The salary of a high school counselor can definitely be as rewarding as the job itself. Here’s a look into the figures as well as the duties this job entails to help you decide whether this is the field for you.
You were a teen who had her/his share of teenage problems and resolved to help all other teens in distress some day. Then, you decided the best way to do this is to become a high school counselor. A very professionally and personally rewarding career, this job is for anyone who has a sympathetic ear, is patient, and simply understands everything that teenagers go through in the academic, social, and personal realm.
Having been someone who has been there, done that, it may be easier for you to relate to these problems. However, only job satisfaction (though highly sought after) is not enough. You need to earn a good salary while helping out troubled high school kids with their problems too. Let’s find out how much you can earn as a counselor at high school, after which we will take a look at your duties in detail.
The average salary of a high school counselor stands at around US $51,000 per year, a figure that may vary based on the city you work in and your experience. With the employment opportunities in the field increasing rapidly, it is a great career choice to make at this point in time. It is also likely that there will be an increase in the duties involved, thereby leading to an increase in their employment opportunities.
Students in high school tend to face a multitude of problems. Not every student may have troubles, but there are many who do face problems managing their studies, and their social and personal lives. It is then your job to help them come through by giving them continuous guidance and counseling. In some cases, you may specialize in any one area and help students facing troubles in those areas, such as academics, career counseling, or personal problems.
It is your job to help students understand themselves in various respects. For instance, you may help them identify their interests and abilities in terms of choosing a career, guiding them toward gaining admission to the right college, choosing a major, and fulfilling the admission requirements necessary to get into the college. On the other hand, you may help them with charting out methods in which they should study to improve their academic performance, helping students deal with drug abuse and related problems, or help them handle peer pressure. You may also train them to develop healthy social skills. The prime job of a high school counselor is to give sound advice. Whether this advice is specific to one area or encompasses several areas depends on your education, experience, and your personal interest.
To become a licensed counselor, you will have to complete a master’s degree program. In this period, you will be taught how to help students facing various problems. This may include areas such as resolving conflicts, methods of academic advancement, choosing and planning a suitable career, and even education about substance abuse. While these are some of the areas, there is a lot more that is covered in the education necessary for this job.
To be an effective high school counselor, you will be required to display certain important skills. While those of sympathy and patience have already been mentioned, there are several more areas that require good skills. These include keeping yourself aware of all the latest happenings in the field of counseling and tutoring so that you may give out appropriate advice. You should also be aware of the best colleges for various career choices, as well as the demand for a particular career choice that a student may want to make.
You will have to learn how to get a student to open up, as some students are very withdrawn and do not like sharing anything. In such cases, so that you can help the student, this is an important skill you will have to develop. You will have to maintain tact in dealing with parents of students, and reassure them of the improvement their child may be showing. Alternately, you may have to involve them in the counseling process for maximum benefit to the student.
With this overview on the salary and duties of a high school counselor, you can decide whether you would like to enter the field. Remember, a lot of advancements can be made in this field where you can specialize, so that your job and salary prospects increase. Keep working hard and you are bound to get results.