Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors
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Overview
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Advise and assist students and provide educational and vocational guidance services.
Titles for this career often contain these words
CounselorCareerAdvisorSpecialistCoordinatorDevelopmentGuidanceEmploymentSchoolStudentVocationalCoachServicesAdviserOffenderAcademicConsultantTransitionSupervisorJobDirectorDeveloperEducationEducationalHighWorkforceRehabilitationAdvisementAdmissionsAdultArticulationOfficerFacilitatorTechnicalChildCollegeCurriculumElementaryTrainerTrainingEnrollmentExtensionCourseForeignFutureFarmersAmericaFFAInternshipLifeSkillsOESRetentionProgramManagerOWDPMOWDSOutplacementPlacementPupilPersonnelWorkerResidenceResumeWriterAdjustmentSpecialSupportStudentsOkayWithoutDrugsAlcoholSODAStudyAbroadTeacherEvaluatorExaminer
Education
About 61% of educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors have a graduate-level education, and 85% have at least a bachelor's degree.
Education attained by educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with graduate degrees
More educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors have graduate degrees than 95% of other careeers.
Employment
Workforce size
Educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors, with 324,500 workers, form a larger workforce than 84% of careers.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors are expected to grow by 8%, and should have about 37,300 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors are less likely to be automated than 90% of other careers.
Salaries
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors compare to other jobs' salaries?
Distribution: What salary can you expect?
See what most educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors earn.
$57K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Gender
Women account for 76% of educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors -- that's a larger percentage than 85% of other jobs.
Gender of educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors, the median men's salary was 1% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 26% of educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors are minority, and 8% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (8%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. Blue indicates low density, with lighter shades moving to yellow indicating higher numbers working in this profession.
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Benefits
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs?
Context: Employer offers health insurance
Context: Employer offers a pension plan
Context: workers are union members
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (89%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (75%)
  • Time Pressure (48%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (41%)
  • Deal With Physically Aggressive People (36%)
  • Consequence of Error (34%)
SOURCES:
Salary and diversity
What do educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides company-reported job titles and corresonding salaries. This data excludes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors (BLS Salary Data)
$57K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$57K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
The American Community Survey (ACS) asks individuals to report their occupation and salary, and as such includes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors (ACS Salary Data)
$47K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$47K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Counselors: Inflation-adjusted salary trend
This job's median $48KAll jobs' median $45K$47K$44K070809101112131415161718$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors.
Employers of Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors (ACS)
Private for-profit (25.4%)
Private not-for-profit (27.1%)
Local government (20.3%)
State government (20.8%)
Federal government (2.2%)
Self-employed incorporated (1.6%)
Self-employed not incorporated (2.6%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$47K$57K$50K$42K$43K$58K$55K$48K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000$120,000Self-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedFederal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$57K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000All

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Salary growth for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? The higher a job's experience quotient, the more experience is rewarded with pay increases. Jobs in the green range have the best rewards with experience.

Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

Salary distribution
$51K$54K$54K$54K$53K$52K$44K$38K$26K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Number employed
010K20K30K40K50K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors and gender

With 76% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 85% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
76%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors
Men (24%)
Women (76%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 19%. The situation is better for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors, with the median salary for men only 0.7% higher than the median salary for women.

$47K$48K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary for all but about 20 jobs in which women typically earn more than men. Educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors have one of the smaller inequity calculations, with the increase for men's median salary over women's median salary in this job lower than that for 90% of other jobs.

1%0%20%40%60%80%100%

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Race and origin of educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors

Here we check out the diversity of origin in this career. There is a higher percentage of minority educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors than for 74% of other careers. While this career employs many minorities, it employs a relatively small number of foreign-born people.

Race/origin of educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors
White (71% )
Black (19% )
Other (3% )
Multiracial (3% )
Asian (3% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
26%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
8%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$40K$43K$43K$44K$48K$49K$49K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KAmerican IndianOtherBlackMultiracialHispanicWhiteAsian
Distribution: Salaries for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors by nativity
$46K$47K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 18% part-time workers, this occupation has a higher percentage of part-time workers than 63% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
18%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

The salary distributions for full-time and part-time educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors is shown following.

$15K$47K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KPart-time workersFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education attained by educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors typically hold a master's degree.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.

Details: Education and training recommended for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors

Nearly all states and the District of Columbia require school counselors to have a master’s degree in school counseling or a related field. Degree programs teach counselors the essential skills of the job, such as how to foster academic development; conduct group and individual counseling; work with parents, school staff, and community organizations; and use data to develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive school counseling programs for all students. These programs often require counselors to complete an internship.

Some employers prefer that career counselors have a master’s degree in counseling with a focus on career development. Career counseling programs prepare students to assess clients’ skills and interests and to teach career development techniques.

Many master’s degree programs in counseling require students to have a period of supervised experience, such as an internship.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors

Public school counselors must have a state-issued credential to practice. This credential can be called a certification, a license, or an endorsement, depending on the state. Licensure or certification typically requires a master’s degree in school counseling, an internship or practicum completed under the supervision of a licensed professional school counselor, and successful completion of a test.

Some states require applicants to have classroom teaching experience, or to hold a teaching license, prior to being certified. Most states require a criminal background check as part of the credentialing process. Information about requirements for each state is available from the American School Counselor Association.

Some states require licensure for career counselors; check with your state for more information. Contact information for state regulating boards is available from the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Education attained by educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors? Below we see the distribution of educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors salaries based on the education attained.

$33K$33K$36K$40K$53K$60K$62K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KHigh School (4%)Some College (7%)Associate's/Cert. (4%)Bachelor's Degree (24%)Master's Degree (56%)Professional Degree (2%)Doctorate (3%)

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

College majors held by educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors

This table shows the college majors held by people working as educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Percentage of Educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
The link between degrees and careers

With the following sankey diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. We hope this provides ideas for similar jobs and similar fields of study.

Elementary and Middle Sch...Specialized Social Worker...Specialized ManagersEducational, Guidance, an...Specialized PsychologistsLawyers, and judges, magi...Postsecondary TeachersRegistered NursesLabor Relations Specialis...Education and childcare a...Secondary School TeachersSpecial Education Teacher...Preschool and Kindergarte...Teaching AssistantsFirst-Line Supervisors of...Secretaries and Administr...Child, Family, and School...Healthcare Social WorkersSocial and Community Serv...Specialized TherapistsMedical and Health Servic...Mental Health and Substan...Police OfficersSpecialized CounselorsMental Health CounselorsSubstance Abuse and Behav...Childcare WorkersAccountants and AuditorsFinancial ManagersWholesale and Manufacturi...Chief executives and legi...First-Line Supervisors of...Customer Service Represen...EditorsWriters and AuthorsMarketing ManagersRetail SalespersonsProbation Officers and Co...Security Guards and Gambl...Correctional Officers and...Detectives and Criminal I...First-Line Supervisors of...PsychologyGeneral EducationSocial WorkSociologyCounseling PsychologyElementary EducationBusiness Management andAdministrationEnglish Language andLiteratureCommunicationsCriminal Justice and FireProtectionAll other degreesThis jobTop 10 majorsEach major's top ten jobs
What college major is your best entry?

About 85% of people working as educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors have at least a bachelor's degree. Each dot represents a college major leading to these jobs, with the dots to the right representing the majors sending the most of their grads into this career. The dots at the top are the majors who earn the most working in this career.

Darker colors have a larger percentage with graduate degreesOverall median salary0.0%2.0%4.0%6.0%8.0%10.0%12.0%14.0%16.0%18.0%20.0%22.0%24.0%Percentage with this major$35,000$40,000$45,000$50,000$55,000$60,000$65,000$70,000Median salary with this major
Switching Careers
The most common next careers for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors

What jobs will most educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

CounselorsTherapists, all otherSocial workersEducation and childcare administratorsElementary and Middle School School TeachersPostsecondary teachers and assistantsPersonal Care AidesSocial and Community Service ManagersPsychologistsMiscellaneous community and social service specialistsMedical and Health Services Managers
Lateral job transitions for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 10 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors as well as 1% of respondents after working as educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Employed
How many people have this job?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
No degree
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Men
Women
Prior and next careers for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Employed
How many people have this job?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
No degree
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Variation by state
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.01.02.03.04.0
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Location-adjusted median salary for Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
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$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the tabs and education selector to find other careers that might be a good fit for you.

How should the career similarity be computed?

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?