How to Get a Job as a School Counselor
Despite the projected flux of employment in the industry, competition to land a job will still be high, particularly in various school districts. Smith recommends that prospective counselors begin to think about job placement early in their education. "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 find a way 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)
What is the Job Like?
Most counselors work in a private office in the school, to encourage students to visit and speak freely. And Smith says, "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 day to day. At times, in fact, the job can be very intense, particularly as most school counselors consider their profession a calling and feel emotionally invested in the students they see. "Counselors aren't taking home papers to grade," says Smith, "but they are taking home the kids in their hearts."
Real Reviews From School Counselors
+ "Good pay and benefits. Students are better than general public think. If properly supported, counselors can have a great impact on students' performance." - Chicago Public Schools Guidance Counselor (Chicago, IL)
- "Too much emphasis on discipline and the students are routinely suspended for minor infractions." - Indianapolis Public Schools Guidance Counselor (Indianapolis, IN)
Review information and interview questions supplied by Glassdoor.