6 Jobs You Can Get With A Degree In School Counseling
Working as a school counselor is undoubtedly a fulfilling career. However, even when you have a degree in the field and plenty of experience, jobs working in a school setting may not always be available. Growth within the field is about average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, meaning that while there are opportunities in the field, it’s not seeing the explosive growth that some other industries are.
That said, enrolling in one of the online school counseling degree programs out there is still a smart career move. Such a degree is surprisingly flexible, and can open up a number of opportunities that you might not have considered. Even if your first choice is to work directly with students in a school setting, these other options can be just as satisfying.
Earning a master’s degree can lead to a wide range of teaching options at different levels. You can put your knowledge and experience in counseling to work teaching at the college level, for example, as many colleges and universities hire master’s level instructors to work as adjuncts. Depending on where you teach, you can earn several thousand dollars per semester for teaching courses online and in-person. Becoming a full-time professor generally requires a doctorate degree, but your school counseling master’s can help you get your foot in the door. If you have experience in teaching, you might also be able to land a job teaching at the high school level, since many high schools offer psychology, child development, and other related courses as electives.
2. School Administrator
Many school counselors can parlay their experience in the field into working as a school administrator. While most elementary and secondary school principals typically need an advanced degree in educational leadership or administration, as well as experience as a teacher, there are ample opportunities for master’s level candidates in college administration. School counselors are uniquely suited to work in student services, admissions, or in registration, helping students successfully navigate their college experience. Growth in this field is faster than average, and salaries are competitive, with the median annual earnings around $88,000 per year.
3. Nonprofit Leader
Many people seek a degree in school counseling because they want to help children. These skills are ideal for working in a nonprofit organization; for example, they might work for nonprofits that help underprivileged or abused children, families in crisis, or other human services agencies. In these roles, you might provide direct counseling services, or assist with program development and public education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, community service and nonprofit management opportunities are growing faster than average, and the median salary is about $63,000 annually.
4. Group and Halfway House Counseling
Counselors are often hired to work in transition or recovery houses to help residents who are transitioning from a rehabilitation facility, incarceration, etc. Counselors help individuals develop the skills they need to transition back into society, including assistance with education and work opportunities. While many counselors in these settings hold an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, master’s level counselors generally serve in director positions. The job outlook for counselors in this capacity is good, with the BLS predicting a 19 percent growth in jobs, but salaries aren’t as high as other areas, with a median pay of about $43,000 annually.
5. Career Counselors
Career counselors help people who are trying to make career decisions, offering services like skills development, education or career guidance, job search help, and aptitude assessments. In a challenging job market, career counselors are in high demand, and can usually find employment with government agencies, independent consulting firms, and employment agencies. Growth is about average in this field at 8 percent, but salaries are competitive at around $55,000 a year.
Research is another viable career option when you have an advanced degree in school counseling. Universities, consulting companies, and government agencies often hire counselors to work in a research capacity. This might include helping develop and administer surveys, leading focus groups, conducting interviews, as well as applying research methods including data collection and statistical analysis and writing reports. The BLS reports that growth in this field is faster than average at 12 percent, and salaries are about average, at around $53,000 per year.
These are just a few of the options for using your school counseling degree if you cannot (or opt not to) find a position working within a school. School counseling is a surprisingly versatile degree, and one that will lead to an exciting and enriching career no matter which path you choose.