Counselors

Pros


  • Those who believe that helping others is their life’s goal should do very well as a counselor.
  • This type of work is good for those who like problem solving activities. Often times you may need to consider solutions for people
  • The day to day activities for someone in this field will vary. Because of this every day will bring new challenges.

Cons

  • Many of the people you will have to work with have serious problems and as a result may be under considerable stress.
  • Counselors usually have to work around the schedules of others. They must be very accommodating in terms of their work hours.
  • Becoming a counselor usually requires a master’s degree and some sort of state licensing in order to get a job.

Overview

Counselors are professionals who provide support to people that are experiencing problems in their lives. This is a broad generalization, as the type of problems that could require the expertise of a counselor is diverse. Some people may have mental health problems, while others are dealing with substance abuse issues or a disability. Other problems could involve a death of a loved one, a divorce or traumatic events.
There are a lot of different problems that counselors are charged with treating, and because of this they need to stay abreast of current trends in their field. Often times they will continue their education for much of the time that they are working. This educational aspect of counseling leads to most counselors taking what is known as an occupational specialty. This involves treating a specific subset of the human population. Because of this, many counselors will work in vastly different treatments that some of their other colleagues.
Quite often, counselors are found working in educational institutions. They work with students on their career choices, as well as provide support to those who are having family problems. Another work environment would be a large health organization. There are a lot of different counselors in hospitals, and they may be providing support for substance abuse or for serious injury. Employment counselors will work with those who have on the job problems or are facing unemployment. Mental health counselors work in facilities to help treat patients dealing with mental problems.

Education

The work of a counselor requires quite a bit of education. This job requires a college education, so doing well in high school is a must. Once completing high school, prospective counselors will need to complete an undergraduate psychology or human services program. To get a job, counselors then need to complete a master’s degree program and then become state licensed. These two go together, as to become state licensed one must complete a master’s degree program in order to begin looking for employment.

Job Prospects

There is expected to be faster than average growth for counselors. As this is a field that involves a good amount of specialties, there are some subsets of this occupation that will grow more than others. The specialties that will have the largest amount of growth are mental health, substance abuse and rehabilitation concentrations. Those who are planning to train in these areas, as well as those who are willing to work in rural areas can expect the best prospects.

Advancement Opportunities

Those who are the most highly trained, as well as those who are in the specialties that are in the highest demand can expect the best advancement opportunities. Quite often, those who wish to quickly move up the ladder will find that self-employment is the best option. While this requires some degree of business acumen, those who are able to run their own counseling business with a steady stream of clients as customers can expect to have a lucrative and satisfying career.