By studying for a Masters in career Counseling students study to become experts in guiding others toward meeting their career goals. They will utilize various personality and aptitude tests to help clients discover their strengths and participate in the development of academic and career goals. Career counselors assist their clients in resume creation, job searching and developing a professional presence. Most industries and states require career counselors to possess a master’s degree and licensure. Career counseling masters program students learn to work with many different populations including students and professionals.
Masters in Career Counseling Program Curriculum
Career counselors specialize in helping individuals achieve their academic and career goals. They are trained to perform in a variety of settings including elementary and high schools, colleges and universities, private firms, human resources offices, and correctional and rehabilitation facilities. Career counseling graduate program curriculums vary among institutions, but typical course work might include:
- Counseling theories and techniques
- Foundations of career development
- Assessment in Counseling
- Abnormal Psychology
- Consultation and organizational development
Masters programs typically take 2-3 to complete; Ph.D.’s can take 5-7 years. Many programs will require students to complete a practicum, supervised field experience in combination with classroom discussion. Licensure for school counselors is provided by the American School Counselors Association, career counselors working in private practice settings may obtain licensure through the National Board of Certified Counselors. Continuing education post degree attainment is also often required for professionals in the field of career counseling.
Career Counseling Career Path
A masters in career counseling with appropriate licensure may qualify an individual to pursue careers in a variety of settings. Graduate programs in career counseling may allow the student to specialize in a concentration, or the professional may pursue specialization through continuing education. Areas of specialization include:
- Elementary and High Schools
- Colleges and Universities
- Professional Schools
- Corrections Facilities
- Vocational Rehabilitation Services
- Private Companies
Career Counselor Salary and Job Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs across the industry are expected to increase by 12% between 2012 and 2022. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the 2012 median salary for school and career counselors was $53,610. The highest 10% of earners in this industry made more than $86,680, while the bottom 10% of earners made less than $31,920. Professionals working in elementary and secondary schools earned a median salary of $60,560, those working in junior colleges earned a median salary of $46,630, professionals working for the government earned a median salary of $50,710, and counselors in working in healthcare and social assistance services earned a median salary of $35,590.
The chart below provides 2012 median salary information for career counselors working in select industries.