Career Counseling Certificate Programs and Job Facts

Career counselors help students or clients with choosing an occupation or finding a job. Learn more about the work responsibilities in this career, the available certificate training programs and salary projections. Schools offering Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Career counselors assist and guide students or clients as they decide which vocation to pursue. Education requirements vary depending on the state and the individual employer, but a bachelor's degree is normally the minimum education level required.

Programs Often offered as graduate-level certificate programs; 1-2 years in duration; both classroom-based and online programs available; some require master's degree
Salary $53,370 (annual median salary for education, guidance, school, and vocational counselors as of May 2014)
Job Outlook 12% job growth predicted from 2012-2022 (as fast as average)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Would I Do as a Career Counselor?

As a career counselor, you could work in schools, universities, career-assistance firms and employment search centers helping clients or students with career-oriented tasks, such as assessing career skills, building resumes and applying for jobs. You'd guide young adults to determine their career interests or help clients who are experiencing a stressful career transition. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of career counselors was expected to increase 12% from 2012-2022, as fast as the national average (

How Much Would I Make?

According the BLS, the median annual salary for vocational counselors was $53,370 as of May 2014. However, your income can vary based on where you work. The BLS reports, in descending order, the top paying states for career counselors as New Jersey, Alaska, New York, District of Columbia and Rhode Island, with median annual wages ranging from $71,210 to $62,790 respectively.

What Do I Need For Employment?

Requirements for career counseling positions vary by state and employer. If you want to offer vocational counseling in a school environment, you'll usually need specific training and state licensure. Some government agencies also require that you obtain a certain level of education and licensure. To work in private industry, you might want to consider earning at least a bachelor's degree and a career counseling graduate certificate to increase your employment potential.

What Kind of Certificate Programs Are Available?

Certificate programs in career counseling are generally available at the graduate level and are usually designed for school counselors. These are flexible programs that you can complete in 1-2 years with classroom or online courses. You'll learn different counseling techniques focusing on career-oriented mentoring. You can enroll in most of these programs with a bachelor's degree, though some may require a master's degree for admission. In addition to an internship or supervised counseling requirement, your coursework could cover following areas:

  • Career program design
  • Career evaluation
  • Counseling and career education methodology
  • Educational psychology

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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