How to Become a School Guidance Counselor

How to become a School Guidance Counselor

The Basics of Becoming a School Guidance Counselor

Are you investigating how to become a School Guidance Counselor? The main job of a School Guidance Counselor is to overcome personal, social, or behavioral problems affecting their school or career situations.

School Guidance Counselors provide crisis intervention to students at school and help them set academic goals. They also meet with parents and school personnel to discuss a student’s behavior and progress. They will also often help prepare students for later education or career experiences by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and challenging tasks.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, School Guidance Counselors in most states are required to have a master’s degree in school counseling or a field that is related.

A School Guidance Counselor's Salary Potential

  • Lowest 10th%
  • Median
  • Highest 90th%


States with the Highest Employment Levels

New York$68,89026,500

How Do Your Skills Stack Up?

School Guidance Counselor day to day life

As reported by O*NET, these types of tasks are conducted every day in this role – would you feel comfortable performing these tasks as part of the day to day life of a School Guidance Counselor?


What Will You Learn with a School Counseling Degree?

A degree in school counseling will likely cover some of the following coursework:

  • Ethical and Legal Issues in Professional Counseling
  • Life Planning and Career Development
  • Group Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • Introduction to School Counseling
  • Crisis Intervention and Emergency Management

A degree in school counseling is usually aimed at helping future counselors prepare for possible opportunities in this rewarding field. You may explore areas like research methods, ethical and legal issues, theories of counseling, and other foundations for a counseling career path. You’ll likely also delve into more practical areas like group counseling, life and career planning, crisis and emergency management, and other coursework designed to help prospective counselors prepare for day-to-day duties. Finally, practicums, internships, and/or residencies are often part of a school counseling degree program to help students connect theory and practice in a supervised setting.

The Value of School Counseling

The American School Counseling Association conducted an Empirical Study on the Value of School Counseling, and here are a few of the conclusions that were drawn from that study:

  • Students who have greater access to school counselors and comprehensive school counseling programs are more likely to succeed academically and behaviorally in school; this is particular true for students in high-poverty schools.
  • Increasing the number of high school counselors in schools enhances the likelihood that students go on to enroll in college
  • Multiple sources of evidence indicate that expanding school counseling services in elementary schools is associated with improvements in student learning, behavior, and mental health.

FAQs About Becoming a School Guidance Counselor

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Job information sourced from O*NET