By: Vijay GarG
A school guidance counsellor provides students assistance in academic, career, higher education advice as well as personal and social guidance. Counsellor also in annual academic planning for each student. They plan an important role in the career of the students as their main aim is to help students succeed and make the right choices in academics and in personal development.
School guidance counsellors work with students of all age group. From kindergarten to the students of 12th grade to help solve their personal, social and academic problems. Counsellors identify problems, such as alcohol and substance abuse, family violence or other related problems. At times, they also help the students to voice their issues and address their problems. In response, they use a variety of counselling methods and conflict resolution skills to resolve these problems.
During the middle school and high school levels, school guidance counsellors work with students to determine and achieve their post-high school goals.
Eligibility to become School Guidance Counsellor
To become a school guidance counsellor, aspirants must have a master’s degree in the related field. Typically, a candidate must have studied such as child development theory, learning theory, career development, individual counselling and others. Some colleges/schools even ask candidates for some internship experience in the respective field before taking a job as a full-time school guidance counsellor. Some college counsellors who provide psychological assistance and services to the students are required to have a doctorate degree.
A candidate must have passed class a bachelor’s degree( candidates with master’s degree are preferred) or an equivalent examination with a minimum of 50% marks. However, the passing marks for different categories and college to college.
Few recruiters give preference to candidates with an internship or professional experience.
Types of Job Roles School Guidance Counsellor
The job role of the counsellors varies greatly, depending on their work environment, therefore there is a various number of school guidance counsellor job profiles as per one’s qualification and nature of interest. The following section covers different school counsellor job profiles at the various levels:
Elementary School Counselor- The elementary school counsellors are professional educators who train children from nursery to grade 5. Their job role is to meeting organise different activities for them, communicate regularly with parents or guardians to address their concerns and to create behavioural management plans.
Middle School Counsellor-They work with students from 6th-8th grade and help develop their skills and strategies that are an important part to succeed academically and socially. Middle school is regarded as one of the important time in student’s life because this is the age when they are transitioning from childhood to adolescence. Therefore, it is a middle school counsellor’s job to help them understand these changes.
High School Counsellor-High school counsellors advise students in making right career choices along with helping students with personal problems that may interfere with their academics. They also provide information about choosing and applying for colleges and financial aid, provide guidance to help students make decisions about their future, and present career.
Psychological College Counselors- They are regarded as health professionals or as psychologists as well who help students resolve personal problems that may interfere with studies, manage stress and test anxiety. They help them adjust to college life and homesickness and also provide assistance in crisis counselling.
Academic Advisors-Their job role is to help students make the right career choices regarding their higher education. They help student pick right college, meet graduation prerequisites, provide college-related information. The academic counsellors can guide both for national and international colleges/universities. Academic advisors can be found widely in study abroad companies.
Pay Scale/Salary of School Guidance Counsellor
The salary of a school guidance counsellor varies from school to school and relies upon the job responsibility. Counsellors who work in high schools and colleges typically earn more as compared to the ones working with elementary schools and so do counsellors with a master’s degree or higher tend to earn more. The salary range of a school guidance counsellor starts usually starts from Rs.3,00,000 for freshers and can go up to Rs.10,00,000. Some counsellors/academic advisors have their own offices and charge as per students requirement earn way higher.
Books & Study Material to Become School Guidance Counsellor
There are no books or study material to become a school guidance counsellor. However, one must have an extensive knowledge of individual counselling, psychology, human behaviour, academic and social aspects. Also, a school guidance counsellor has multiple job roles, therefore, it is very important for them to update their knowledge to guide students. Books regarding human behaviour, different cultures, academic programmes, or any inspirational book can help add knowledge.
Pros of becoming a School Guidance Counsellor
The job responsibility of a school guidance counsellor ranks high in terms of meaningful work because you’re directly impacting the lives of young people.
There’s a lot of variety, and every day is different as you are dealing with current life situations.
People who crave high social interaction find being a school counsellor very rewarding.
Cons of becoming a School Guidance Counsellor
Competition to find a job is intense, particularly in some school districts. Therefore location plays a significant role in the career of a school counsellor.
Public school counsellors may spend a lot of their time on nonessential tasks, such as substitute teaching, bus duty and disciplining students.