Planning out your career path and getting a job can be a full-time job in and of itself!

Charlie from It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia explaining why he can't find a job

That's where a career counsellor comes in.

Their actual full-time job is to help others discover their passion and make it a reality!

What Does A Career Counsellor Do?

A career counsellor is a combination of:

  • Counsellor - career path planning and mental wellness development

  • Coach - job search, resume writing, and interview prep

  • Cheerleader - words of encouragement to keep clients on track

Pie chart showing that the job is equal parts coach, counsellor, and cheerleader

What Does A Typical Day Look Like?

On any given day you might:

  • Administer an aptitude test to a client and discuss the results

  • Counsel a client about their fear of failure and offer encouragement

  • Provide a client with a writing exercise to try before their next session

  • Assist a client with how to overcome their greatest weakness

  • Provide feedback on a client's resume layout or interview style

  • Suggest that a client take a public speaking course

Season 17 Episode 22 GIF by The Simpsons

A career counsellor is there as a guide: the client still needs to put in the work!


What would a career counsellor NOT do for their clients?

What Kind Of Experience Do I Need?

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Exact requirements will vary between countries, regions, and jobs, but you can expect to obtain at minimum a bachelor's degree (or post-graduate certificate) in one of the following fields:

  • Behavioural Science

  • Social Science

  • Human Resources

Practical experience is also essential, either through an academic program, volunteer opportunity, or internship.

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Depending on the specific job and location, other requirements may include:

  • A Master's degree in counselling

  • Passing a licensing exam

  • Additional certifications to stay up-to-date in the field

Where Might A Career Counsellor Work?

Flaticon Icon In a school setting (secondary or post-secondary)

Clients will be students looking for career search guidance as they get closer to graduation.

Flaticon Icon At a not-for-profit

Clients will be connected with your services or seek you out because they are unemployed or searching for a low-cost counselling option

Flaticon Icon For a private company

Clients will generally seek out your services because they are looking to shift gears in their career.

Flaticon Icon As a private practitioner

You get to choose your target client demographic.

You would likely work for an employer to gain experience and credibility before pursuing an independent path.

What Can I Expect To Earn?

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The annual salary for a career counsellor in Canada ranges from $39,000 to $69,000 (CAD).

Average: $50,187

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The annual salary for a career counsellor in the USA ranges from $34,000 to $63,000 (USD).

Average: $45,841

You'll Love It If You...

  • Enjoy working one-on-one with clients

  • Are a creative problem solver:every client is unique

  • Are ok with an open-ended workflow: some clients will see you once, others for many sessions

Amy Adams saying,

Look For Another Career Path If You...

  • Prefer to work on your own

  • Can't stand it if there isn't a clear right or wrong approach

  • Operate best under specific timelines

A woman saying,

Take Action

Do you:

Man wearing red sweater expressing excitement and standing in front of a blue brick wall

If those points made you feel this excited then a career in career counselling may be right for you!


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