How to Become a School Counselor in Texas

School counselors help students develop the skills they need to succeed. Learn more about what it takes to become a school counselor in Texas, such as degree, experience, and test requirements. Schools offering Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Texas School Counselor Certification Information

The school counselor certification in Texas qualifies counselors to work with all grade levels. Those interested in becoming school counselors must first become certified as teachers. Read below to find out more about the specific requirements for the school counselor certification.

Education Required Master's degree and state-approved school counselor preparation program
Experience Required Two years' teaching experience
Exam Requirements TExEs School Counselor (EC-12)
License Renewal Period Five years
CEU Credits Required for Renewal 200 hours of continuing professional education
Average Salary (2018, Texas) $60,080 (all educational, guidance, school, and vocational counselors)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026, nationwide) 13% (all educational, guidance, school, and vocational counselors)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Obtain Initial Teaching Certificate

All prospective school counselors in Texas must first obtain an initial teaching certificate. This certificate can be for any grade level and subject. To apply for teaching certification, candidates must first complete a bachelor's degree program from an accredited college or university and a state-approved educator preparation program, pass all required exams, and have fingerprints and a criminal background check on file. Once they receive their certification, they are qualified to teach in a Texas school.

Complete Degree Requirement

Prospective school counselors must possess a master's degree from an accredited school and complete a state-approved school counselor preparation program. The type of master's degree depends on the school counselor preparation program and generally can be completed at the same school. Possible degrees include school counseling and educational psychology, and programs typically include coursework covering topics such as group counseling, multicultural counseling, and assessment in school settings. Programs also require a practicum or fieldwork as a school counselor under the supervision of a certified counselor.

Gain Required Experience

All prospective school counselors must have two years of teaching experience in a public school or accredited private school. The experience must include at least four hours of teaching each school day. Candidates should verify with their counselor preparation programs that they have met this requirement before applying for certification. Substitute teaching experience does not count towards the required two years.

Pass Required Exam

Prospective school counselors must take and pass the TExES School Counselor (EC-12) exam. This exam contains 100 multiple-choice questions that test knowledge in three main subdomains: Understanding Students; Planning and Implementing the Developing Guidance and Counseling Program; and Collaboration, Consultation, and Professionalism. The minimum passing score for this exam is 240.

Meet Renewal Requirements

After all requirements have been met, prospective school counselors can apply for certification. Once received, this certification is valid for five years. To renew their certification, school counselors must submit a renewal application, pay a fee, and complete 200 hours of continuing professional education (CPE). There are many ways in which counselors can complete their CPE hours, such as staff development training, serving as a mentor to another counselor, and developing a CPE activity. School counselors must document their own hours and confirm that they meet the requirements of the Texas Education Agency.

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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