One of the most fulfilling jobs that a person can take on is that of a school counselor. When you work as a school counselor, you serve in a supportive capacity for students who are dealing with emotional issues and other challenges in life. You may have to help a student deal with the emotional turmoil that he or she feels over the divorce of his or her parents. You may help a student deal with constant bullying that he or she experiences from other students at the school. It is your job to make sure that the student is able to keep up with his or her schoolwork amidst emotional chaos. You also serve as a confidant for the student. Maybe you have wondered, "How do I become a school counselor?" When you want to become a school counselor, it is important for you to get the necessary certifications.
What's it like to be a school counselor?
When you are a school counselor, you help create the conditions that are necessary to a student's success. You care about the student's success in his or her emotional, social and academic life. You are an important part of the administration for a school. Your work helps to create a safe learning environment for all of the students in a school. You also work with teachers to understand the struggles that students face in the classroom. You may have to help in designing a study plan that can accommodate a student with special needs or emotional issues. It is also your job to meet with students on a daily basis. You may offer students a form of emotional therapy, or you may simply check in with students to make sure that they are completing all of their course requirements. Being a school counselor is a fulfilling way to have a positive impact in the life of a student. You act as the supportive rock for a student who may be going through emotional turmoil.
If you want to become a school counselor, then you should obtain an undergraduate degree in psychology, sociology or education. You should try to take courses that focus upon counseling in the educational system. You should also try to obtain internships in local schools during your time in college. When you have an internship, you are able to observe the work that counselors do on a daily basis. You can also volunteer for children's camps or phone hotlines in order to gain experience in helping individuals overcome difficult emotional issues. After you complete an undergraduate program, you will then need to take a state certification exam. You should try to find out what the requirements for a state certification exam are.
Salary & How to Get a Job
According to the BLS, the average salary of a school counselor is about $53,000 a year. A school counselor will be able to earn a higher salary if he or she has a doctoral degree or master's degree. When you want to get a job as a school counselor, it is important for you to network with individuals in local schools. You should try to get to know the faculty members and administration of elementary schools, because they may ultimately be the ones in a position to hire you.