One of the few things you should do before setting your mind to be a guidance counselor is to do some research about the guidance counselor salary. So how much does a guidance counselor earn? Here are a few facts you need to know:
1. In the US, guidance counselors earn an average of $27 per hour.
2. The best possible guidance counselor salary is $45 per hour.
3. The lowest possible guidance counselor salary is $16 per hour.
4. Highest earners usually work in elementary schools and secondary schools.
5. The highest guidance counselor salary in the US is in the following cities:
- Greenville, South Carolina – $81,880
- Newark, New Jersey – $78,050
- Nassau, New York – $77,540
- Bethesda, Maryland – $74,780
- Anchorage, Alaska – $73,100
6. The average guidance counselor salary is similar to that of elementary and high school teachers.
7. A speech pathologist who works in the school system has a higher salary than the guidance counselor.
The above-mentioned facts about guidance counselor salary most probably convinced you into becoming one. How do you become a guidance counselor? Here are a few tips:
1. Get The Right Education
Obtain a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree in counseling, psychology, social work, or other related field is necessary. Most states require guidance counselors to earn a specialized master’s degree in school counseling in addition to the four-year degree program. This master’s program teaches the student important counseling techniques, different approaches to academic, social, and behavioral issues.
Many educational institutions offer continuing education courses for school counselors. This is because many developments in the field of psychology and counseling happen from time to time. A good guidance counselor should have up-to-date knowledge about these developments. Needless to say, guidance counselor salary is very attractive, but one needs to work hard for it.
2. Undergo Proper Training
To be properly equipped with the necessary expertise in the counseling profession, one needs to undergo an internship or mentoring program. An experienced counselor will teach the trainee, usually through observation. Some states do not hire guidance counselors until they have completed the internship program.
3. Have the Necessary Skills and Qualities
In order to become one, you should be able to have good listening, oral, as well as, written communication skills. To properly carry out your duties you need to be keen on details, possess critical thinking, and properly organized as you will be maintaining student records. These qualities are very special. A person with all of these qualities is hard to find. A guidance counselor salary is one of the highest among the other professionals in a school system, he or she is properly compensated.
4. Get Licensed or Certified
Most, if not all states, require guidance counselors to hold a license or certification from the National Board for Certified Counselors Inc. The NBCC listed the following requirements for those who wish to get certified by the board:
~ Master’s degree or higher in counseling
~ Passing the National Counselor Exam
~ 48 hours of graduate-level credit and 6 semester hours of hands-on experience in the following areas:
- Human Growth and Development
- Social and Cultural Foundations
- Helping Relationships
- Group Work
- Career and Lifestyle Development
- Research and Program Evaluation
- Professional Orientation and Counseling
Being a guidance counselor is a fulfilling job. If you are not satisfied with the guidance counselor salary, you can choose to advance your career in the future. You can become the head counselor who is responsible for supervising the work and training of the other counselors. Those who wish to become educators can work as a college professor or engage in field research.
For elementary and secondary schools, guidance counselor jobs will continue to expand at a rate of 8% for the coming years. At the college level, it will continue to grow at a rate of 19% for the next ten years. People see education as a necessity. Parents will continue to send their kids to school. Guidance counselors will always be in demand. Because of this, a guidance counselor salary will also continue to rise over the next decade.