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Alberta Supports Contact Centre

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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.

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

  • 4213: Employment Counsellors

2006 NOC-S

  • E213: Employment Counsellors

2011 NOC

  • 4156: Employment counsellors

2016 NOC

  • 4156: Employment counsellors
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
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

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.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Employment Counsellors

2006 NOC: 4213

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
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.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Employment counsellors

2016 NOC: 4156

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 90 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 04, 2021 and Feb 15, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Health benefits: Health care plan
Computer and Technology Knowledge: MS Word
Health benefits: Dental plan
Tasks: Identify barriers to employment and assist clients with such matters as job readiness skills, job search strategies, writing résumés and preparing for job interviews
Tasks: Interview clients to obtain employment history, educational background and career goals
Computer and Technology Knowledge: MS Outlook
Tasks: Collect labour market information for clients regarding job openings, entry and skill requirements and other occupational information
Construction Specialization: Client focus
Computer and Technology Knowledge: MS Excel
Attention to detail
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Minimum Education Varies

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.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

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 Not Regulated

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.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 4156: Employment counsellors occupational group, 82.6% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

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.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2019-2023 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

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

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Employment counsellors

2016 NOC: 4156
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 4156 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $16.50 $36.05 $26.25 $24.50
Overall $19.00 $46.49 $31.01 $26.11
Top $20.50 $47.29 $34.86 $34.00

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Business, Building and Other Support Services
Educational Services
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration

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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