What does a School Counselor do?

School counselors work in all levels of the school system to support the social, emotional and academic well-being of students. As a school counselor, you will collaborate with school and school district staff to help students succeed in all aspects of their lives. This can be helping students through social and emotional challenges or liaising with other agencies and organizations outside the school. You may also help students with course planning and applying for post-secondary education.

A master's degree is necessary for those wanting to work as a school counselor. This is generally required to be in counseling, but may also be in social work. You must also be sensitive to others' needs, have strong organizational and interpersonal skills and be able to recognize when and what type of intervention is needed.

  • respond effectively to crises affecting students and faculty
  • provide mental health and behavioral counseling to students
  • recognize and appropriately take care of individual students' socio-emotional challenges
  • submit referrals to outside agencies as necessary for students' well-being
  • coordinate and facilitate groups for students, such as for improving social skills or addressing behavioral challenges
  • complete regular reports for services provided, such as session notes and incident reports
  • collaborate with teaching staff to determine how best to meet individual students' needs
  • work with school faculty and staff to develop plans for maintaining the well-being of individual students and of the student population as a whole
  • master's degree in counseling
  • knowledge of multiple counseling approaches
  • proficiency in the use of word processing and spreadsheet applications
  • familiarity with online learning platforms
  • 3+ years of experience working as a counselor with youth
  • excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • empathy and sensitivity to others' needs
  • strong interpersonal skills
  • creativity, enthusiasm, and dedication

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7

Common Skill Sets

CPR First Aid
English Speaking
Written Communication
MS Powerpoint
Microsoft Office Software

School Counselor Seniority Levels

Enrollment Advisor
25% made the transition
Admissions Counselor
21% made the transition
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School Counselor Salaries

Average Base Pay

$56,337 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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Median: $56K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

School Counselor Jobs