Guidance Counselor Requirements: Education and Job Training Requirements for Becoming a Guidance Counselor

Published Aug 31, 2009

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Guidance Counselors provide career, educational and personal counseling to students of all ages. Counseling can take the form of private sessions or larger group settings in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities. If helping people with their emotional distresses and assisting them with their educational or vocational needs sounds rewarding, then read on to learn how to become a Guidance Counselor!

Guidance Counselor Career Summary

According to Career InfoNet,, Guidance Counselors can work in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, universities and other academic settings. A counselor may select a specialty. Guidance Counselors provide educational, career and personal advice to students in order to help them. Counselors use tests and interviews to evaluate a student's abilities, interests and personality and determine multiple career and major choices. On a personal and emotional level, Guidance Counselors use preventive and development techniques to give students the skills needed to grow emotionally.

Education Required to Become a Guidance Counselor

A bachelor's degree is the minimum level of education a Guidance Counselor must have. O*Net,, notes that most employers are looking for either a master's degree or a Ph.D. in either education or psychology. Apprenticeship programs with local schools provide live training for students during their studies. Coursework consists of classes on human growth, social diversity, career development and other education and psychology courses.

Job Training and Certifications Required to Become a Guidance Counselor

Most employers will provide some basic training for new counselors in the field, introducing a new hire to the school's own counseling methods. The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC),, offers a National Certified Counselor general practice credential. Certification is not a requirement to become a Guidance Counselor, but a certification helps distinguish the excellence of a Guidance Counselor among his or her peers. Obtaining a state license is necessary for all Guidance Counselors; however, the licensure requirements vary from state to state.

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