School/Vocational/Career Counselor  What They Do

Just the Facts


Counsels individuals and provides group educational and vocational guidance services.

This career is part of the Education and Training cluster Professional Support Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Counsels individuals to help them understand and overcome personal, social, or behavioral problems affecting their educational or vocational situations.
  • Provides crisis intervention to students when difficult situations occur at schools.
  • Confers with parents or guardians, teachers, administrators, and other professionals to discuss children's progress, resolve behavioral, academic, and other problems, and to determine priorities for students and their resource needs.
  • Maintains accurate and complete student records as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
  • Prepares students for later educational experiences by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and to persevere with challenging tasks.
  • Identifies cases of domestic abuse or other family problems and encourage students or parents to seek additional assistance from mental health professionals.
  • Evaluates students' or individuals' abilities, interests, and personality characteristics using tests, records, interviews, or professional sources.
  • Counsels students regarding educational issues, such as course and program selection, class scheduling and registration, school adjustment, truancy, study habits, and career planning.
  • Provides special services such as alcohol and drug prevention programs and classes that teach students to handle conflicts without resorting to violence.
  • Conducts follow-up interviews with counselees to determine if their needs have been met.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Academic Adviser -- Provides educational guidance to students who need advice about which courses they should take to meet their educational and career goals.
  • Admissions Director -- Manages and directs the admissions process in a college or university.
  • College Recruiter -- Works to bring new students into a school every semester.
  • Disability Services Coordinator -- Works with students with learning and physical disabilities to develop skills and lifelong learning strategies in overcoming their barriers to learning.
  • Foreign Student Adviser -- Assists foreign students in making academic, personal-social, and environmental adjustment to campus and community life.
  • Internship Coordinator -- Recruits, screens, orients, enrolls, and prepares students to participate in an internship program, which includes work experience with local employers.
  • Life Skills Coach -- Helps people to achieve their goals by improving different actions necessary to take control of future plans.
  • Placement Coordinator -- Negotiates and coordinates field placements or jobs for a job seeker or graduate.
  • Resume Writer -- Prepare resumes, or summaries of the qualifications of an applicant who is searching for a job.
  • School Guidance Counselor -- Provides a comprehensive competency-based counseling program focused on the learning, personal/social and career/vocational needs of all students.
  • School Psychologist -- Applies psychological principles and techniques to educational programs and often address learning and developmental issues, and offer counseling to families.
  • Student Advisor -- Provides information on various student related issues such as the courses on different subjects, scholarships that are provided by state and by private institutions, opportunities in the field of education and the administrative details regarding admissi
  • Transition Specialist -- Helps people adapt to changes in life.