How Can I Become an Enrollment Counselor?

Research what it takes to become an enrollment counselor. Learn about education requirements, job market info and salary range to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering School Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Enrollment Counselor?

Enrollment counselors typically work in postsecondary institutions where they develop promotional materials intended to interest prospective students in attending their college or university. They may plan events to attract potential students and show them the school's programs and facilities. Enrollment counselors also work with prospective students by answering their inquiries, providing them with information, and sometimes helping them complete their applications and go through the enrollment process once accepted.

Their job involves salesmanship, because their objective is to sell students on attending their school. They also have administrative duties, because they may process applications and determine how many students the school will accept that year. Find out more about this field in the table below:

Degree Required Bachelor's degree, master's degree for advancement
Education Field of Study Any degree program, marketing or sales recommended
Key Responsibilities Recruit students for school admission, help students transfer schools, highlight financial aid and housing options
Job Growth (2014-2024) 8% (for all educational, guidance, school and vocational counselors)*
9% (for postsecondary education administrators)*
Median Salary (2015) $53,660 (for all educational, guidance, school and vocational counselors)*
$88,580 (for postsecondary education administrators)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Does an Enrollment Counselor Do?

Enrollment counselors, also known as admissions counselors, can work in a variety of kinds of schools, but most typically do so at the secondary or postsecondary level. Working in college or university admissions departments is the most common career path in the field. The job is usually a combination of sales practices and direct work with students to help them navigate through transfer policies, financial aid options, student housing options and more.

What Education Do I Need?

You may choose from a number of areas of study in order to become an enrollment counselor. If you have your high school diploma or GED, you must first enroll in and complete a 4-year bachelor's degree program. No set standard has been established for what you must major in, but a wise choice might be a discipline that involves marketing or sales. Because you'll be working closely with students to help them make the right choices, you may also choose to apply your course and fieldwork directly to education and school enrollment practices.

Once you've graduated from a bachelor's degree program, you might decide to continue your education, thereby increasing your desirability to employers. Graduate-level certificate programs are available specifically in college admissions counseling or college admissions and career development. A handful of subjects you could cover in such a program are college admissions advising, counseling methods, helping special needs or gifted students and financial aid planning. Another option that you might consider is to enroll in master's degree program in school counseling. You could also choose to stay up to date on the latest education and career developments in the field by becoming a member of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (www.nacacnet.org).

What Is the Job Market Like?

After you complete your education, you'll need to seek employment either on your own or using job resources provided by your learning institution. The majority of jobs you'll be able to find will naturally be at colleges, universities and sometimes high schools. Counseling as a whole is a growing professional field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs available to educational, guidance, school and vocational counselors, including enrollment counselors, was set to grow by 8% between 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). The BLS projected growth of 9% for postsecondary education administrators during the same decade.

What Kind of Salary Can I Expect?

In May 2015, the BLS estimated that the median annual wage for educational, guidance, school and vocational counselors, including enrollment counselors, was $53,660. The lower ten percent made under $32,280, while the upper ten percent made over $87,640. The BLS reported that postsecondary education administrators earned a median salary of $88,580 in 2015, with the top ten percent earning more than $174,280 and the bottom ten percent earning less than $50,240.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Public relations specialists and human resource managers both have key aspects of their profession that are similar to the work of enrollment counselors. All of these professionals need a bachelor's degree to work in their field. Public relations specialists develop news releases, speeches and other promotional materials that are intended to influence how the public views their client. Their work is similar to the work of an enrollment counselor because professionals in both of these fields develop promotional materials that are intended to make the audience have a positive opinion of what they're promoting.

Human resource managers may also use promotional materials to try to attract job applicants to their company, which is similar to the work of an enrollment counselor promoting their school. Human resource managers review applications to determine who should be hired at their school, which is similar to the enrollment counselor's task of determining which student applications to accept.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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