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

Published Aug 26, 2009

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Schools Counselors work with youth from elementary through high school to help them address their social, emotional and academics needs. A master's degree is required by most states to become licensed as a School Counselor. This article provides more information on education and job training requirements for becoming a School Counselor.

School Counselor Career Summary

School Counselor are employed by elementary, middle and high schools to serve the needs of students and their families. Counselors work with students to plan their curriculum while setting personal and professional goals. They also help students resolve any social or emotional issues they face. They might work with students individually or in group settings, consult with parents and teachers and provide referrals to other community resources or support services.

Education Required to Become a School Counselor

Most states require a master's degree in School Counseling or another closely related area.

According to the American School Counselor Association, www.schoolcounselor.org, 466 colleges and universities in the U.S. offer school counseling, counselor education or counseling psychology programs, as of 2009. Through these programs, students learn intervention and consultation skills and counseling program development. Additional course topics include human growth, development of children and adolescents, career and life planning approaches and legal and ethical issues in School Counseling.

Job Training and Certifications Required to Become a School Counselor

Most states require School Counselors to become certified. However, requirements vary by state. Common requirements include completion of a master's degree program, including specified coursework, a supervised practicum or internship and a competency exam. Some states also require a current teacher's license. Several professional organizations, such as the National Board for Certified Counselors and Affiliates Inc., www.nbcc.org and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, www.nbpts.org, offer optional certification as well.

Featured School Choices:

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies
    • Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies - Grief Counseling
    • Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies - Human Services Counseling
    • Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies - Human Services/Student Affairs
    • Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies - International
    More information about Regent University
  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • PhD in Psychology - Educational Psychology
    • MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - Addiction Counseling
    • MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - Forensic Counseling
    • MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - General Program
    • MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - Military Families & Culture
    More information about Walden University
  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • MED: School Counseling: Teacher Licensure
    • PHD: Counselor Education and Supervision
    • MA: Human Services Counseling: Life Coaching
    • MA: Marriage and Family Therapy
    • EDD: Educational Leadership
    More information about Liberty University
  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision
    • M.Ed. in Educational Leadership
    • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
    • B.S. in Educational Studies (Does Not Lead to Teacher Licensure)
    More information about Grand Canyon University
  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • MS in Educational Psychology
    More information about Purdue University Global
  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • Curriculum and Instruction, M.A. - Emphasis in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
    • Counseling, M.A.
    • Counseling, M.A. Online
    • Educational Leadership, M.Ed. without Licensure