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Educational Counsellor

Educational counsellors advise students on educational, personal, and career-related issues. They co-ordinate counselling services for students, parents, and teachers.

  • Avg. Salary $62,470.00
  • Avg. Wage $35.62
  • Minimum Education 6 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 2,000
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Career Advisor, (Career / College / Employment / Guidance / School / University) Counsellor

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: Educational Counsellors (4143) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Educational Counsellors (E133) 
  • 2011 NOC: Educational counsellors (4033) 
  • 2016 NOC: Educational counsellors (4033) 
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 Educational Counsellor is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Educational Counsellors

Interest in mentoring in order to counsel students on personal and social issues such as substance abuse, depression, sexuality, eating disorders, anxiety, self-esteem, family problems, relationship and interpersonal skills, and anger management; and in crisis situations such as dealing with the death of a friend or family member, suicidal tendencies and abuse situations


Interest in co-ordinating information to provide counselling and information services to students, parents, teachers, faculty and staff on matters related to student orientation, career or vocational issues, professional development, co-op and school-to-work transition programs, and interaction with other educational institutions


Interest in administering and interpreting standardized intelligence, personality, vocational, aptitude and interest tests, and in supervising peer counselling programs in school settings; may supervise field experience for graduate students in counselling; may teach regular classes

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

Educational counsellors include school guidance counsellors and university and college counsellors. School guidance counsellors work in elementary, junior, and senior high schools while university and college counsellors work in post-secondary schools and technical institutes.

Educational counsellors work with individual students and student groups. In general, they:

  • Counsel students who have personal, social, educational, or behavioural problems, with a focus on overall wellness
  • Provide career or vocational counselling services, such as conducting tests and inventories to help students identify their interests, aptitudes, and abilities
  • Collect and make available a wide range of information about occupations, required education, and financial assistance (such as awards and scholarships)
  • Establish and supervise peer-counselling and peer-tutoring programs
  • Act as a resource for teachers and faculty members who are involved in helping their students and graduates find employment
  • Present self-help or information sessions on subjects related to education and career planning
  • Help students improve their study habits
  • Help students research travel-and-study programs
  • Assess the impact of their work on students and other clients
  • Assess the success of their work with teachers and other professionals
  • Refer students to appropriate services and agencies when required
  • Develop and maintain community partnerships with social agencies

School guidance counsellors also help students choose programs and courses to fit their goals and schedule classes. They may have teaching duties, as well. They may advocate for individual students or student groups. They also may create programs to support student development.

Counsellors in secondary and post-secondary schools may supervise work experience programs for students.

Educational counsellors work closely with various other professionals. School guidance counsellors work with teachers, speech therapists, school psychologists, social workers, and public health nurses. University and college counsellors work with instructors and personnel from the registrar’s office, work experience programs, and placement services.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Educational counsellors usually work standard school or office hours. However, they often spend time during evenings and weekends supervising extracurricular activities, attending meetings, and advocating for students. Counsellors may spend extra hours developing workshops or other programs, and planning for meetings with students, parents, or other professionals. They tend to work in offices and classrooms. The work can be emotionally demanding and stressful, especially when caseloads are high.

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

Educational counsellors need:

  • An interest in helping people resolve their problems
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • The creative skills to develop new programs or new ways of doing things
  • Organizational skills
  • A tolerance for ambiguity and an ability to adapt to change quickly
  • The ability to listen with empathy and understanding, without prejudice or judgment
  • The ability to keep clear, ethical boundaries
  • The ability to show the impact of the services they offer

They should enjoy counselling students, co-ordinating information, and developing innovative approaches to problems. They should be comfortable administering and interpreting standardized tests.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Educational counsellors need a master’s degree in educational psychology, applied psychology, or counselling.

Educational counsellors who have a master’s degree with related courses may become registered psychologists. For more information, see the Psychologist occupational profile. Career advisors who work in educational settings do not require a related master’s degree. For more information, see the Career Development Professional occupational profile.

Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.

Gonzaga University

Related Education

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

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Educational counsellors work for:

  • Primary, secondary, and post-secondary schools
  • Correctional facilities
  • Government agencies
  • Private practices

Opportunities to advance to administrative positions vary. Factors include the size and nature of the employing organization and the counsellor’s qualifications.

In Alberta, 99% of people employed as educational counsellors work in the Educational Services [pdf] industry.

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 Educational Services industry)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 4033: Educational counsellors occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.4% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 39 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 39 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.

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 educational counsellors vary. Factors include the size and type of employing organization and the counsellor’s qualifications.

Counsellors with teaching certificates are paid according to the same salary grid as primary and secondary school teachers in their school jurisdictions. For more information see, the Elementary School Teacher and Secondary School Teacher occupational profiles.

Educational 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 $16.35 $35.83 $29.26 $29.50
Overall $19.23 $49.24 $35.62 $35.95
Top $21.63 $62.84 $41.72 $39.47

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
Educational Services

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
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) website:

The Guidance Council of the Alberta Teachers’ Association website:

Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) 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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