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What Should I Major in to Become a Guidance Counselor?

Guidance counselors can major in fields of study like psychology, counseling, education and human services. Depending upon where a counselor works, guidance counselors may also be required to enroll in a teacher education program in addition to taking courses related to counseling.

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Degree Programs for Guidance Counselors

Education Options and Requirements

Degree programs for guidance counselors are typically found in psychology, education and human services departments at colleges and universities. Important coursework includes psychology, public speaking, education, mathematics and statistics.

The type of training guidance counselors need can vary by state as well as by work setting. Counselors working in public schools need a master's degree. Public school counselors must be licensed as well. Guidance counselors at private schools, however, generally do not need a license. Enrolling in a teacher education program may be beneficial or even necessary for students interested in counseling careers at private schools.

Licensure

All public school guidance counselors must be licensed. Some guidance counselors may be required to hold a state school counseling certification and complete at least some coursework at the graduate level prior to becoming licensed. Others are required to have a certificate in counseling and teaching and have some teaching experience prior to becoming licensed. Students generally must complete continuing education credits in order to maintain licensure.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

Employment opportunities were predicted to grow by 12% from 2012 to 2022 for career and school counselors, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Job growth will be due to an increasing number of elementary schools now required to hire counselors. Expanding roles of counselors may also add to the growth. These roles may include drug and alcohol abuse counseling, suicide counseling and crisis intervention. According to the BLS, the median salary for guidance counselors in 2013 was $53,600.

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

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  • School locations:
    • Nevada (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Nevada include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • West Virginia (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Marshall University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • 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
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Forestry and Wildlands Management
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Natural Resources Management
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • 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

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics