How Much Does a Guidance Counselor Earn Yearly?
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A high school guidance counselor is a highly educated professional who works in high schools, providing guidance and emotional support to students. Guidance counselors in the United States today are specialized in their field, and in most states, they do not work as classroom teachers like they often used to.
Since 2004, all K-12 students in the United States have had guaranteed access to guidance counselors. The main purpose of the high school guidance counselor is to help ensure each student reaches his or her full potential. This is why this profession plays a important role in the public education system in the United States. The position of high school guidance counselor is different and separate from that of school psychologist.
The field of school counseling has changed quite dramatically in nature and scope over the past two decades. High school guidance counselors certainly still do the things we all imagine they do, such as helping students choose and change courses, but they also have a wide range of responsibilities outside of those more traditional duties.
Their responsibilities fall into the broad categories of program development, management, and delivery (mostly direct services with students but also indirect students for students).
The vast majority of a high school guidance counselor’s time is typically occupied by direct services with students. These direct services involve in-person interaction with students. Some of the most common direct service duties include:
Indirect services for students is another area of responsibility. Some of these indirect services can include collaborating with other educators, teachers, and parents, as well as providing referrals.
High school guidance counselors are required to create comprehensive school counseling programs. These programs must teach student various competencies and focus on student outcomes. They must create vision statements that set out what they want to future of student outcomes to look like. Program goals and mission statements for the school are also required to be created by high school guidance counselors.
In the area of management, high school guidance counselors are required to develop annual agreements with school administrators, carry out school counseling program assessments and school counselor competency assessments. Taking part in advisory councils and administering annual and weekly calendars are other responsibilities.
The importance of the high school guidance counselor cannot be overstated. They provide integral support and services to students and the school community as a whole. High school guidance counselors provide vital assistance to students in the areas of career planning, emotional/social development, and academic achievement. These professionals are necessary for ensuring that students become well-adjusted and productive adults.
Each high school’s education team needs high school guidance counselors in order to function as it should and provide the best possible quality education and experience to students. Without high school guidance counselors, students would not have the guidance and support they need in navigating the difficult path that high school can often be and many of them could easily fall through the cracks.
Having high school guidance counselors helps to give every student a significantly better chance at success not only in school but also life. Adolescents need someone who they can turn to and trust to ask for advice.
High school guidance counselors are generally required to have a master’s degree in school counseling. This degree usually takes between two and three years, and programs include both classroom instruction and practical experience. Supervised fieldwork in a school is a requirement. Each state has its own education requirements for licensing as a high school guidance counselor.
Each school counseling educational program is different and has its own curriculum, but there are certain subject areas that are common in most of these programs. These include:
Licensure requirements vary from state to state. A master’s degree in school counseling, a practicum, and an exam are often required. In states where a master’s degree is not required, another degree (such as a specific bachelor’s degree) will be. There are certain states in which between one and two years of teaching experience or other types of specific experience is also a requirement.
Accredited school counseling programs should involve practical experience components that satisfy the licensing requirements of the state. The specific degree needed for licensure depends on the state in which you wish to practice. It is recommended that you do research on those requirements before starting on your path of education and training. In many states, successful completion of a written examination is another requirement for licensure.
An online school counseling degree program is a viable option for people hoping for careers as high school guidance counselors who have barriers preventing them from physically attending college for this training.
An online school counseling degree will give you the knowledge and skills needed to be a professional in this field while you enjoy the flexibility of living far away from the college at which you study. You will need to complete an internship placement as part of the program. Try to find a college that helps in the process of finding a place where you can do your internship.
You need to find out the requirements for school counseling licensure in your state before looking for an online school counseling program. When choosing an online master’s degree in school counseling program, you must make sure that it is properly accredited so that taking it will put you in a position to seek licensure to practice as a school counselor in your state.
A successful and fulfilling career as a high school guidance counselor requires a variety of skills and personality traits. These include:
There are several benefits of being a high school guidance counselor. Let’s go over them below:
Like any other profession, the path of being a high school guidance counselor does have some disadvantages.
High school guidance counselors have a promising job outlook. According to BLS, the demand for high school guidance counselors is expected to increase. The 2016-26 job growth rate was pegged at 13 percent, which is faster than average.
As school counselors require master’s degrees in most states, this profession requires a high level of education. Once you have that education, you are automatically highly competitive in your field, especially given the mentioned strong job growth rate.
High school guidance counseling is a specialized field with highly educated and trained professionals. Once you get your education and licensure in the field, you should be in an excellent position to enjoy a long, successful, and fulfilling career.
There are a number of professions that have some similarities to that of high school guidance counselor including following:
Career counselors are similar to high school guidance counselors in several ways. While they do not work with youth but rather adults, they do help people figure out what they are good at and what they want to do with the rest of their lives. Like high school guidance counselors, career counselors need a high level of empathy and understanding.
Like high school guidance counselors, school psychologists help students deal with difficult personal and emotional problems. They need the same high-level interpersonal and communication (especially listening) skills, and they require empathy and compassion.