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Home / Academics / Careers / Educational, Guidance, School and Vocational Counselors Career

Educational, Guidance, School and Vocational Counselors Career

Career Description

Counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.

What Job Titles Educational, Guidance, School and Vocational Counselors Might Have

  • Academic Advisor
  • Counselor
  • Guidance Counselor
  • School Counselor

What Educational, Guidance, School and Vocational Counselors Do

  • Counsel individuals to help them understand and overcome personal, social, or behavioral problems affecting their educational or vocational situations.
  • Provide crisis intervention to students when difficult situations occur at schools.
  • Confer with parents or guardians, teachers, administrators, and other professionals to discuss children's progress, resolve behavioral, academic, and other problems, and to determine priorities for students and their resource needs.
  • Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
  • Prepare students for later educational experiences by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and to persevere with challenging tasks.
  • Evaluate students' or individuals' abilities, interests, and personality characteristics, using tests, records, interviews, or professional sources.
  • Identify cases of domestic abuse or other family problems and encourage students or parents to seek additional assistance from mental health professionals.
  • Counsel students regarding educational issues, such as course and program selection, class scheduling and registration, school adjustment, truancy, study habits, and career planning.
  • Provide special services such as alcohol and drug prevention programs and classes that teach students to handle conflicts without resorting to violence.
  • Conduct follow-up interviews with counselees to determine if their needs have been met.
  • Instruct individuals in career development techniques, such as job search and application strategies, resume writing, and interview skills.
  • Collaborate with teachers and administrators in the development, evaluation, and revision of school programs and in the preparation of master schedules for curriculum offerings.
  • Assess needs for assistance, such as rehabilitation, financial aid, or additional vocational training, and refer clients to the appropriate services.
  • Prepare reports on students and activities as required by administration.
  • Observe students during classroom and play activities to evaluate students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
  • Teach classes and present self-help or information sessions on subjects related to education and career planning.
  • Plan and conduct orientation programs and group conferences to promote the adjustment of individuals to new life experiences, such as starting college.
  • Attend meetings, educational conferences, and training workshops and serve on committees.
  • Plan and promote career and employment-related programs and events, such as career planning presentations, work experience programs, job fairs, and career workshops.
  • Establish and enforce administration policies and rules governing student behavior.
  • Address community groups, faculty, and staff members to explain available counseling services.
  • Review transcripts to ensure that students meet graduation or college entrance requirements and write letters of recommendation.
  • Provide students with information on topics, such as as college degree programs and admission requirements, financial aid opportunities, trade and technical schools, and apprenticeship programs.
  • Compile and study occupational, educational, and economic information to assist counselees in determining and carrying out vocational and educational objectives.
  • Refer students to degree programs based on interests, aptitudes, or educational assessments.
  • Interview clients to obtain information about employment history, educational background, and career goals, and to identify barriers to employment.
  • Refer qualified counselees to employers or employment services for job placement.
  • Establish contacts with employers to create internship and employment opportunities for students.
  • Plan, direct, and participate in recruitment and enrollment activities.
  • Supervise, train, and direct professional staff and interns.
  • Provide disabled students with assistive devices, supportive technology, and assistance accessing facilities, such as restrooms.
  • Establish and supervise peer counseling and peer tutoring programs.
  • Provide information for teachers and staff members involved in helping students or graduates identify and pursue employment opportunities.

What Educational, Guidance, School and Vocational Counselors Should Be Good At

  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

What Educational, Guidance, School and Vocational Counselors Should Be Interested In

What Educational, Guidance, School and Vocational Counselors Need to Learn

  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Diploma iconThis career requires a graduate degree.
Median Salary: $54,560

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.