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Career Development Professional

Career development professionals advise, coach, inform, and support people as they navigate learning and work transitions throughout the lifespan.

  • Avg. Salary $48,577.00
  • Avg. Wage $25.96
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 2,800
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Career Advisor / Coach / Consultant, Employment Support Worker, Work Development Officer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Employment Counsellors (4213) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Employment Counsellors (E213) 
  • 2011 NOC: Employment counsellors (4156) 
  • 2016 NOC: Employment counsellors (4156) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Career Development Professional is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Employment Counsellors

Interest in consulting to advise employers on human resources and other employment-related issues; in referring clients to appropriate services; in assisting clients with such matters as job readiness skills and job search strategies; and in providing established workers with information on maintaining a job or moving within an organization, dealing with job dissatisfaction or making a career change


Interest in compiling information to collect labour market information for clients regarding job openings, entry and skill requirements and other occupational information; and in administering tests designed to determine interests, aptitudes and abilities


Interest in interpreting test results and identifying barriers to employment; and in providing consulting services to community groups and agencies, businesses and industry, and to other organizations involved in providing community-based career planning resources

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Mar 31, 2020

Career development professionals work with clients of all ages and backgrounds. They help clients discover their preferred future and take steps toward achieving it. To this end they may support clients with:

  • Building self-awareness and labour market awareness
  • Selecting education and training programs
  • Balancing work and other life roles
  • Navigating career transitions and stages
  • Enhancing career satisfaction
  • Finding employment or developing self-employment opportunities
  • Accessing community services that support personal and professional growth
  • Writing resumes, developing portfolios, preparing for interviews, and pursuing other work-search activities

Career development professionals work with clients individually or in groups. They help clients discover and appreciate their unique character traits. They then show them how to link those traits to career choices. To do this, career development professionals may:

  • Use various assessment tools and narrative practices to help clients identify their:
    • Interests
    • Values
    • Beliefs
    • Lifestyle preferences
    • Aptitudes
    • Abilities
  • Help clients relate these discoveries to the world of work, and then develop learning plans and deal with barriers to achieving their career plans
  • Create, develop, and facilitate career management and career decision-making workshops
  • Help employed clients plan their next career move, cope successfully with job dissatisfaction and job loss, or make occupational or job changes
  • Help clients explore labour market information to support realistic employment or self-employment decisions
  • Market clients to potential employers and help clients find job or work experience placements
  • Plan and implement career- and employment-related programs
  • Evaluate the impact of career- and employment-related programs and services on clients’ lives
  • Work with community groups and agencies, employers, training providers, businesses, and other organizations that provide career planning resources
  • Host job and volunteer fairs to connect clients with employers
  • Write reports and proposals, and research information on the internet
  • Perform administrative tasks such as keeping records

For information about school guidance counsellors and counsellors in post-secondary schools, see the Educational Counsellor occupational profile.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Career development professionals work in a variety of settings. However, they most often serve clients in offices where they can hold private interviews. They may also provide group sessions online or in classrooms or boardrooms. Depending on the role, they may do some evening and weekend work.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Career development professionals need:

  • A genuine interest in and respect for people from all walks of life
  • Patience, understanding, and the ability to listen without judgment
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Objectivity, tact, and compassion
  • The ability to motivate and inspire clients
  • Presentation skills and the ability to support communication in groups
  • The ability to work with different clients’ learning styles
  • Organizing and planning skills
  • Strong research skills
  • The ability to gather and clarify complex information
  • Superior critical-thinking and problem-solving skills
  • The emotional stability to deal with adverse situations
  • A sense of responsibility and professionalism

They should enjoy consulting with people and compiling information. They should also enjoy working with clients to develop innovative solutions to problems.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Most career development professionals have post-secondary education in a related discipline. For example, they might have a degree or diploma in psychology, education, social work, or human resources. Increasingly, employers are seeking applicants who have a certificate, diploma, or degree in career development. They may also accept an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Post-secondary schools throughout Alberta offer psychology, education, social work, and human resources programs.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Vancouver College of Counsellor Training

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

On an ongoing basis, career development professionals must keep up to date with changes in educational, occupational and labour market information.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Certification is not mandatory, but may be an asset when seeking employment. The Career Development Association of Alberta grants the Certified Career Development Professional (CCDP) designation to applicants who meet requirements. These include educational, experiential, and ethical requirements.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Career development professionals work for:

  • Provincial and federal government departments
  • Schools (public, separate, and post-secondary)
  • Human resources departments of large organizations
  • Private agencies
  • Not-for-profit organizations

Career development professionals may also be self-employed or work on a contract basis.

Advancement opportunities depend on the nature and size of the employing organization. Roles may include supervising other career development professionals, overseeing daily operations of an employment program, or managing a human resources department. All opportunities are subject to the career development professional’s qualifications.

Career development professionals are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4156: Employment counsellors. In Alberta, 80% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment, especially in the industries listed above
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 4156: Employment counsellors occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.1% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 58 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Salaries for career development professionals vary depending on the organization and the individual’s qualifications.

Employment counsellors

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $18.75 $35.43 $23.41 $22.06
Overall $20.79 $38.32 $25.96 $24.73
Top $21.52 $46.15 $28.21 $28.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Public Administration
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Business, Building and Other Support Services
Educational Services
Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Education and Library Studies
  • Humanities and Languages
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
  • Social, Community and Protective Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Career Development Association of Alberta (CDAA) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2020. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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