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School Counselor: Reviews & Advice

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How to Get a Job as a School Counselor

This might be a fast-growing profession, but competition to land jobs is still intense, particular in some school districts. That’s one reason Smith recommends that prospective counselors begin thinking about job placement early on. “I always recommend that candidates become involved in a national counseling organization while they’re still in their graduate program,” she says. “That gives them networking opportunities that they might otherwise miss.” Hopefuls should also look for ways to begin working with children early. “I want to know that the applicant enjoys working with children,” Smith says. “If there’s no mention of children on the resume, then I’m going to put them aside.”

Interview Questions Submitted by Real School Counselors

"Have you worked with a Title I school before?" - Marin ISD School Counselor Candidate (Marin, TX)

"If you are in charge of organizing and promoting a 9th grade students parents night, how would you organize and promote this event?" - Chicago Public Schools Guidance Counselor Candidate (Chicago, IL)

Job Satisfaction

Upward Mobility poor Below Average
Stress Level poor Above Average
Flexibility fair Average

What is the Job Like?

Counselors often work in a private office in a school building, to encourage students to visit and speak freely. Says Smith: “You never know when a child walks into your door what type of issues they’re bringing with them — what issues might be a barrier of learning for them.” For that reason, a counselor’s stress level can vary from day to day. At times, the job can be very intense, particularly as most school counselors consider their profession a calling and feel emotionally invested in their students. “Counselors aren’t taking home papers to grade,” says Smith, “but they are taking home the kid in their hearts.”

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Last updated by Kimberly Palmer.

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