Impact and Inspire Children as You Raise Your Own

If you love children, psychology and helping people succeed personally and academically, a career as a school counselor could be right up your alley. School counselors meet with students individually and in groups to help them plan for the future, solve problems, process emotions and increase coping skills. Regular benefits and a standard school schedule make this a convenient profession for people who are raising school-aged children.

Job Description

School counselors help children set and achieve academic or career goals, as well as to develop personally. Many school counselors facilitate groups to help students deal with grief or divorce or for children of parents who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. They also meet with children individually for counseling to help them with personal problems or adjusting to life in the classroom. High school counselors assist with college applications and scholarship applications; they collaborate with students in choosing a career path that fits with their gifts and interests. Completing paperwork and documentation is a large part of the job, as well as working as a team with teachers, school administrators, social workers and parents.

Education Requirements

School counselors must earn a bachelor's degree, followed by a master's degree in school counseling or a related field. Those who work in the public school system must also complete an internship or practicum in school counseling and pass a licensing exam. Regular continuing education credits vary by state and are normally required to maintain licensure. Some states also require school counselors to obtain a teaching license and teach for one or two years in the classroom before working as a school counselor.

The median pay for school counselors is $54,560, which means that half earn more than this, while the other half earns less. The top 10 percent brings home more than $90,030, while the bottom 10 percent earns less than $32,400.

Industry

School counselors normally work in schools, and they are around many adults and children each day in a busy and active environment. Proper self-care and hand-washing are important in an environment in which you are exposed to the general public and illnesses on a regular basis. Many school counselors work part of the day from their desk and then another part of the day serving kids in classrooms for groups and other activities. Hours are generally regular school hours, with a few evenings for parent-teacher conferences or other events. School counselors enjoy regular school breaks with their own children, making this an ideal career for those raising little ones.

Years of Experience

Experience and time on the job have some influence on pay for school counselors. Experience with teaching and career counseling also impact salary. One projection of income looks like this:

  • Entry-Level: 

    $33,923‒$58,300
    * Mid-Career:

    $37,575‒$67,601
    * Experienced: 

    $41,166‒$82,450
    * Late Career:

    $44,789‒$87,146

Job Growth Trend

Job opportunities for school counselors is expected to increase by 11 percent in the next decade, which is faster than growth in other industries. Growing schools and increased enrollment create more demand for school counselors and more opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children. Relatively high turnover makes finding jobs after graduation and licensure fairly easy for most candidates.

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