Counselor Salary


Quick Look: Counselor at a Glimpse

  • Professional person, who provides support and counselling to their clients so as to enable them to overcome the challenges.
  • Hourly Wages: $34.77
  • Yearly Salary: $27, 280
  • Type of Service: Professional
  • Tasks: Listening to the concerns of the clients, undertaking personal therapy, keeping records, etc.

Counselor: An Introduction

A counselor provides support and counselling to the clients in various areas, such as education, elementary and high school, vocational, mental health, rehabilitation, substance abuse and behavioural disorders, marriage and family. For becoming a counselor, you need to be a good listener. The salary of these professionals depends upon the geographic location or the workplace, their area of specialization, as well as their educational qualification.

Facts and Figures

As per the data collected by the ‘Bureau of Labor Statistics’, hourly wages of a Counselor in May 2009 were $34.77. However, per hour wages vary according to the area of specialization of the Counselor.

As per the reports of the BLS, the annual salary of social and human service assistants in May 2008 was $27,280. The average yearly salary of vocational, educational and school Counselors was $51,050.

Salary as per Industry

Salary of Counselors as per various industries is as follows:

  • Colleges, universities and professional schools: $43,980
  • Junior colleges: $50,440
  • Elementary and secondary schools: $57,800
  • Individual and family services: $33,780

How Much Does Counselors Make Yearly?

According to the estimations of the BLS, the average annual salary for substance abuse and behavioural disorder Counselors in May 2008 was $37,030.

  • General medical and surgical hospitals: $44,130
  • Local government: $41,660
  • Individual and family services: $35,210
  • Outpatient care centers: $36,650
  • Residential mental retardation, mental health and substance facilities: $31,300

Per annum income of a mental health Counselor in May 2008 was $36,810. The pay scale of these professionals in other industries is as follows:

  • Individual and family services: $36,130
  • Local government:$45,510
  • Outpatient care centers: $37,590
  • Offices of other health practitioners: $40,880
  • Residential mental retardation, mental health and substance abuse facilities: $29,950

Per year salary for rehabilitation Counselors was $30,930, in May 2008. Industry-wise pay is as follows:

  • Local government: $38,800
  • State government: $45,350
  • Individual and family services: $28,290
  • Vocational rehabilitation services: $29,060
  • Residential mental retardation, mental health and substance facilities: $25,950

As per the reports of the ‘Bureau of Labor Statistics’, the yearly salary for marriage and family Counselors in the year 2008 was $44,590.

  • Local government: $48,220
  • State government: $50,770
  • Offices of other health practitioners: $41,220
  • Individual and family services: $39,690

Duties and Responsibilities

  • The main duties of a Counselor include career and education advice, mental support and abuse treatment.
  • They establish and maintain a relationship of respect and trust with clients.
  • A Counselor studies and evaluates the condition of a client and provides necessary feedback and advice in order to combat the tough situations.
  • These professionals provide counselling either individually or in groups.
  • They address the problems of the clients in the focused and structured manner.
  • They maintain records and track the progress of their clients.

Essential Requirements

The licensing and educational requirements to become a Counselor largely depend on the state, where you desire to practice. However, a master’s degree in social work, psychology or counselling is required to pursue your dreams. You can do specialization in any of the following fields:

  • Substance abuse counselling
  • Marriage and family counselling
  • Community counselling
  • Mental health counselling
  • Career counselling
  • Student affairs counselling
  • School counselling

Future Prospects

Job prospects for a Counselor are likely to increase by 18 percent between 2008 and 2018. The demand for these professionals will grow especially in rural areas in the near future. They may find jobs in schools, recruitment agencies, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, health and welfare agencies, etc. After gaining some experience, you can go for private practice.

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