Career Spotlight

School Counselor

February 4-8 is National School Counseling Week! To celebrate our profession, this week’s Career Spotlight focuses on School Counseling.

School Counselor

Quick Facts

2017 Median Pay: $55,410/year; $26.64/hour

Typical Entry-Level Education: Master’s Degree

On-the-job Training: None

Number of Jobs, 2016: 291,700

Job Outlook 2016-26: 13% (faster than average)

Employment Change 2016-26: 36,700

What They Do

School counselors help students develop the academic and social skills needed to succeed in school, and help them choose careers and follow a path to employment. There are school counselors at every grade level. Both types of counselors can work in public or private schools.

A school counselor’s day is different every single day. Arcola Jr./Sr. High School’s Guidance Office covers everything from personal counseling, to career counseling, to scheduling, to special events at school, to college planning, and more.

How To Become One

Most school counselors need a master’s degree in school counseling or a related field and have a state-issued credential. Some states require licensure for career counselors.

Illinois: A Master’s Degree is required, which is a four-year degree plus two more years. You do not have to be a teacher prior to becoming a school counselor. You have to take your Professional Educator Licensing Exam at the end of your Master’s Program before you can apply for jobs. With new Illinois state mandates, many schools are hiring an additional counselor, so there are jobs available!

Do you like working with people? Click here for Similar Occupations!

Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, US Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Students can email Mrs. Mendez at if they want information on a specific career. She may even use it in a future Spotlight!