How Do I Become A High School Counselor?

Being a high school counselor is a fulfilling career for anyone who enjoys helping students with their emotional and familial problems. A student can go through tumultuous times when he or she is in high school. A high school counselor may need to meet with a student who is suffering from depression or an anxiety disorder. High school counselors help reassure students during times of trouble and loss. A student who has lost a parent may need to meet with a high school counselor on a regular basis. A student who is having academic issues may need to also meet with a high school counselor. A high school counselor helps a student resolve academic issues and get on the path to academic success. Maybe you have wondered, “How do I become a high school counselor?” When you want to become a high school counselor, it is important for you to pursue an educational background that focuses on psychology.

What’s it like to be a high school counselor?

When you are a high school counselor, you will usually meet with students throughout the week. During your weekly appointments, you may consult with students about their academic progress and emotional health. You may need to help a student learn how to express his or her emotions in a constructive way. You may help a student overcome a difficult emotional issue by giving him or her the space to talk about the issue. It will be important for you to work with a student to stay focused on school. When you are a high school counselor, you serve in a supportive capacity for students. Your work helps students to succeed in school and ultimately obtain their high school diploma without any setbacks.

Education Requirements

To become a high school counselor, you should obtain a bachelor’s degree in psychology, communications or social science. Pursuing a degree in psychology or social science will help you relate better with students. You will be able to understand the mental processes of the students that you are assigned to work with in a high school. You will also know about techniques that can be used to help a student release difficult emotions that he or she experiences. You should also try to obtain counseling license or teaching certificate. Having a counseling license will put you in the best position to quickly be hired by a school. In some states, it is illegal for you to practice as a high school counselor without a license.

Salary & How to Get a Job

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a high school counselor is about $53,000 a year. If you work on a part-time basis, then your annual salary may be about $20,000 to $25,000 a year. When you want to get a job as a high school counselor, it is important for you to apply for a position at a public or private high school. You should try to keep your options as open as possible. Being a counselor in a private high school may provide you with a greater salary than would be paid in a public high school. Networking is another way that you can gain valuable connections in order to land a job as a high school counselor.