School Guidance Counselor Salary and Career Information
School counselors are empathetic people who enjoy helping students and making a difference in their lives. Although school guidance counselors rarely join the profession with dreams of making the big bucks, they do make a good living. And while earning a competitive income is important, the intrinsic benefits of the career attract counselors more than the financial incentives do. If you are considering a career as a school guidance counselor, you'll be pleased to know that you're in for both emotional and monetary rewards
School Guidance Counselor Salary Information
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), professional school counseling is the most lucrative counseling profession of those studied. The BLS also found that school guidance counselors demand higher paychecks than do elementary, middle school and high school classroom teachers. So if counseling and managing the emotional, social and academic success of the students in your school sounds like a good job description, it's good to know that the compensation for this career is another benefit.
In 2006, the BLS compared wage information on vocational, family and school guidance counselors. They found that the median school counselor salary was $53,750, while the median for all counselors was $47,530. The $6,000 extra dollars per year, plus the opportunity to earn additional money during summers, makes school counseling a lucrative career option.
In 2008, the BLS found that the annual mean wage for elementary and high school guidance counselors was up to $60,020. That is over $11,000 more per year than university counselors and $24,000 per year more than individual and family counselors! And for a position that receives the same great vacation time, sensible work hours and comprehensive benefits packages as classroom teachers, you can't go wrong with this career choice.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, educational, vocational, and school counselors made up 260,000 of the 635,000 counselors practicing in 2006. The BLS expects an average growth rate for school guidance counselors until 2016, with numbers increasing as more states require elementary schools to employ counselors. The rising need for crisis prevention and help with serious issues such as alcohol and drug abuse, depression and suicide also increase the demand for counselors. If you are interested in this fulfilling career, but haven't yet completed your education, there will likely be a demand for your skills when you graduate.
Beyond Being a School Guidance Counselor
Once you become a school guidance counselor, there are various career paths you can take, including a local or district supervisory role, or becoming a school administrator. You can also pursue further education and become a counseling psychologist.
Professional school counselors play a vital role in the development of our nation's students. Thankfully, their advanced training and the importance of their task are often rewarded with a good living wage, great job benefits, and a fulfilling career. Find all the latest guidance counselor career information.
Or read our guidance counselor requirements article, and search our list of schools to learn more about what it takes to get started in a guidance counselor career today.
Top Online Degrees for School Guidance Counselors
- PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision
- PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision - General
- PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision - Counseling and
- PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision - Trauma and Crisis
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