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How to become a career Counsellor

by Vijay Garg
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The counsellor is an expert who suggests satisfactory and convincing solutions to various social, professional and emotional problems of the individuals. Gone are the days when the younger generation used to approach their elders at home for guidance in each and every aspect of life. Elders were also ever available and willing to advise their younger owing to their lifelong experience and wisdom. Thus there was no need for an external counsellor as apt advisers were available in every combined family.
Conditions have changed now with the dismantling of the joint family due to urbanization and modernization. Now those wise older men are no longer available to sort out the problems of present-day youth. Here comes the need for a professional counsellor. These are the professional who is qualified and trained to understand and find some solution to the problems arising due to increasing complexities and sometimes problem of plenty in virtually all walks of life.
Counsellors use their specialized skills to counsel or advise people to sort out their problems whether emotional, mental or related to finding a new career or taking a decision regarding the course of studies. Thus it’s really hard to ignore the fact that in recent times the demand for counsellors has increased dramatically and in the coming years, it is expected to continue to grow at a dynamic pace, becoming one of the best-paid areas.
But this job of a counsellor requires a lot of patience and devotion. To do this work tirelessly the person has to be quite soft-hearted so that he could handle clients of every nature and kind.
To discharge their duties with perfection the prospective Counsellor required professional knowledge about the field and conditions they are going to work in the coming time. For that, they need proper knowledge and training in their respective field which can only be achieved by doing professionally designed courses.
To become a Counsellor one has to acquire one or more of the following qualifications depending upon the field one prefers. Different states and regions may have different requirements.
Counsellor Eligibility
Educational Qualification
Aspiring Counsellors must have a Master’s Degree in counselling, Life skill education or psychology from an accredited educational institution depending upon their area of choice.
Counsellor Required Skills
Counsellors should have excellent observation and listening skills; patience, tolerance and sensitivity; an understanding of their own attitudes and responses.
They also possess a belief that all clients are able to make positive changes; an appreciation of confidentiality issues.
They have the ability to speak in multiple languages or experience in mental health care.
They must have good communication skills which are obviously of utmost importance to counsellors; active listening, clarification, reflection and effective questioning skills.
How to become a Counsellor?
To become a Counsellor one has to follow the following given steps:
Step 1
Interested candidates have to plan their course of education from undergraduate and must have the related subjects in their graduation like Psychology, social work etc to name a few. They should have done a master’s in that particular subject. However higher qualifications will be an advantage.
Step 2
After getting the required qualification the aspiring candidate has to take the certifications from the International Coach Federation (ICF) the Council for Accreditation of Counselling and related educational programs (CACREP), and the National Board for Certified Counsellors. However, field experience in counselling, under a supervisor, is compulsory for those who want to opt for a career Counsellor.
Counsellor Career Prospects
In the present day’s scenario, there is wide scope for Counsellors in almost every field. Depending on the environment in which a Counsellor works, he or she may help high school students prepare applications for college, teach elementary school students social skills or counsel a person who is dealing with a mental health or behavioural issue.
Counsellors may even advise career-seekers on the best types of jobs for their personalities or aptitudes.
Prospective Counsellors can work as School counsellors in both private or public schools or other higher education institutes, they can opt for Marriage and Family counsellors as their area of work and help the young couple sort out their problem related to marital life.
Career Counsellor is another option this professional where they can help clients research jobs, set up informational interviews and advise clients on the proper way to participate in a job interview not last but least they can also opt for Mental Health or Substance Abuse Counsellorship and work in clinics and hospitals and combine psychotherapy and therapy to find practical solutions to various problems.
Whether patients are addicted to drugs and alcohol or suffering from mental disorders, these Counsellors diagnose patients, devise treatment plans and seek ways to help patients with issues that affect their emotional and physical health.
Counsellor Job Description
Counsellors’ job description varies according to the area they are working in. However, the basic job of the counsellor in every area includes giving expert and acceptable advice to their clients.
Counsellor Salary
The salary and Pay Scales of the Counsellor vary with the area of work they have opted for. To start with Counsellors in any area can get anywhere near Rs.20,000 to Rs.25000 per month. However with some experience and personal skill, one can get as much as Rs.50,000 per month with some good organizations. And there is no limit to those private practitioners who can give results with their skills and ability. 
Some essential Educational Qualification for the Specific field of counselling are:
For becoming a School Counsellor
School Counsellors need to be certified teachers who have earned master’s degrees in school counselling or in educational counselling. Aspiring Counsellors choose to major in elementary or secondary school counselling.
For becoming a Marriage and Family Counsellor
Marriage and Family Counsellors need to earn a master’s or doctoral degree in marriage and Family counselling. These graduate students should take courses in marriage and family therapist theories, human development, mental disorders, sexual dysfunction and other topics related to marriage and family counselling.
For becoming a Career Counsellor
Career Counsellor should earn a master’s degree in counselling. They may take courses in career development, assessment, human development and counselling methods.
For becoming a Mental Health or Substance Abuse Counsellor
Counsellors whose area of interest is mental health or substance abuse have to earn a master’s degree in mental health counselling. They should take courses in assessment, psychotherapy, psychopathology and human development.


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