School Counselor: Educational Requirements

School counselors help students work through academic, social and personal problems. Most states require individuals to have a master's degree. Once through school, graduates will have to pursue state licensure.

View 14 Popular Schools »

Educational Requirements for School Counselors

School counselors can work at every level of education, although their job duties will vary. Elementary school counselors work with teachers and school administrators to develop educational programs and identify students with special needs or emotional problems. High school counselors assist students with college and vocational plans. All counselors look for at-risk students experiencing problems, such as troubled homes, violence and drug abuse.

Regardless of whether aspiring school counselors want to work at the elementary, secondary or postsecondary level, they'll generally have to earn a master's degree. Preparing for a graduate program will require them to obtain a bachelor's degree.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

While there isn't a bachelor's degree program specific to school counseling, students may choose psychology or a related major. Psychology programs introduce students to major concepts used in school counseling, such as cognitive behavior, social influences and developmental factors. These programs may require coursework from concentration areas that are relevant to school counselors, like clinical, developmental and counseling psychology. Internship and research opportunities may be offered for credit.

Master's Degree Programs

Relevant programs that graduate students may choose from include school counseling and educational psychology. These programs include coursework in human development, counseling techniques, research methods and statistics. In addition to coursework, practical experience is typically required. Faculty members or licensed school counselors supervise these experiences, which may take place at a university facility or a school. This process allows students to learn how to interview children, administer tests, write psychological reports and provide consultations.

Students may consider programs that are approved by a major accrediting body. The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs accredits master's degree programs in different areas of counseling, including school counseling. The American Psychological Association also accredits programs in counseling, school and educational psychology. Graduating from an accredited program may be required in some states and can expedite the licensing process.

Licensing Requirements

Licensing requirements for school counselors vary between states. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some states require state-issued counseling certification while others require school counselors to also hold a teaching certification or have teaching experience (www.bls.gov). Most states have background checks, and many accept individuals who were licensed in other states. All states have continuing education requirements that school counselors must meet to remain certified.

Salary and Career Information

The BLS estimates a 12% job growth for career and school counselors in the years 2012-2022. The BLS also reported that the median annual earnings of vocational, guidance, school and educational counselors were $53,600 in May 2013.

Show me popular schools

Related to School Counselor: Educational Requirements

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Community Counselor Salary and Career Information

A community counselor offers counseling for individuals and communities, usually after a tragic event such as a natural...

How to Become a Grief Counselor: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Research the requirements to become a grief counselor. Learn about the job description and duties and read the step-by-step...

Highly Qualified School Counselor: Education & Career Roadmap

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

Online School Counselor Certification: Program Info

Several schools offer graduate certificate programs for aspiring school counselors in an online format. Those with a master's...

Mental Health Counselor: Education & Career Requirements

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (14)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (6)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants to master's programs must have already earned a bachelor's degree. Applicants to doctoral programs must have already earned a master's degree.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Doctorate
        • Doctor of Philosophy in Education - Distance Learning
        • Doctor of Philosophy in Education
        • Doctor of Philosophy in Education - Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
    • Master

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • MA in Education - School Leadership in the 21st Century

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Undergraduate applicants must be a high school graduate or have completed GED and completed some college. Master's degree applicants must have a bachelor's or higher.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants to master's programs at the University of Kansas must have already earned a bachelor's degree.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • Master's - Curriculum and Instruction

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must hold a Bachelor's degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    During which term would you like to start?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • MS in Educational Effectiveness

    Which degree level do you plan to pursue?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • MEd in Educational Leadership
        • MS in Higher Education Administration
        • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction - Dyslexia Studies & LBLD

    What is your highest level of education?

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Copyright