What Are the Requirements for a Career in School Counseling?

School counselors guide children through their school years and help them succeed. This may include helping children make friends, develop effective study skills, and manage their stress. Read on to learn more about the education and licensing requirements to become a school counselor. Schools offering Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

To start a career in school counseling, one must earn a bachelor's or master's degree in education, psychology, or counseling. Graduates must then obtain licensure or certification to comply with state laws before starting their career in school counseling.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Average Salary (2014) $56,040 per year
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 8% expected job growth (average)
Key Skills Compassion, interpersonal communication, listening, speaking
Similar Occupations Career Counselors, Teachers, Mental Health Counselors, Psychologists, Social Workers

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor's degree is essential for any type of counseling position, including school counseling, according to the American School Counselor Association (ASCA, www.schoolcounselor.org). A few states only require a bachelor's degree, but in most, a master's degree is the required educational credential. Earning a degree in education or psychology combined with a number of counseling courses or majoring in counseling are the best options for meeting the requirements for a career in school counseling.

Master's Degree

Again, check your state's requirements. According to ASCA, some schools require a master's degree in school counseling, but others require one in education or have additional requirements. Even so, it's beneficial to earn a master's degree in a related area.

Licensure

Licensure varies by state, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). Depending on the state, a school counselor may be required to hold a certification or license, which could require the completion of graduate coursework and an internship or practicum, and/or teaching experience and a teaching license. It's important, therefore, to find out your state's requirements and the best way to meet them.

Certification and Continuing Education

Depending on the state where you work, school counselors will probably be required to earn a certain number of credits in continuing education over a certain period of time to renew their license. Additional voluntary certifications in addition to the required license are available. The National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. administers the National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential. Specialty certifications are also available, such as the National Certified School Counselor (NCSC). In order to retain their certification, school counselors must earn 100 hours of credit in continuing education every five years.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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Popular Schools

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

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  • Grand Canyon University

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    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
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    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

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    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master

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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

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  • New England College

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