master’s degree in counseling for professional development. Career consultants usually do not need to obtain a license, although many employers like it, some require it.

Those who want to work in private clinics usually need to obtain a permit.

Licensing usually includes completing a consulting master’s program, performing up to two years of full-time supervised clinical experience, passing state licensing exams, and continuing education credits.

Those who are interested in working in elementary or secondary schools usually need to obtain a master’s degree in school counseling. Educational programs usually have internship requirements, and students gain practical experience by working under the supervision of a licensed professional. Counselors in the school environment must also have a license or certificate to work in the state in which they intend to practice.

In some cases, individuals with a bachelor’s degree in psychology can find entry-level positions in career counseling.

Employment prospects

The US Department of Labor estimates that between 2018 and 2028, employment demand is expected to grow by about 8%, which is above average. Most of the growth will be driven by the increase in the number of college students.

In times of economic hardship, a slowdown in the job market may also stimulate demand for career counselling services. Displaced workers looking for new employment opportunities and recent college graduates facing a downturn in the recruitment market may particularly need the services of well-trained career consultants.