Getting a Job as a School Counselor

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Counseling is a very important functionality which is practiced in all reputed schools. The need of a school counselor was realized in the United States of America at the onset of twentieth century. Initially, the counselors at schools generally wore the hat of teaching staff or faculty. They functioned as school counselors by studying the practice manuals and applying them while helping the students select various types of careers. But now the job responsibilities of school counselors are very structured which focus on academic, behavioral, as well as the social development of the pupil.

The major task that resides on the shoulder of a school counselor basically involves grooming the students to take up the challenges of their future. A student counselor is required to hold a one on one session with each of the students in order to find out their academic and other difficulties and suggest remedy to these. The next task of a school counselor is to interact with the guardians of the students to keep them posted about the problems of their children and recommend the support that they can impart as parents. The counselor thoroughly studies the performance level of each student and helps them to choose a future course of action according to their capacity and knack. To do this he has to make collaborative efforts with teachers and other school staff. A school counselor should be aware about the guidelines set by the management and the controlling authority of the school while discharging his functions. He has to test the effectiveness of the counseling methods and research and develop new ones for the better development of the students. In case a student's problem gets out of hand, the school counselor should notify the parents and recommend them some professional counseling agencies that might solve the problem. The counselor also evaluates the curriculum of the school and includes the right mix of career as well as personal development programs.

Their work environments vary greatly with the school for which the counseling services are being provided. For schools catering to the elementary level, school counselors are recruited for just about eight to nine months of the year. For other counselors who have to work for senior or high schools, the job responsibilities may extend up to a whole year. Such school counselors are thus hired on yearly contracts.

The position of a counselor in a school is that of a great responsibility as they handle the progeny of a nation. As a result of this, most schools prefer hiring candidates with a master's degree in school counseling. There are many colleges and universities that cater master's degrees, PhD, EdD or PsyD programs in school counseling, counselor education or counseling psychology. A PhD will be useful if you want to go for research or take up teaching the discipline in colleges and universities. Beside this there are institutions that provide school-counseling-related certification options. A background of psychology is an added advantage to occupy the position of an able school counselor.

School counselors are team players that are integral to the total educational program and work with teachers and other school staff. They must have leadership qualities that make all stakeholders in the delivery of programs help the student achieve success in school. Good school counselors should be a good follower as to follow the guidelines of the school management while supporting the academic and other achievement of all students. Recruiters look for designing, implementing, evaluating, organizational and comprehension abilities when they recruit counselors.
Experience in this field is of great value to get employed in reputed schools in senior positions.

The number of counselor jobs will continue to increase as counseling is one of the indispensable parts of school practices. And as senior counselors retire and more schools, colleges, and vocational institutes open up, vacancies will be created.

The pay-package offered for the job varies with the school type. Elementary school counselors are the most handsomely paid ones, with salaries ranging between fifty to sixty thousand US dollars. The vocational school counselors draw about thirty to forty thousand dollars.

If you possess an innate desire to shape the future of the nation by directing the youth in the right course, then this is the profession tailored for you.
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