What is the Employment Outlook for School Counseling?

Job growth for school counseling will be about average between now and 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. About 273,000 people currently work as school counselors in the United States. They made an average of $54,560 a year in 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. School counselors usually need a master’s degree and state certifications to begin working in schools.

Social Workers and Community Specialists

Social workers and community social services specialists are school counseling specialties that are expected to grow faster than average between now and 2024. Social workers who work with students and families, often referred to as community outreach coordinators or specialists, will grow at a rate of 12 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects. Social workers may work with special-needs students, or with under-served communities. They may also work in the community, not strictly in a counseling office on campus.

Community Colleges, Junior Colleges, and Professional School Counselors

Community and Junior Colleges, along with professional schools, represent about a third of post-secondary school counselor jobs. Enrollment in these schools is projected to increase between now and 2024. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that these schools will see an increase of 13 percent, well above the average growth of 8 percent in school counselor jobs overall. Community college counselors provide individual and group counseling, design programs for mental health education for staff members and students, and advise students on their academic programs and careers.

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Four-Year Colleges and Universities

Similarly to junior colleges and community colleges, four-year colleges and universities are expected to grow faster than average due to increased enrollments. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that private and public four-year colleges and universities will add about 10,000 new jobs between now and 2024, for a growth rate of more than 14 percent.

Business, Technical, and Trade Schools

Business colleges, technical and trade schools experienced growth in the past, but changing economic conditions have caused their enrollments to drop. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that these schools will have less need for school counselors over the next 7 years. Business and technical schools employ only a few thousand counselors currently and will need 34 percent fewer in these positions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Other Educational Counselor Specialties

Junior colleges and four-year colleges are opening on-site career centers, which are designed to help students transition from school to the workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, new college career specialist counselors will be needed for these centers. Vocational counselors are also expected to experience an increased need for their services. Many workers are anticipated to be displaced by economic changes and environmental issues. Vocational counselors help workers to find new jobs after they have been laid-off or downsized in corporate mergers.

When we think of a school counselor, we often think about a retired coach or teacher who helps high school students apply for college or make career choices. The job now encompasses community social services, advocacy, mental health education, and vocational counseling for students of all ages. Public school counselors for kindergarten through high school will be needed between now and 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects.