How to Become a School Counselor

School Counselor Education and Certification

One immensely important area of counseling is school counseling. Invaluable to students and the progress they make, School counselors go beyond helping people who are having problems. School counselors facilitate the process of guiding young people in the critical decision-making of choosing a career and organizing an intelligent academic game plan to help them reach their goals. School counselors help students navigate the circuitous and often challenging twists and turns of their school careers.

Another integral task performed by a School Counselor is conducting assessments and evaluations. A strong school counselor helps discover the strengths of the student and helps determine which environment maximizes the student’s opportunity to thrive. School counselors develop programs and facilitate workshops (on topics such as choosing the best college). School counselors can also be important advocates for students. School counselors can make the difference in what university a student chooses to attend and whether they even go through the process of completing their applications. A school counselor is often the greatest source of inspiration to a student.

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of school and career counselors is projected to grow 8 percent from 2014 to 2024. Currently, The BLS reports that the median pay for a school and career counselor is $53,660 per year. 

There are different avenues through which to pursue this highly satisfying field of School Counseling.

 

School Counselor Licensure

When working as a counselor with students in a public school, you must typically need licensing through your state’s department of education. If you want to work entirely in this setting, the best option is quite likely a Master’s in school counseling. Remember, that the higher the education you pursue and accomplish, the more career options you will have. Education is power!

Prior to obtaining you license you will need to pass a counseling exam. There are a variety of tests so it is important that you are familiar with your states requirements. The American School Counselor Association gives great information on news in your career.

Something you will have to consider is if you would like to work in a school or university setting. Some of these positions may not require you to have licensing, but those who are licensed will have an advantage over those who are not. By graduating from a CACREP program you will be able to become a licensed professional after the completion of you stat required supervised practice and examination.

School counselors will choose to work privately or as a school counselor. In most cases, they will be licensed by the board in their state. Make sure you qualify to sit for the licensing examination, before you apply.

School Counselor Credentials

Once you have completed your education you will be advised to seek out licensing and further certification to increase your chances of employment. Most states will require you to take the NCE to become and LPC or the highest level in that state. Make sure to look into your states requirements for more information.

Additionally, to become a school counselor you will need to complete two years of supervised practice under a professional counselor. In some states this is not required for school counselors.

The National Board for Certified Counselors provides the NCSC credential and in some cases, you mat be required to have the NCC credential as well.