High School Guidance Counselor: Job Outlook and Career Profile

High school guidance counselor positions require significant formal education. Learn about the degree, job duties and licensure required to see if this is the right career for you.

View Popular Schools »

Essential Information

A high school guidance counselor or school counselor provides mental health care for students, assists with academic planning and may provide education on topics such as peer pressure or drug abuse. A master's degree is usually needed for this career. Licensure or certification is also often necessary; although requirements vary by state. In addition, related work experience is sometimes required.

Required Education Master's degree usually required
Other Requirements State license or certification may be required, experience sometimes necessary
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 12% for guidance, educational, school and vocational counselors
Mean Salary (2013)* $56,160 annually for guidance, educational, school and vocational counselors

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Outlook for a High School Guidance Counselor

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that job opportunities for school and career counselors, including high school guidance counselors, were expected to rise by 12% between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). Growth was expected to be due to the increased need and use of school counselors for increasing student enrollments.

Salary

The BLS reported the salaries of high school guidance counselors with that of educational, guidance, school and vocational counselors. As of May 2013, the average annual wage for these professionals was $56,160. The median salary was $53,600.

Career Profile for a High School Guidance Counselor

High school guidance counselors help students evaluate their abilities and interests. These professionals help students realize their talents and personality characteristics. They also advise them on developing academic and career goals. Counselors may use aptitude tests and other tools to understand a student's strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, counselors help students with personal problems, such as family abuse or drug addiction.

Educational Requirements

Most states require that high school guidance counselors complete a master's degree program in counseling. Master's degree programs typically last 1-2 years and introduce students to topics in psychology ranging from personality assessments to substance abuse. Core courses may include human growth and development, counseling theories, career development and substance abuse counseling.

As students advance in their studies, they generally learn techniques to counsel individuals, groups and families. Programs may also cover career counseling. In their second year of study, students participate in a professional practicum in which they provide counseling under the supervision of a licensed professional.

Certification and Licensing

Requirements for certification or licensing vary widely because they are handled by the individual states. According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, school counselors must be licensed. The initial license is earned through completing a graduate program and a skills and knowledge analysis, as well as passing an examination (dpi.wi.gov). In Idaho, according to the state's Department of Education, school counselors must hold a Pupil Personnel Services Certificate with a counselor endorsement. To earn the certificate and endorsement, a person must have a master's degree, meet experience requirements and have a recommendation (www.sde.idaho.gov).

Show me popular schools

Related to High School Guidance Counselor: Job Outlook and Career Profile

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Online High School Guidance Counselor Courses and Classes Overview

Online courses in high school guidance counseling are typically offered through graduate degree programs in school counseling...

School Guidance Counselor: How to Become a School Guidance Counselor

Learn how to become a school guidance counselor. Research the job description, education and licensing requirements, and find...

School Guidance Counselor: Career & Education Overview

School guidance counselors can play a significant role in the lives of students. The majority of school guidance counselors...

Guidance Counselor: Educational Requirements & Career Info

Guidance counselors, also referred to as school counselors, work in schools and assist students struggling with personal...

Alcoholism Counselor: Career Profile

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Education
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • Educational Evaluation and Research
      • ESL Teaching
      • Philosophical Foundations of Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Education
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • ESL Teaching
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Education
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgetown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Education
      • ESL Teaching
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • International and Comparative Education
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
        • College Student Counseling
      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • Educational Evaluation and Research
      • Philosophical Foundations of Education
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Cornell University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics