An admissions counselor works in an educational setting, usually a college or university, to publicize their institution and recruit students to apply. They also help students through the admissions process.
Admissions counselors work with other departments of their institution to make sure that the admissions process runs smoothly. In order to become an admissions counselor, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree.
Why Become An Admissions Counselor
Colleges and universities often have a competitive admissions process for gaining entry into their schools. The admissions team has the responsibility of deciding who is admitted into the school. They have a variety of different responsibilities. They work closely with other departments at the college or university, such as the financial aid department, communications offices, deans offices, and more.
There are many factors to consider in admissions. Some of the factors that go into admissions decisions are GPA rankings, test scores, class rankings, courses taken, and more. Other factors include financial aid, geographic areas, legacy status, socioeconomic status, and more. Admissions teams often have certain quotas they have to meet for each class year, such as admitting a certain number of students, accepting a certain number, and more. Admissions counselors can sometimes work at other types of institutions, such as elite private elementary and high schools.
Admissions counselors travel to schools looking for potential students. They attend college fairs and host panels to talk to prospective students about their college. They talk to potential students about the benefits of their university, what academics are offered, clubs, student life, and more. They keep in touch with students and guide them through the admissions process. They are also part of the admissions process at their institution.
Admissions Counselors should possess the following qualities and skills:
Admissions Counselor Work Environment
Admissions counselors work in a variety of educational settings, including colleges, universities, elementary and high schools. Some admissions counselors are self-employed. They work in an office setting. Much of their time is spent gathering data on who is likely to want to apply and be admitted to their school.
They collect contact information, such as names, emails, and telephone numbers. As an admissions counselor, much of the job involves traveling. Admissions counselors are usually assigned to a particular area of the country for recruiting.
Their job involves traveling to schools in their assigned area, meeting with students, going to college fairs, classroom visits, taking individual appointments with students, and more. Admissions counselors keep in contact with students throughout the admissions process and attempt to recruit them to their school.
Admissions Counselor Salary
The median annual salary for admissions counselors was $56,000 in 2017, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are many factors that go into determining salary for admissions counselors. Universities set the salaries according to the budget. Private and public universities offer different salaries for their admissions counselors.
In some cases, the area of the country where you work may be a factor in your salary. Counselors who work in the Northeastern and New England areas tend to earn higher salaries than those in other regions of the United States. Additional experience and education may help earn a higher salary.
Admissions Counselor Career Outlook
Employment for admissions counselors is expected to grow by 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than most occupations in the United States. This will contribute to approximately 37,000 new jobs over the next 10 years in this field. As admissions gets more competitive, parents are willing to seek out admissions counselors for support with getting into their school of choice.
At the same time, schools are hiring admissions teams to market their school and recruit students. This most often happens at the college and university level, where admissions teams are needed to recruit students to their college.
Often private schools hire admissions teams as well for recruiting students. As enrollment grows, schools will need to hire more admissions counselors to oversee their admissions process and work with individual students.
Admissions Counselor Degree
The first step to becoming an admissions counselor is earning a bachelor’s degree. There is not any specific program that you have to take to become a counselor. However, programs in school counseling, counseling, psychology, or related programs may be helpful in gaining insight into this career. It takes four years to receive a bachelor’s degree.
It is very beneficial to get experience in this field. One way to do this is through volunteering or internship work. While you are enrolled in an undergraduate program, many colleges and universities allow students to volunteer for the office of admissions. This is one way to see if admissions work is something you may be interested in.
Admissions Counselor Coursework
Below we have listed some of the courses that a person may take if they enroll in a program in counseling, school counseling, or a related program.
School Counseling: This class focuses on the practice of professional school counseling. Students will learn about the developing role of school counselor, from an ethical, sociological and legal perspective, and the role of school counselors in society.
Interviewing Skills: Students will learn practical interview skills in this course. They will learn about the counseling process and the core elements of the admissions counseling relationship. They will develop basic counseling skills.
Career Readiness Counseling: In this course, students will learn how to facilitate career development for students who are applying for admission. They will learn about career education and other systems that assist students in academic and career decision making. These, in turn, help students with their choices for college and university decision making. The course focuses on the role of counselors as advocates for achievement of all students.
Admissions Counselor Career Path
Admissions counselors are an entry-level position into the career field of admissions. They can be found at the university and college level, or even in elementary or high school admissions. It is very common for admissions counselors to stay in their position for a short period of time before switching to something else. Some admissions counselors move to a different department within the institution, or move up in the admissions department.
Director of Admissions
A director of admissions is the manager of a college or university admissions department.
Their responsibilities include overseeing all of the staff within the admissions department, including the admissions counselors, overseeing the admission of students who apply to the college, and being sure that admissions standards are adhered to.
A director of admissions must have a master’s degree and several years of experience working in an admissions setting.
This is a good position for somebody who has worked in admissions for several years and wants to take on a greater supervisory role. The salary for director of admissions is also much higher.
Related Admissions Counselor Careers
School counselor: A school counselor is situated in an educational setting, and they give advice to students on everything from career advice to psychotherapy.
High School Teachers: High school teachers teach a variety of subjects to adolescents, specializing in everything from math to science to English.
Marriage and Family Therapist: A marriage and family therapist works with couples and families on their own struggles.