Counselors work in diverse settings and provide various counseling, rehabilitation, and support services to the communities they serve. Their duties vary greatly depending on their specialty, which is determined by the setting they work in and the population they counsel. Counselors frequently work with children, adolescents, adults, or families that have issues, such as mental health disorders, addiction, school problems or vocational counseling needs, and trauma. Counselors are trained to recognize these issues and to provide appropriate counseling and support. Some counselors work independently, while others collaborate with physicians or other social workers in medical or school settings.
To become a counselor, requirements vary significantly by state. Successful students typically complete the following steps:
Professionals in the field should look into membership with the Society of Counseling Psychology, Division 17 of the American Psychological Association. They offer membership at student, professional affiliate, and international affiliate levels. Benefits include access to the Division 17 newsletter and other publications, participation in an online forum with other professionals in the field, and involvement with the annual convention and regional meetings.
A degree in counseling will open many opportunities for you to help people on their personal emotional journey or provide advice in specific areas of life. A counselor is typically responsible for the following job duties:
Annual salary varies within the profession based on specific type of job, location, and experience. For more on your earning potential as a counseling psychologist, please visit our salary outlook for counselors page.
The following degrees are closely related to a master’s degree program in counseling, often allowing you to pursue a career in this field or others:
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