How To Become a College Counselor (With FAQ)

How to Become a College Counselor
  1. Complete a bachelor’s degree in a behavioral, social science field, or another field.
  2. Earn a master’s degree in counseling, psychology, or social work.
  3. Complete graduate and postgraduate internship experience for licensure requirements.
  4. Pass any required exams and apply for licensure.

Counseling Corner: How to become a School Counselor (Step By Step)

What does a college counselor do?

A college counselor is responsible for the following tasks:

What is a college counselor?

A college counselor is a specialist who helps students with their academic and career goals. You guide students as they decide what they want to do with their lives after college in this position. You can assist students who are dealing with personal or familial difficulties.

You might provide them with sources of advice for the various pressures they encounter during your meetings. It is your responsibility as a college counselor to support students in all areas of their academic, personal, and professional lives.

What is the average salary for a college counselor?

Follow these steps to become a qualified college counselor:

1. Choose your career focus

A college counselor may concentrate on academic support, career services, admissions, or more therapeutic services. You must choose which area of this profession you are interested in pursuing before beginning your career. It’s a good idea to concentrate your main attention on a specific area, even though some roles may require you to do a little bit of everything.

2. Earn a bachelors degree

Behavioral or social science bachelor’s degrees are typically obtained by college counselors. You could also decide to major in a field of study related to education, psychology, communication, or another one. Try to select courses that teach you about human behavior, career counseling, higher education trends, and communication skills.

Work in the admissions office of your college to gain experience in this area while you are a student. This can help you gain a better understanding of what this line of work entails and prepare you for working in a setting where students are the primary focus. Getting an administrative job can help you prepare for these kinds of tasks since a large portion of this career involves paperwork.

3. Complete a graduate program

Although a master’s degree may not be required for every college counselor position, having one can deepen your knowledge and set you apart from other job candidates. A master’s degree in social work, psychology, or counseling is a popular choice for college counselors. You’ll probably learn about counseling research, current trends in the field, theoretical perspectives, counseling techniques, and human development throughout your program.

4. Obtain an applicable license

It is unlikely that you will require any kind of professional certification or license to work as a college counselor if your career path excludes providing psychological care. The National Association of School Psychologists or the National Board for Certified Counselors may require that you obtain a license if you decide that you do want to offer these services.

The conditions differ by state and depend on where you want to work. You must complete clinical hours and pass exams in order to obtain many licenses.

5. Get on-the-job training

Try to learn as much as you can while working as a college counselor once you land your first position. You learn about your job responsibilities and what your employer expects of you during your orientation period.

You might decide to take on more responsibilities as your career develops or return to school so that you can offer therapeutic services. Over time, you might even show interest in applying for a managerial or executive position at a company.

Frequently asked questions about becoming a college counselor

The following are some of the most typical queries about working as a college counselor:

What is the work environment of a college counselor?

A college counselor may work in the following work environments:

Most college counselors work full-time in an office setting. They typically work at two or four-year colleges and universities. Work in the student affairs, career center, or admissions divisions are likely for you. You might work at a particular school within larger universities. A large university, for instance, might have distinct schools for its majors in the humanities, business, engineering, and medicine.

Some college counselors may work in high school settings. You may assist high school students with the college application process and provide guidance as they make important life decisions in this type of work environment. You might also be hired by a private practice or parent to consult with students who require additional direction and support throughout their academic career.

What occupations are similar to a college counselor?

These job titles are quite similar to a college counselor:

What kinds of questions do students ask college counselors?

You might have to respond to the following inquiries from students as a college advisor:

What skills does a college counselor need?

To be successful in this line of work, a college counselor needs to possess the following abilities:

You must come up with suggestions or answers to your students’ problems or issues. You frequently have to identify their problems while considering how to communicate with compassion.

Some of the most difficult times for students may be when they come to you for help. You must feel compelled to offer them the best guidance and ameliorate their circumstances.

A lot of your work includes administrative duties. You need to keep paperwork organized and neat. Keep your deadlines and priorities in order as this work may also be time-sensitive.

College counselors must be confident and have outgoing personalities. It is your responsibility to establish a welcoming environment where students feel free to disclose sensitive information to you.

You must be informed of typical issues affecting particular student demographics. You must be knowledgeable about issues like gender, race, social inequality, and mental illness.

Your ability to write clearly aids you in email correspondence with students and other faculty members. Its also helpful when completing paperwork. The ability to connect with students and convey clear messages requires verbal communication.


How do you become a college admissions consultant?

How to become an admissions counselor
  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree. Most admissions counselor positions require candidates who have bachelor’s degrees.
  2. Perform an internship. Look for relevant internship opportunities while pursuing your bachelor’s degree.
  3. Seek employment. …
  4. Join professional organizations.

What is the role of a college counselor?

Assess student academic progress and potential. Encourage students to prepare for and compete for admission to suitable schools. Interact effectively with college admissions and financial aid offices. Establish and maintain working relationships with postsecondary schools.

What is a college counselor called?

College advisors, also known as college counselors, make an average yearly salary of $40,168 in the United States.

What degree do you need to work in college admissions?

A bachelor’s degree is a requirement for becoming an admissions officer, but some employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree and background in financial aid and admissions to apply. In some circumstances, you might be able to fulfill degree requirements with relevant work experience instead.

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