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Details for Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors


Counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.


  • Counsel students regarding educational issues such as course and program selection, class scheduling, school adjustment, truancy, study habits, and career planning.
  • Counsel individuals to help them understand and overcome personal, social, or behavioral problems affecting their educational or vocational situations.
  • Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
  • Confer with parents or guardians, teachers, other counselors, and administrators to resolve students' behavioral, academic, and other problems.
  • Provide crisis intervention to students when difficult situations occur at schools.
  • Identify cases involving domestic abuse or other family problems affecting students' development.
  • Meet with parents and guardians to discuss their children's progress, and to determine their priorities for their children and their resource needs.
  • Prepare students for later educational experiences by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and to persevere with challenging tasks.
  • Encourage students and/or parents to seek additional assistance from mental health professionals when necessary.
  • Observe and evaluate students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
  • Enforce all administration policies and rules governing students.
  • Meet with other professionals to discuss individual students' needs and progress.
  • Provide students with information on such topics as college degree programs and admission requirements, financial aid opportunities, trade and technical schools, and apprenticeship programs.
  • Evaluate individuals' abilities, interests, and personality characteristics using tests, records, interviews, and professional sources.
  • Collaborate with teachers and administrators in the development, evaluation, and revision of school programs.
  • Teach classes and present self-help or information sessions on subjects related to education and career planning.
  • Establish and enforce behavioral rules and procedures to maintain order among students.
  • Conduct follow-up interviews with counselees to determine if their needs have been met.
  • Attend professional meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops, in order to maintain and improve professional competence.
  • Prepare reports on students and activities as required by administration.
  • Plan and conduct orientation programs and group conferences to promote the adjustment of individuals to new life experiences such as starting college.
  • Assess needs for assistance such as rehabilitation, financial aid, or additional vocational training, and refer clients to the appropriate services.
  • Instruct individuals in career development techniques such as job search and application strategies, resume writing, and interview skills.
  • Address community groups, faculty, and staff members to explain available counseling services.
  • Attend staff meetings, and serve on committees as required.
  • Compile and study occupational, educational, and economic information to assist counselees in determining and carrying out vocational and educational objectives.
  • Provide information for teachers and staff members involved in helping students or graduates identify and pursue employment opportunities.
  • Review transcripts to ensure that students meet graduation or college entrance requirements, and write letters of recommendation.
  • Refer students to degree programs based on interests, aptitudes, or educational assessments.
  • Provide special services such as alcohol and drug prevention programs, and classes that teach students to handle conflicts without resorting to violence.
  • Provide disabled students with assistive devices, supportive technology, and assistance accessing facilities such as restrooms.
  • Observe children during classroom and play activities to gain additional information about them.
  • Interview clients to obtain information about employment history, educational background, and career goals, and to identify barriers to employment.
  • Establish and supervise peer counseling and peer tutoring programs.
  • Plan and promote career and employment-related programs such as work-experience programs.
  • Refer qualified counselees to employers or employment services for job placement.
  • Sponsor extracurricular activities such as clubs, student organizations, and academic contests.
  • Perform administrative duties such as hall and cafeteria monitoring, and bus loading and unloading.
  • Provide information to businesses regarding human resource and employment issues.


  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
  • Training - Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
  • Experience - Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.


  • Philosophy and Theology - Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.


  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Related Careers

  • Child, Family, and School Social Workers
  • Health Educators
  • Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists
Wages for this career
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