How To Become A Career Counsellor? Scope & Opportunities

By Shatavisha Chakravorty

For any individual, there comes many phases in life wherein they need to seek the help of a career counsellor. The first time this happens is perhaps after the 10th board exams. Again, after the 12th board exams they are faced with a similar dilemma wherein they must visit a career counsellor in order to sort out what they want in life.

These people offer guidance on all sorts of vocational and academic planning for a client. They evaluate your skill set, academic merit and the financial stability of your family. Then, taking into consideration all of these factors they go ahead and draft out a viable career plan for the said individual client. Thus, it will be fair to say that a career counsellor has a very important role to play in a person's career.

How To Become A Career Counsellor


Now while considering your career options and discussing the same at length with your career counsellor, have you considered how it would be if you could sit at the other side of the table? In today's date and time, making a career out of career counselling seems like a viable option.

• Skill Set Required

Good communication skills is an absolute must if you want to survive as a career counsellor. Other than that, your interpersonal skills must be decent. You must have the capability to work with people of all races, caste, creed and culture.

You must be trustworthy and true to your ethics because only then will you be able to inspire confidence in others. A genuine urge to serve and help others is the primary requirement of this job.

• Complete Your Basic Education

Career development is a specialisation course and you need to have a basic undergraduate education before you think of taking this up as a full-time career. For this having a Bachelor of Arts degree in social science, behavioural science or human services is preferred. Technically speaking, you can have a bachelor's degree in any field.

However, having one in the aforementioned fields allows you to learn the basic counselling skills, human development and even career development which gives you an edge when you want to establish a career as a career counsellor.

• Earn A Degree In Counselling

There are a number of universities (both in India and abroad) that offer courses in career counselling. Most of these courses cover topics like career development, counselling theories and career theories to that of the complex psychology of human development. These courses are available both as degree courses as well as that of diploma courses; you can choose either.

• Pass The Required Certification

For certain states, merely having a degree does not allow you to practise a career in career counselling. There are certain specific exams, like the National Counselor Examination (NCE) or National Clinical Mental Health Counselling Examination (NCMHCE), that you need to qualify in to be licensed to practise this field.

• Get Additional Certification

In this highly competitive world, merely having the authority to pursue a course in career counselling will not be enough for you to earn your bread and butter. If you can get a couple of extra certifications in this regard it will work wonders and help you get a much better income.

Organisations like NCDA and IGNOU offer a number of such certifications in this regard. The aim of certifications like this is to fine tune the skill set of career counsellors so that they are able to serve the society better.

• Pay Scale

As is the case with every other job, in the case of career counsellors as well the salary that a person takes home depends on their experience. While the salary structure for a career counsellor depends on a number of factors (like whether they are self-employed or salaried, if the firm that they are working for is private or otherwise, etc.), the mean salary for a fresher in this field stands at somewhere close to Rs 25,000 per month. With experience it can go up all the way up to Rs 2,00,000 per month.

• Scope Of The Job

There is immense scope of job opportunities in this field. Most private schools have trained career counsellors in their payroll. Other than that, there are a number of career consultancies that offer their services in this field. Needless to say, they require professionally qualified career counsellors to be able to do that.

Other than that, if you truly feel that social service is your calling, this field offers you immense job opportunities to work with government and other social service organisations as well as NGOs.

• Growing Along

Despite the harsh nature of the challenges in this field, it is not enough that you merely survive the stress and tension of this field. You will have to continuously work towards improving yourself in an endeavour to ensure that you shine in your profession. The reason for the same may be attributed to the fact that human psychology is a field that is very dynamic and is constantly evolving.

This field forms the basis of career counselling. Thus, if you are not abreast of the impact of the latest changes in psychology in your profession, you are bound to lose out in the rat race of professional success.

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