Though vocational counseling can be found in a variety of settings, like school or work, it generally serves a single purpose: helping people identify their own abilities and strengths and set personal career goals.


In an academic setting, especially secondary school or college, school counselors provides vocational counseling to their students. They help students to assess their strengths and interests, so that they can determine the educational paths that lead to meeting their career goals.

Community Vocational Counseling

Often provided for little to no cost by government or non-profit agencies, vocational counseling within the community can assist those with limited training or unclear career goals. Some of this counseling can include job placement or job coaching.

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Rehabilitation Counseling

Sometimes, vocational counseling is required for people who have experienced a major setback, like an illness, injury or substance abuse problem. In these situations, vocational counseling is sometimes provided in conjunction with their medical rehabilitation.

Technologically-Supported Counseling

Sometimes, vocational counselors provide information about education or careers through computer-based or online systems. This information could include insight into the labor market, or tests for evaluating individual talents and interests.

The Counseling Process

In a vocational counseling session, a counselor may assess her client's skills and personality to determine potential career paths. Counselors may also give aptitude examinations to more objectively gauge a client's abilities.

About the Author

Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.