The salary of a guidance counselor is determined by several factors that run into the qualifications, the industry of hire, and the like. In this following CareerStint article, we will go into the details of the factors that influence the salary trends and help you gain a better perspective of the same.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that school guidance counselors brought home an average annual salary of $53,610 in the year 2013. By the year 2022, an 11.9% increase in employment opportunities for guidance counselors are expected. This translates to 31,200 new jobs.
A guidance counselor is an important part of the education system. As the name suggests, she guides and thereby helps the students to take informed decisions with regards to their education and career. Among other things, a guidance counselor needs to be a very patient and an informed professional, because she is responsible for shaping the lives of young individuals (in a way). The work she does requires varied skills which provide for several career opportunities as well. It is important to factor in the guidance counselor pay scale as well. Why is this important to know? Because if any of you are interested in becoming guidance counselors, then it will be imperative for you to learn how much an average guidance counselor salary range grosses.
Average Salary by State
• All figures are as of June 7, 2014 and are calculated in US Dollars.
• These figures are average annual salaries and may vary based on the qualification, experience, location, type of employer, and so on.
Factors Affecting Salary
The guidance counselor pay scale depends on a lot of variables like the institute that they work in (wherein their rules will apply), the field of work (general counseling or specialized career counseling), the specialization (a simple degree or an added work experience), the sum of working years and the sectors (elementary, private, college). All these variables will have a direct effect on the salary range.
Average Salary Range
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salaries for school and career counselors was $53,610 (as of May 2012). This figure is the average sum of wages earned by counselors where some have been earning a higher sum than the others. The people who fell in the top 10% earned more than $86,680, and those that figured in the bottom 10% earned less than $31,920.
Salary Range According to Industries
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has provided a median annual salary figure (as of May 2012) that was earned by the school and career counselors in the top 4 industries in which these counselors worked.
The counselors earned an average figure of $60,560 at the elementary and secondary schools―at the state-level, local-level, and private levels.
The counselors working at government schools earned an average of $50,710.
The counselors in junior colleges, universities, colleges, and professional schools―state, local, and private earned an average salary of $46,630.
The counselors hired at health care and social assistance earned an average salary of $35,590.
- They guide students in choosing a college and career after understanding their needs and capabilities.
- They help students solve their difficulties in academics.
- They might help students with filling out varied forms of different colleges.
- They might be required to counsel the students if they face any personal problems that is affecting their studies.
- They will also hold meetings with the parents to inform them about their ward’s difficulties or progress.
- They hold several study programs that are aimed at helping the students.
- They look after the overall development and counseling of students, dealing with them in groups or individually.
- If psychological or aptitude testing is a part of the school’s curriculum, then they will help develop and administer the tests.
To be a guidance counselor, one needs to have a bachelor’s degree in psychology. If psychology is not the main subject taken, then a degree in either of these will be necessary―counseling, social work, social science, behavioral science, or educational policies. Once the bachelor’s degree has been achieved, one will have to enroll for a master’s degree in a specialized subject like counseling or social work. Depending on the institution, one might also be asked to take up further specializations that concentrate on a select area of psychology. An internship in a school, whereby you can work under a counselor will help one to get a job more easily.
This job provides immense satisfaction and the pay only increases with time. The salary provides one the opportunity to make more than a comfortable living in just a few years. Plus the respect that this job demands in society is comparable to few others.