Summary Report for:
21-1012.00 - Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors
Counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.
Sample of reported job titles: Academic Advisor, Academic Counselor, Advisor, Career Center Director, Career Counselor, Career Services Director, College Counselor, Counselor, Guidance Counselor, School Counselor
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Counsel individuals to help them understand and overcome personal, social, or behavioral problems affecting their educational or vocational situations.
- Provide crisis intervention to students when difficult situations occur at schools.
- Confer with parents or guardians, teachers, administrators, and other professionals to discuss children's progress, resolve behavioral, academic, and other problems, and to determine priorities for students and their resource needs.
- Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
- Prepare students for later educational experiences by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and to persevere with challenging tasks.
- Evaluate students' or individuals' abilities, interests, and personality characteristics using tests, records, interviews, or professional sources.
- Identify cases of domestic abuse or other family problems and encourage students or parents to seek additional assistance from mental health professionals.
- Counsel students regarding educational issues, such as course and program selection, class scheduling and registration, school adjustment, truancy, study habits, and career planning.
- Provide special services such as alcohol and drug prevention programs and classes that teach students to handle conflicts without resorting to violence.
- Conduct follow-up interviews with counselees to determine if their needs have been met.
- Instruct individuals in career development techniques such as job search and application strategies, resume writing, and interview skills.
- Collaborate with teachers and administrators in the development, evaluation, and revision of school programs and in the preparation of master schedules for curriculum offerings.
- Assess needs for assistance such as rehabilitation, financial aid, or additional vocational training, and refer clients to the appropriate services.
- Prepare reports on students and activities as required by administration.
- Observe students during classroom and play activities to evaluate students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
- Teach classes and present self-help or information sessions on subjects related to education and career planning.
- Plan and conduct orientation programs and group conferences to promote the adjustment of individuals to new life experiences such as starting college.
- Attend meetings, educational conferences, and training workshops and serve on committees.
- Plan and promote career and employment-related programs and events, such as career planning presentations, work-experience programs, job fairs, and career workshops.
- Establish and enforce administration policies and rules governing student behavior.
- Address community groups, faculty, and staff members to explain available counseling services.
- Review transcripts to ensure that students meet graduation or college entrance requirements and write letters of recommendation.
- Provide students with information on such topics as college degree programs and admission requirements, financial aid opportunities, trade and technical schools, and apprenticeship programs.
- Compile and study occupational, educational, and economic information to assist counselees in determining and carrying out vocational and educational objectives.
- Refer students to degree programs based on interests, aptitudes, or educational assessments.
- Interview clients to obtain information about employment history, educational background, and career goals, and to identify barriers to employment.
- Refer qualified counselees to employers or employment services for job placement.
- Establish contacts with employers to create internship and employment opportunities for students.
- Plan, direct, and participate in recruitment and enrollment activities.
- Supervise, train, and direct professional staff and interns.
- Provide disabled students with assistive devices, supportive technology, and assistance accessing facilities such as restrooms.
- Establish and supervise peer counseling and peer tutoring programs.
- Provide information for teachers and staff members involved in helping students or graduates identify and pursue employment opportunities.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Desktop computers
- Digital camcorders or video cameras — Video recorders
- Digital video disk players or recorders — Digital video disk DVD players
- Digital voice recorders — Audio recorders
- Instant messaging platform — Yahoo! Messenger
- Liquid crystal display projector — Liquid crystal display LCD projectors; Projection equipment
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Overhead projectors — Overhead display projectors
- Personal computers
- Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA
- Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment
- Video cassette players or recorders — Video cassette recorders VCR
- Videoconferencing systems — Videoconferencing equipment
Technology used in this occupation:
- Analytical or scientific software — ACT WorkKeys; Computerized diagnostic programs; Computerized testing programs; Counseling software (see all 7 examples)
- Customer relationship management CRM software — Athena Software Penelope Case Management
- Data base user interface and query software — FileMaker Pro software; Microsoft Access; Social Solutions ETO; Zoomerang (see all 20 examples)
- Desktop publishing software — Microsoft Publisher
- Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Outlook; Yahoo! Email
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
- Instant messaging software
- Internet browser software — Microsoft Internet Explorer; Web browser software
- Network conferencing software — Chat software
- Network monitoring software — Computer-assisted live supervision
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Presentation software — Blackboard Wimba; Microsoft PowerPoint; Prezi
- Project management software — Palm Pal Transana; Productivity software
- Spreadsheet software — EZAnalyze; Microsoft Excel
- Video conferencing software — Citrix Systems GoToMeeting
- Web page creation and editing software — Orbius; Web page design and editing software
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
- Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Therapy and Counseling — Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
Detailed Work Activities
- Write reports or evaluations.
- Counsel clients or patients regarding personal issues.
- Interview clients to gather information about their backgrounds, needs, or progress.
- Lead classes or community events.
- Collaborate with other professionals to assess client needs or plan treatments.
- Intervene in crisis situations to assist clients.
- Refer individuals to educational or work programs.
- Refer clients to community or social service programs.
- Counsel clients regarding educational or vocational issues.
- Counsel clients regarding interpersonal issues.
- Complete documentation required by programs or regulations.
- Teach life skills or strategies to clients or their families.
- Evaluate characteristics of individuals to determine needs or eligibility.
- Develop educational programs.
- Confer with family members to discuss client treatment plans or progress.
- Maintain professional social services knowledge.
- Evaluate potential problems in home or work environments of clients.
- Present social services program information to the public.
- Supervise workers providing client or patient services.
- Train staff members in social services skills.
- Collaborate with other professionals to develop education or assistance programs.
- Develop working relationships with others to facilitate program activities.
- Assist clients in handling details of daily life.
- Assess individual or community needs for educational or social services.
- Advise others on social or educational issues.
- Promote educational institutions or programs.
- Plan programs to address community mental wellness needs.
- Develop educational policies.
- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 91% responded “Every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 74% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 80% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team
- Deal With External Customers — 59% responded “Very important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 60% responded “Some freedom.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 66% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 40% responded “Every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 30% responded “Extremely important.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 46% responded “Some freedom.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 25% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 27% responded “Moderate results.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 65% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 60% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Spend Time Sitting — 61% responded “More than half the time.”
- Time Pressure — 77% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 48% responded “Very important.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 66% responded “Very important.”
- Deal With Physically Aggressive People — 28% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 38% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, sports medicine physicians, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and controllers.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
Interest code: S
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$25.66 hourly, $53,370 annual|
|Employment (2014)||273,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Average (5% to 8%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||79,700|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- School and career counselors . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.