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Occupational Profile

Educational Counsellor

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

  • Avg. Salary $62,905.00
  • Avg. Wage $34.93
  • Minimum Education 6 years post-secondary
  • Outlook Up
Also Known As

Career Counsellor/Advisor, College Counsellor, Counsellor/Advisor, Employment Counsellor, Guidance Counsellor, School Counsellor

NOC & Interest Codes
The Educational Counsellor is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Educational Counsellors
NOC code: 4143
SOCIAL

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

INNOVATIVE

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

directive

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

Duties
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Educational counsellors include school guidance counsellors who work in elementary, junior and senior high schools, and university and college counsellors who work in post-secondary schools such as universities, colleges and technical institutes.

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

  • counsel students who are experiencing personal, social, educational or behavioural problems
  • provide career or vocational counselling services which may include administering tests and inventories to help students identify their interests, aptitudes and abilities
  • collect and make available a wide range of educational and occupational information (for example, information about awards, scholarships and financial assistance programs)
  • establish and supervise peer counselling and peer tutoring programs
  • act as a resource for teachers and faculty members involved in helping students or graduates identify and pursue employment opportunities
  • present self-help or information sessions on subjects related to education and career planning
  • help students improve their study habits
  • assist students interested in travel and study programs
  • evaluate the impact of their work on the lives of the students and other clients
  • evaluate the effectiveness of the consulting work they do with teachers and other professionals
  • refer students to appropriate services and agencies when required.

School guidance counsellors also help students select appropriate courses, schedule subjects and choose educational programs. They may have additional teaching duties. They also may be involved in advocating for students and developing new programs related to student development.

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

Educational counsellors work closely with a variety of other professionals. School guidance counsellors work with teachers, speech therapists, school psychologists, social workers and public health nurses. University and college counsellors work co-operatively with instructors and personnel from the Registrar's Office, work experience programs and placement services.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Educational counsellors usually work standard school or office hours but may spend additional evening and weekend hours supervising extracurricular activities, attending meetings, advocating for students, developing workshops or other programs, and planning for their interactions with clients or other professionals. They usually work in office and classroom environments. The work can be emotionally demanding and stressful, particularly when caseloads are high.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Educational counsellors need the following characteristics:

  • a genuine interest in helping people resolve their problems
  • good verbal and written communications skills
  • the ability to listen and comprehend with empathy and understanding, without prejudice or judgment
  • excellent interpersonal skills
  • the creative ability required to develop new programs or ways of doing things
  • the ability to demonstrate the impact of the services they offer
  • good organizational skills
  • a tolerance for ambiguity and an ability to adapt to change quickly.

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

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 19, 2016

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


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.

Educational counsellors who have related master's degrees may become registered psychologists (for more information, see the Psychologist 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).

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Above-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Educational counsellors work for:

  • schools and post-secondary schools
  • correctional facilities
  • government agencies
  • private practices.

Advancement opportunities to administrative positions vary depending on 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 in this occupation will be 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 (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 2,200 Albertans are employed in the Educational counsellors occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 40 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Salaries for educational counsellors vary considerably depending on the employing organization and the counsellor's qualifications.

Counsellors who have teaching certificates are paid according to the same salary grid as elementary and secondary school teachers in their school jurisdictions.

Educational counsellors are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4033: Educational counsellors.

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Educational counsellors occupational group earned on average from $28.39 to $40.65 an hour. The overall average wage was $34.93 an hour. For more information, see the Educational counsellors wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Human and Social Services
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Education and Library Studies
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 19, 2016

Alberta Teachers' Association (ATA) website: www.teachers.ab.ca

The Guidance Council of the Alberta Teachers' Association website: www.guidancecouncil.ca

Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) website: www.ccpa-accp.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 09, 2016. 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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