Educational-Guidance-Vocational Counselor: Education and Career Information
Finding the right career path can be challenging. In most instances, students are encouraged to think about what they like to do when in high school to formulate a curriculum around areas they may want to explore. The person that assists in evaluating their career profile is usually the guidance counselor, or educational counselor. In most schools, they are one and the same, but there are rare cases where a guidance counselor deals strictly with student issues, while the educational counselor focuses on academic achievement and success. If you enjoy working with students and want to help make a difference in their lives, this may be the career for you. If you have already found your career path and need to decide which steps to take or how to find a job, then you need to speak to a vocational counselor to help you chart your path.
What does an Educational, Guidance or Vocational Counselor do?
Educational counselors work with students in their progression and success in school. They are also known as guidance counselors. Educational and guidance counselors talk to students, help them work on their academic goals, identify trouble with classes and grades, provide resources to excel academically, and identify issues that may be occurring at school or at home. Educational and guidance counselors work to develop IEP plans for special needs students and in providing resources for parents of troubled children who need assistance in adjusting. Guidance counselors are also the resource person for families that have undergone tragedy such as a death, or fire that has left them in a compromising state. Guidance counselors work diligently to help the family get back on track with little to no disruption in the student’s academic schedule.
A vocational counselor helps students in finding a vocational skill they are interested in that matches their strengths and career interests. All three positions specialize in working with students, but a vocational counselor may also be found in recruitment firms and workforce agencies helping adults. Vocational counselors are also called career counselors. They help in writing resumes, conducting workshops on how to fill out job applications, how to dress for an interview and provide mock-interview skills. If you are still in school, a vocational counselor can help find an internship based on your interests to help you gain practical experience. Vocational counselors can teach computer classes and serve as a valued resource in finding the right career path and assisting in providing the tools needed to get there. Vocational counselors also work in university career centers.
How much do these positions earn?
According to the U.S. Labor Department, a school guidance or educational counselor makes $53,610 as a median income, while the highest paid counselors make up to $86,000 annually. This is all contingent on the location, type of educational facility (public or private) and level of education the counselor has. A vocational counselor earns about $53,000 annually, which fluctuates depending on experience and education. Vocational counselors starting out usually make around $32,000.
What types of skills are needed to be successful in these fields?
Individuals in these fields must have the following skills:
•Ability to lead
•Ability to speak to diverse groups of people and individuals
•Public speaking and communication skills
•Time management skills
Most educational counselor and guidance counselor positions must have at least a year of supervised counseling internship experience within the school setting after they have become certified teachers. A vocational or career counselor usually has an internship if they are in a four-year degree program.
Guidance and educational counselors need a bachelor’s degree at the minimum, but most school districts require a higher education degree or completion of graduate coursework. Most guidance and educational counselors have been teachers and some states require that counselors must hold a valid teaching certificate. Although the bachelor’s program is four years, the master’s program is typically one to two additional years. Most counselors obtain a master’s in school counseling, educational psychology or educational leadership.
Coursework needed to be a guidance counselor or educational counselor include courses in counseling procedures, human development, research, interventions, risk assessment and child and family development. A guidance counselor and educational counselor must meet all the requirements of a teacher, including passing a certification exam, being certified through the National Board for Certified Counselors, and passing a criminal background check. There are additional certification options available for specialized areas. High school guidance counselors may qualify for the National Certified School Counselor (NCSC) designation, if they have a master’s degree and have passed the National Certified School Counselor Exam.
Educational counselors may also become certified through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, demonstrating they have competence in areas including counseling techniques, student assessment and collaboration with family and community, group counseling, individual counseling, career development. This is a more detailed option, and requires presentation of a portfolio and completion of an online assessment.
Depending on where they work, vocational counselors may not have as many requirements as school or educational counselors. While counseling is the focal point, vocational counselors may undergo training or complete two years of school to work in an agency where they assist adults. In most instances, vocational or career counselors must have a bachelor’s degree at the minimum, and depending on the level at which they are providing advice, an extended degree is needed. For vocational counselors working at a university, a four year degree is mandatory.
There are so many different career paths and roles for someone who is interested in becoming an educational counselor, guidance counselor or vocational counselor. They all primarily do the same, with certain niche areas of concentration. Educational and guidance counselors are usually found in K-12 educational settings, while vocational counselors are found at higher education institutions or private agencies. Whatever course you choose while pursuing this profession will all result in helping individuals work toward a goal of positively enhancing their future.
Break into the STEM Fields with a Degree from Ashford University
- Associate of Arts - Early Childhood.
- MA Public Health
- MS Instructional Design and Technology
- And more...
Push Your Creativity To The Next Level
- Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
- Information Technology Bachelors- Online
- Entertainment Business, Master of Science (Online)
- And more...
Get Matched to Online Programs In A Few Clicks!
Experience an education that helps you realize your potential in a way that fits you best. Request more information about Post University today.
- Master of Public Administration
- Certificate: Forensic Accounting
- Graduate Certificate in Project Management
- And more...
Pursue your MBA or MSEd online.
- MBA Sports Management and Recreation
- MBA Strategic Management
- MBA Accounting
- And more...
The Chicago School is a not-for-profit, regionally accredited institution with more than 4,285 students at campuses across the country and online.
- Psy.D. Clinical Psychology
- M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis
- M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- And more...
Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.
- International Business - D.B.A.
- Leadership in Higher Education - EdS
- MS Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management
- And more...
Study for your graduate education with University of Illinois at Chicago.
- Master of Science in Health Informatics
Aviation Institute of Maintenance schools are distinguished institutes committed to the education and personal enrichment of each student interested in the Aviation Industry.
- Aviation Maintenance Technician
- Maintenance Technology
- Aviation Maintenance Technical Engineer
At the University of Nevada, Reno, we teach public health practitioners how to look beyond physical conditions and consider environmental, economic and sociological factors that impact individual and community health, happiness and well-being.
The online Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice is designed to prepare you for employment in nearly any area of the public health field.
- Master of Science in Business Analytics
- Master of Accounting
- Online Master of Public Health (MPH)
Ultimate Medical Academy is a nonprofit healthcare career school—and students are at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we offer exclusive student services through your career training and beyond, beginning from the time you enroll online or at our campus in Clearwater, FL. We’ll also guide you toward the right program for your goals, and help you understand the affordability of your career training. So let us know you’re interested, and we’ll discuss how UMA can help you succeed.
Gainful employment information can be found at UltimateMedical.edu/gainful-employment and includes information on tuition, loan debt, completion, placement, and occupations.
- A.S. - Healthcare Information Technology
- A.S.- Health Sciences (Pharmacy Technician)
- A.S. - Medical Billing & Coding
- And more...