To work as a school counselor, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or equivalent;
- have a bachelor's degree;
- have a master's degree in counseling or a related field; and
- complete a supervised counseling experience.
Education after high school
Most school counselors have a master's degree in counseling, education, or a related field. You may specialize in college student affairs, school counseling, education, or career counseling. You typically take courses in human growth and development, social and cultural diversity, and relationships. Additional courses include working in groups, career development, and assessment.
Some colleges offer training in career and vocational counseling beyond the master's level. These advanced studies are often called Certificate of Advanced Study or Advanced Graduate Specialist programs.
Most graduate programs require completion of a supervised work experience or internship.
Some employers train new counselors in testing and interviewing techniques.
School counselors attend classes and seminars each year to update their skills and knowledge. School counselors must complete a certain number of continuing education hours each year. This allows them to remain certified as a school counselor or maintain a professional license.
The military trains people to work as caseworkers and counselors. This training lasts from eight to ten weeks. Further training occurs on the job and through advanced courses.