School Counsellors

(NOC 4033)

in All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

Educational counsellors advise current and prospective students on educational issues, career planning and personal development, and coordinate the provision of counselling services to students, parents, teachers, faculty and staff. They are employed by school boards and post-secondary educational institutions.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Weak growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 75 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 4880 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow slightly over the next few years, which should provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. School Counsellors most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 51% of School Counsellors who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $67,780. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$27.50

Minimum

$38.46

Median

$50.55

Maximum

Annual Pay

$11,714

Minimum

$60,033

Median

$87,328

Maximum

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

Hourly Pay

$14.00

Minimum

$26.88

Median

$46.15

Maximum

Annual Pay

$5,616

Minimum

$44,335

Median

$92,599

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Educational counsellors advise current and prospective students on educational issues, career planning and personal development, and coordinate the provision of counselling services to students, parents, teachers, faculty and staff. They are employed by school boards and post-secondary educational institutions.

Job duties

Educational counsellors perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Counsel students regarding educational issues such as course and program selection, time tables and scheduling, school adjustment, attendance problems and study skills.
  • Counsel students regarding career or vocational issues including career exploration and planning, resume preparation, job interview skills and job search strategies and make available to them a wide range of educational and occupational information.
  • Coordinate co-op and school-to-work transition programs, and the provision of counselling and information services, such as career information, professional development sessions and exchanges with other educational institutions, to students, parents, teachers, faculty and staff.
  • Consult with teachers and parents or faculty and other professionals such as psychologists, speech therapists and social workers regarding various issues and concerns, and with administrators and community agencies regarding programs and referrals.
  • Administer and interpret standardized intelligence, personality, vocational, aptitude and interest tests.
  • Develop and coordinate study skills groups or workshops in high schools, colleges and universities on topics such as note-taking, test or examination anxiety and preparation strategies and time management skills.
  • Visit colleges and secondary schools to provide academic information to prospective students, their parents and educational counsellors.
  • Coordinate or participate in student orientation programs in colleges or universities.
  • Arrange for employers to recruit graduating college and university students, and students for co-op education work terms.
  • Counsel students regarding personal and social issues such as substance abuse, depression, sexuality, eating disorders, anxiety, self-esteem, family problems, relationship and interpersonal skills and anger management.
  • Counsel students in crisis situations such as dealing with the death of a friend or family member, suicidal tendencies and abuse situations.
  • May supervise peer counselling programs in school settings.
  • May supervise field experience for graduate students in counselling.
  • May teach regular classes.

Sample job titles

  • academic adviser
  • college counsellor
  • guidance counsellor
  • international student adviser
  • school adjustment officer
  • school counsellor
  • student affairs and employment officer
  • student employment services co-ordinator
  • student services counsellor
  • university counsellor

Skills

To work in this field, you should be patient, imaginative, objective, and resourceful. Leadership skills and the ability to motivate students are important. You must be able to communicate ideas in a clear, concise, and interesting way. Planning and organizational skills are also necessary. Energy and stamina are often needed, as a school counsellor's workday involves more than just school hours.

Job requirements

  • A bachelor's degree in counselling, career development, education or social sciences is required for counsellors in school settings.
  • A master's degree in counselling psychology or a related field such as educational psychology, developmental psychology or social work is usually required.
  • Educational counsellors in post-secondary settings require an undergraduate degree and may require a graduate degree. A particular academic specialization may also be required.
  • A teacher's certificate in the province of employment and some teaching experience is usually required for counsellors in school settings.
  • Educational counsellors in colleges and universities may require licensing from a provincial regulatory body governing psychologists, educational counsellors or social workers.

Other considerations

Elementary school counsellors generally provide more social and personal counselling whereas academic counselling is provided more by high school counsellors. Educational counsellors in colleges, universities and other settings may specialize in academic, career or personal issues counselling.

By the numbers

Quick look

620

employed in 2016

91.4%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

82.4%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
17.6%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
44.4

median age

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

55,420

employed in 2016

79.3%

employed full-time

6.5%

self employed

64.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
36%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

43.0%

Halifax

19.0%

Northern

14.8%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

10.6%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

82.3%

Educational Services

8.1%

Health Care and Social Assistance

4.8%

Public Administration

1.6%

Management, Admin & Other Support

1.6%

Other Industries

What is the age of Employment?

31.8%

45-54

28.8%

35-44

15.2%

55-64

13.6%

25-34

6.1%

15-24

4.5%

65+

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

36.6%

35-44

29.3%

45-54

24.4%

55-64

4.9%

25-34

4.9%

65+

Top levels of education

52.1%

Doctorate

N/A
21.8%

Bachelor's degree

$49,435 median annual income
11.3%

College certificate or diploma

$21,926 median annual income
8.5%

High school

$39,890 median annual income
2.8%

University certificate or diploma

$36,968 median annual income

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

29.2%

Bachelor's degree

$43,533 median annual income
21.5%

College certificate or diploma

$28,183 median annual income
17.2%

Master's degree

$35,978 median annual income
14.3%

High school

$25,801 median annual income
4.6%

Doctorate

$60,991 median annual income

Education & training

Counsellor education/school counselling and guidance services

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply the theory and principles of guidance and counselling to the provision of support for the personal, social, educational, and vocational development of students, and the organizing of guidance services within elementary, middle and secondary educational institutions. These programs include courses in legal and professional requirements, therapeutic counsellor intervention, vocational counselling, and related sociological and psychological foundations.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Education/teaching of individuals with multiple disabilities

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the design of educational services for children or adults with multiple disabilities which adversely affect their educational performance and that prepares individuals to teach such students. These programs include courses in identifying students with multiple disabilities, developing individual education plans, teaching and supervising multiple handicapped students, counselling, and applicable laws and policies.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Educational psychology

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the application of psychology to the study of the behaviour of individuals in the roles of teacher and learner, the nature and effects of learning environments, and the psychological effects of methods, resources, organization and non-school experience on the educational process. These programs include courses in learning theory, human growth and development, research methods, and psychological evaluation.

Institutions providing this program

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

Human resources development

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply integrated training, organizational development, and career planning and counselling skills to the design, management, and evaluation of programs to improve individual productivity, employability, and job satisfaction and organizational effectiveness. These programs include courses in psychology; organizational behaviour; principles of adult education; occupational counselling; skill testing and evaluation; program design; consulting practice; organizational development; and applications to issues such as training, management development, customer service, and total quality management.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

School psychology

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply clinical and counselling psychology principles to the diagnosis and treatment of student behavioural problems. These programs include courses in child and/or adolescent development; learning theory; testing, observation and other procedures for assessing educational, personality, intelligence and motor skill development; therapeutic intervention strategies for students and families; identification and classification of disabilities and disorders affecting learning; school psychological services planning; supervised counselling practice; ethical standards; and applicable regulations.

Institutions providing this program

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Counselling Therapist

Right to Title: This job is regulated in Nova Scotia. The job title is protected (you may not use this job title without a professional designation). Professional designation shows that the holder has met provincial requirements for the job. Employers may require professional designation, however, you do not need professional designation to legally work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists
36 Brookshire Court, Suite 201
Bedford, NS B4A 4E9
(902) 225-7531

Contacts

Nova Scotia School Counsellors Association
c/o Nova Scotia Teachers Union, 3106 Joseph Howe Drive
Halifax, NS B3L 4L7
Tel: (902) 477-5621
Fax: (902) 477-3517
Nova Scotia Teachers Union
3106 Joseph Howe Drive
Halifax, NS B3L 4L7
Tel: (902) 477-5621
Fax: (902) 477-3517
Nova Scotia Department of Education, Teacher Certification
PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
Tel: (902) 424-6620
Fax: (902) 424-3814
Canadian Teachers' Federation
2490 Don Reid Drive
Ottawa, ON K1H 1E1
Tel: (613) 232-1505
Fax: (613) 232-1886

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