Counselors will help individuals resolve personal or family problems, in addition to helping them place themselves in a career. The role of an counselor will vary greatly depending on the profession that they are in, but the basic categories of these professionals include school, career, rehabilitation counselors, mental health, behavioral, and family therapists.
School counselors will usually help students with their personal and academic development, frequently using counseling sessions in interviews in order to assess the abilities of various students. They will also operate career information centers in order to help high school students get into college, or to find their ideal area of employment.
Elementary school counselors will be primarily involved in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of children by observing their classroom and play activities, while high school ones will usually act in advising college majors and various technical programs.
Employment counselors, who may also be known as career aides, will help adults find their ideal career path, locating employment for them and helping those individuals who have experienced job loss deal with career transitions. Rehabilitation counselors will help persons with disabilities cope with life, and they will often help them find programs and jobs that will suit their strengths.
Mental health counselors are responsible for treating mental and emotional disorders, and they will work with psychiatrists and psychologists in order to find a program that will best help their clients. Substance abuse counselors will frequently help individuals who are struggling with alcohol, drugs, or other disorders, while marriage and family counseling professionals will help individuals cope with emotional conflicts within the family structure.
The working conditions for these professionals will vary depending on their employment, however, most will work a 40 hour week, with school counselors having off two to three months during the summer. Training will vary depending on the state, but it is most common for individuals pursuing this career path to have a bachelors degree.
In 2006, they had about 635,000 jobs in America, with school counselors forming about half of this number at 260,000. The job prospects for these professionals are expected to grow at a very fast rate, with substance abuse counselors experiencing the fastest rate of growth at 34% over the next 10 years.