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Example Career: Educational, Guidance, School and Vocational Counselors

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 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.