Counseling careers are diverse and include a wide range of needs and expertise. For the most part, counselors are responsible for advising, listening, and guiding the actions and needs of those that seek out their help.
What to Expect
Counselors are required to work in a diverse field where they will face difficult challenges and obstacles. The area of expertise is often determined by who the counselor is helping. Fields include school counselors to addiction specialist, and vocational counselors as well. Counseling careers help adults, teens, and children alike and should be able to recognize the specific issues that plague each patient.
Counselors should be able to handle nearly every situation presented to them but there are several professionals who choose to specialize in certain fields. These fields include;
School counselors are responsible for making sure that students experience a healthy and productive education. Counseling careers in elementary schools focus on the evaluation of students by watching how the children interact with one another. They will also hold conferences with teachers and parents as well in order to talk about strengths and weaknesses of the child. This will help to ensure that the child will receive the most out of his or her education.
High school counselors focus mainly on academic work and vocational considerations. These counseling careers will also work with high school students to determine which colleges to apply to and how to receive financial aid. High school counselors will also help students develop valuable job search skills such as resume writing and crucial interview skills.
Vocational counselors’ primary duty is to help the patient find employment. These counselors are able to evaluate a patient’s skills, education, background, and aptitude and then advise that patient which career path is most suitable. These counselors will also instruct the patient in the proper way to conduct themselves during job interviews and other valuable skills needed to gain a job. They will also provide support for those patients who are experiencing stress or anxiety due to a recent job loss or an inability to locate employment.
Rehabilitation counselors help those who have recently suffered a debilitating condition either an accident or disease. There is immense mental trauma that goes in hand with the physical trauma and these counseling careers are specially trained to help these patients. These counselors work hand in hand with doctors, family members, and therapists to evaluate the full effect of the condition on the patient and how he or she is handling the emotional and physical ramifications of the disability.
Mental health counselors work to promote healthy mental health in their clients. They work closely with family members and friends in an effort to garner a broader range of interest and understanding about the condition. They are capable of treating;
In conjunction with other professionals mental health counselors work towards creating a method for the patient so that he or she can function normally in society.
Counseling careers also include substance abuse counseling. This counseling helps those afflicted with addictive issues to identify and then control their problem. Counselors work with alcoholics, drug addicts and even those with eating disorders.
Unlike other forms of counseling substance abuse counseling can take place in group settings. The counselors are able to create personalized treatment options that help to establish healthy habits and behavior.
Marriage and family counselors work to strengthen the bonds between husband and wife or between family members. The sessions promote understanding of problems and issues and ways to deal with those issues in a healthy manner. The counselor may choose to work with the individual or with the family or couple together as needed.
Education, Training, and Certification
Education varies from specialty to specialty with a Master’s degree usually being required to become a licensed Counselor. A strong background in psychology and human services is required.
Each state sets down their own requirements for licensing for counseling careers. For those interested in counseling careers will need to have a strong code of ethics and the ability to follow that code. Counselors should also be honest, trust worthy, and possess the ability to analyze verbal and non-verbal information.
Counseling careers exist in any number of areas such as schools, hospitals, prisons, and in independent practice. Each of these fields has a specialized counseling position and for those interested in pursuing counseling careers will do well to decide upon a field early on.
Counseling careers promises to see increased growth in all fields. This growth is due to the increased demand of counselors because more and more people are beginning to recognize the importance of maintaining mental health.
Salary and wages for counseling careers depend on the field of study and the position. On average one can expect anywhere from $33,000 to $50,000 median income.
The editors of McGraw-Hill and the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Big Book of Jobs, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2012-2013 ©2009 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Material "Adapted"