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Guidance Counselor Job Description

Arjun Kulkarni
Guidance Counselor, also known as School Counselor or Student Counselor is an important profile in education system. He/she guides and helps students figure out what they want to do in the future, and what steps they should take to achieve it or make their way towards a career ahead.
Guidance Counselor analyzes students' strengths, interests and weaknesses; and helps them find the career opportunities, which are suitable and in line with students' skills and temperaments.

Important Details

Rectify Erratic Behavior

A guidance counselor is employed by the schools to work with the students. Often, you find students in school who display disturbingly errant behavior, signs of violence, etc. It is one of his duties to help iron out such problems.
He also has to ensure that the behavior of all the students is up to the mark, and in case, any student has any issues relating to problems at school or at home, his responsibilities expect him to fix any such problems.

Determine Student Strengths

The second sort of duties include career guidance. The job entails asking the students to perform several assessment tests and aptitude tests and help them determine their strength areas.
This is one of the most important aspect, as helping students figure out 'what they are good at' is a tough, but crucial task. He should, in this case, help students figure out their areas of interest and what exactly they are good at.

Guide Careers

The third basic duty is to help lay out a career path for the students. Based on the likes and dislikes and the strength of a student, he can suggest a career, which he feels is good for the student and one in which the student will excel and succeed in.
He also helps the students with prescribing college courses, telling them which colleges are the best for which course and acting as an intermediary between the student and his career.

Help to Control Addiction

And lastly, addictions have become a pretty big problem for students. A lot of them may have problems with drug abuse and alcohol abuse. A counselor needs to help students get over their addictions and ensure that they stay clean.

Salary Range

Guidance counselors may be employed by the school or may freelance for clients. So, based on the type of work they do, they earn either a salary or a fee. The median earnings are said to be around USD 49,200 annually.
The median annual salary in schools (around USD 53,800) is higher than those working with junior colleges (USD 46,900) and universities (USD 48,200). The highest earners in this field are the freelance practitioners, who have strong and vast experience under their belt.

Top Paying States

Here are the top paying states for guidance counselors along with annual median salaries - 
  • New Jersey - USD 72,190
  • Alaska - USD 69,800
  • California - USD 68,000
  • New York - USD 67,100
  • Massachusetts - USD 66,600
Now that you know the duties and responsibilities of guidance counselor, you will be able to evaluate this career opportunity. The job is a pretty rewarding as it gives you the opportunity to make a difference to someone's life!