career advisor

What does a Career Advisor do?

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A career advisor listens to a customer’s career aspirations and advises them on the education and experience needed. For example, if a customer doesn’t know what career they are interested in, the advisor will help them in their discovery. Watch a video to learn what a career advisor does.

How to Become a Career Advisor

career advisor

Though there is no formal educational requirement to become a career counselor, most employers look for candidates that have a master’s degree in a related such as counseling with a focus on career development. According to O*NET OnLine, over 90% of the career counselors surveyed held a master’s degree.

Master’s degree programs in counseling with a focus on career development will prepare you to access clients’ skills and interests. Coursework may include communication courses, psychology, microcomputer applications, and theory classes. Most degree programs require students to have a period of supervised experience or an internship. Although some employers prefer it, licensure is not required by every state for a career advisor.

Job Description of a Career Advisor

Career advisors have career exploration discussions with clients to narrow down the type of career the individual is interested in. If the client isn’t sure of their career path, they often give career interest tests or career aptitude test to help with the discovery process. They will work to evaluate a client’s background, training, and education in order to help the client develop realistic career goals as well.

These advisors may also teach various classes or workshops such as how to write a resume, prepare for an interview, the basics of networking, and how to search for a job online. Career advisors often work full-time and primarily work during the week. Colleges, job centers, businesses, and government agencies hire career advisors. Their work is usually in an office setting and they are in constant interaction with clients. Because they motivate and guide individuals on a daily basis, they must be good listeners, patience, and empathy.

Benefits of a Career Advisor

Career advisors derive great satisfaction from their work, particularly in assisting individuals in making informed career choices and helping them secure rewarding positions. Witnessing their clients’ happiness in their new jobs is a source of fulfillment. They relish the opportunity to interact with diverse individuals facing unique career challenges. While their work hours often align with school schedules, flexibility is possible to accommodate clients’ availability, with summer hours varying.

Career advisors enjoy a comfortable indoor work environment unaffected by inclement weather. Collaborating with fellow professionals like teachers and administrators is a common aspect of their role. Standard benefits such as health insurance, sick leave, and vacation days are typically provided. Their pivotal role in guiding students and job seekers towards promising career paths underscores the importance of their profession.

Career Counselor Video Transcript

Supporting success through the lifespan, school and career counselors help individuals navigate their school years from grade school to graduation, college or training, or throughout their lifelong employment experience. From elementary through high school, school counselors work with students and their families, school staff, and the community to create an environment that promotes academic success and positive social interaction. They help students deal with personal issues that affect their school experience, and provide crisis intervention when needed.

School counselors keep detailed records to meet laws and district policies, and help students with disabilities get accommodations. They also help ensure students take all required classes and plan for college or careers after graduation. Career counselors help clients explore career options and teach them the process of searching for a job. They administer career assessments, teach individuals and groups how to write a résumé, interview for jobs, and resolve workplace issues.

Career counselors work in colleges, non-profit organizations, government employment services, and in private practice. Most school and career counselors work full time; those who work in schools may have summers off. School counselors typically need a master’s degree in school counseling, and a state license or certification. Some states require teaching credentials as well. Career counselor positions often require a master’s degree in counseling with a focus on career development. Some states require licensure.

Article Citations

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, School and Career Counselors.
  • National Center for O*NET Development. 21-1012.00. O*NET OnLine.
  • The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
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