What does a guidance counsellor do

Being a guidance counselor is a career path that should not be taken lightly. You will be helping students during a crucial time in their life. A teen’s high school years are extremely important to help mold them into the people they will become in the future. It will be your responsibility and duty to help these students overcome grievances, issues, or fears. While you won’t be in the classroom teaching them the necessary subjects they will need to know in college, you will still be there to help them grown as a person emotionally.
What are the educational requirements to become a guidance counselor?
Your first step will be to earn a bachelor’s degree in counseling or a related field. This will take you to the next step where you will need to enter a master’s program. Most states and employers will require that guidance counselors to earn their master’s degree in school counseling or in a related field. When you take a master’s program in counseling, you will learn how to conduct group and individual counseling, working with other educational staff members such as teachers, and also how to foster a student’s academic and social development.
During your time in the master’s program of your choosing, you will also need to complete an internship or mentoring program where you will gain experience in your field. This will beneficial as it can give you an edge in job opportunities over those who did not have a chance to complete an internship. Any sort of field work or volunteering will be great for your resume.
What else do I need after my education?
After your completed your master’s program, you will have to acquire a license. Each state may have different requirements for you so it’s best to research exactly what is needed from you. Generally most states will require that you fulfill and complete a master’s program, complete an internship, and pass their state exam.
In some states you may also be required to earn a teaching license if you wish to work in a school setting. This would mean that you need to complete a teacher education program and earn a certification for teaching. Those who are unsure of what their state requires, it is best to visit the American School Counselor Association website as it will provide a list of what is needed per state.
Do I need to continue my education after becoming certified?
It is always in your best interest to continue your education even after you have completed all the requirements necessary for you to become a guidance counselor. Most of the time you will need to renew your credentials after a certain amount of years. The reason for renewing your license is to prove that you are keeping up with the current trends and staying on top of the newest method of counseling. In order to learn these methods, you may have to attend classes, workshops, seminars, or even pursue your education online.
Sources:
1. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/school-and-career-counselors.htm#tab-4
2. http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/21-1012.00

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