Counselors assist clients with a host of personal issues ranging from mental health to career redirection. Most counselors carry a caseload and meet with their clients on a regular basis. The role of the counselor is to help clients manage their problems and find solutions while offering them support.
Skill Set: In general, most counselors have a very specific skill set that enables them to effectively perform the duties of their work. Counselors are personable, good listeners, non-judgmental and genuine. Organization and the ability to work both independently and as part of a team are important attributes as well.
Education: The majority of counselors hold a master’s degree or higher. The master’s degree is often the minimum requirement to obtain licensure in most states. In addition, a practicum and internship are also required. However, certain specialty counselors, such as substance abuse counselors, can earn certification through a two-year program. Programs and requirements vary by location, so it is critical that potential students research their options within the realm of their state.
Career Path: Earning an undergraduate degree is often the first step in becoming a counselor, unless the student is seeking a specific certification in a two or four year program. Most counselors earn degrees in human services, psychology or education. After obtaining a graduate degree, a number of counselors may go on to earn their doctorate as well.