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The Job of an Education Counselor

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Educational counselors help students to select the most appropriate courses and careers by assessing their qualities and aptitudes. They give useful advice to students on career-related, personal and educational issues along with co-coordinating counseling services for parents, teachers and students. They are also known as College Counselor/adviser, Career Counselor, Employment Counselor, School Counselor and guidance counselor. School guidance advisors work in senior high school, junior and elementary levels where as the College and University Counselors work in institutions such as colleges, technical institutes and universities.

They provide counseling to students when they experience behavioral, educational, personal and social problems. Vocational or career counseling services are also provided by them that often include inventories and administering tests to asses the aptitude, interest and ability of a student. Another aspect of their work includes collecting as much information on occupational and educational aspects, as possible so that they will be able to guide a student correctly. An example of this is the information collected on financial assistance for the merit and needy students.

They create and supervise peer tutoring and peer counseling programs along with working as the resource for faculty members and teachers who are involved in assisting graduates or students to pursue work opportunities. Often they are required to conduct information providing sessions on career planning and education related topics. They play an important role in helping students to plan their study habits, so that they score well in their examinations. Some students may be interested in study and travel programs and helping them would be another job aspect of education counselors. Also they refer eligible students to proper agencies and services.

School guidance counselors may help students in the selection of appropriate courses, choosing educational programs and scheduling of objects. They may be assigned more teaching duties besides playing a crucial role in evaluating their services offered and development of new programs.

Counselors working in the post-secondary and secondary institutions may need to supervise work experience sessions for students. They work in collaboration with professionals from other areas like: speech therapists, social workers, school psychologists, public health authorities and teachers.

Academic: A professional education counselor should be a post graduate in either of the following subjects: counseling, applied psychology and educational physiology. Ensure you complete your post-graduate degree from a reputed institution. Career counselors employed in the educational settings need not have a post-graduate degree in the related subject.

Skill Sets: A person working as an educational counselor should have a true interest in resolving problems of people. Good written and verbal communication skills would be another indispensable skill along with the ability to comprehend and listen with understanding and empathy and without any judgment or prejudice. He or she should have good interpersonal kills and the required creative ability for developing new programs. They should convince people about the services offered by them. He or she should have good organizing skills.

Since, their work can be stressful and emotionally demanding they should have the capability of managing the pressure and adjusting with the work environment.

Training: Many Post-secondary institutions offer bachelor's programs along with university transfer sessions for students who are interested in pursuing a career in educational counseling.

Prior experience: Like in any other field, prior experienced candidate would have more job opportunities with increased salary. The promotion and payment depends on the work experience you have. Maintain a good employment history that shows how dedicated a worker you are.

Career Prospects: Many people from this field work in the educational sector. The career prospective for education counselors depend on many factors like events and trades affecting the overall employment, the location, employment turnover, occupational growth and the size of the occupation. According to various sources, the employment turnover would increase, since a lot of vacancies would be created in the sector.

Salaries: Salaries for people working in the educational counseling sector depend on the organization and the qualification of the counselor. Part-time counselors would be earning a lesser amount compared to full-time counselors. Generally, they earn between $35,000 to about $85,000 in a year. Counselors with teaching certificates would be given payment based on the salary grid of secondary and elementary school teachers.

Before applying for a particular job, make sure you have the required skills and capabilities, since it is very much important to ensure that you are all ready before you start off.
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