What Is an Education Advisor?

Research what it takes to become an education advisor. Learn about job duties, education requirements, job outlook, and what you can expect to earn in the field. Schools offering Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Education Advisor?

An education advisor works with high school and college students to help them make academic decisions that will prepare them for future success. Those who work with high school students may offer advice on which courses to take, when to take college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT, how to fill out the Common Application, how to apply for financial aid and which colleges or training programs to consider based on their qualifications and future aspirations. Advisors who work with college students may consult with them about course selections, major choices, career possibilities and networking opportunities.

The chart below will provide an overview of what you need to know to enter this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree; master's degree required for admission to certificate program
Education Field of Study Education or counseling
Training Required Certificate programs require specialized training
Key Skills Experience in academic environment, knowledge of college admissions procedures, computer skills
Job Growth (2014-2024) 8%* (school and career counselors)
Median Salary (2015) $53,660* (school and career counselors)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Job Duties of an Education Advisor?

An education advisor is a consultant or academic counselor for college students or students who are entering college. As an advisor, you may help students explore different majors, discuss their career path, choose classes and complete the enrollment process. You may work with students throughout their college years to handle academic problems, make decisions regarding major changes and plan for their continued education or entrance into the workforce.

It may also be a part of your job to assist students with finding employment while in college, help them to overcome obstacles that could threaten their college success and develop skills to help them achieve better grades. You might also help set up testing, introduce students to extracurricular activities and help them use college resources. Other things you may help students with include developing good study habits and time management.

What Education Do I Need?

Employers may only require a bachelor's degree in education or counseling, but if you wish to complete a graduate certificate program in academic advising, you need a master's degree.

A certificate program allows you to get specific training in academic counseling and advising. It can be a complement to your bachelor's or master's degree and may give you an edge when looking for a job. You may learn about special needs of college students, college admission procedures, academic warning signs and common student issues. You may also learn customer service and computer skills.

What Other Requirements Must I Meet?

According to April 2011 job ads from Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com, employers want you to have work experience in an academic environment, customer service skills, a knowledge of degree options and computer skills. Some employers may prefer applicants who are organized and able to pay attention to details. A professional, friendly attitude is also something employers look for.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), school and career counselor jobs (which includes education counselors) were predicted to grow 8% from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as average for all occupations. However, hiring may be dependent on state and local budgeting restraints.

How Much Might I Earn?

The BLS reported an annual median salary for school and career counselors, which includes education counselors, of $53,660 in May, 2015.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

One option is to get a job as a school counselor in an elementary or middle school. In this job, you would help students deal with mental health problems, classroom behavioral issues, social challenges and other issues that can affect their wellbeing and academic success. For this job, you would need to complete a master's degree program and pass a licensure exam to work in a public school. Alternatively, you could direct your counseling career toward a completely different area, such as marriage and family therapy, where you would work with clients to help them deal with a wide range of issues that affect their relationships. The minimum educational requirement for this career is a master's degree.

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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