School Counsellors

(NOC 4033)

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

School counsellors advise students on educational, personal, and career-related issues. They coordinate counselling services for students, parents, faculty, and teachers. They work for school systems and post-secondary institutions.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Stable employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 80 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

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

  • Estimate 770 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 4115 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

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 remain largely the same over the next few years. With a moderate percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to contribute somewhat 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

$18.00

Minimum

$37.98

Median

$52.63

Maximum

Annual Pay

$11,714

Minimum

$60,033

Median

$87,328

Maximum

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

Hourly Pay

$14.74

Minimum

$33.28

Median

$46.76

Maximum

Annual Pay

$5,616

Minimum

$44,335

Median

$92,599

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

School counsellors advise students on educational, personal, and career-related issues. They coordinate counselling services for students, parents, faculty, and teachers. They work for school systems and post-secondary institutions.

Job duties

School counsellors:

  • Counsel students about educational issues like course and program selection, timetables and scheduling, school adjustment, attendance problems, and study skills.
  • Counsel students about career issues including career exploration and building, resume preparation, job interview skills and job search strategies, and direct them a wide range of educational and occupational information.
  • Coordinate co-op and school-to-work transition programs, and counselling and information services like career information, professional development sessions, and exchanges with other schools.
  • Consult with teachers, parents, faculty, and other professionals like psychologists, speech therapists, and social workers about issues and concerns, and with administrators and community agencies about 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 like notetaking, test or examination anxiety and preparation strategies, and time management skills.
  • Visit colleges and secondary schools to provide academic information to potential 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 about personal and social issues like substance abuse, depression, sexuality, eating disorders, anxiety, self-esteem, family problems, relationship and interpersonal skills, and anger management.
  • Counsel students in crisis situations like 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
  • educational counsellor
  • guidance counsellor
  • international student adviser
  • school adjustment officer
  • school counsellor
  • student employment services coordinator
  • student services counsellor
  • university counsellor

Skills

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. You must have the ability to demonstrate fair and ethical judgements and maintain confidentiality as the norm. Planning and organizational skills are also necessary.

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 like educational psychology, developmental psychology or social work is usually required.
  • School counsellors in college and university settings require an undergraduate degree and may require a graduate degree. A particular academic specialization may also be required.
  • A valid Nova Scotia teacher's certificate and some teaching experience is required for counsellors in school settings.
  • A master’s degree in counselling with a school counselling stream is required for counsellors in the public school system.
  • School counsellors in colleges and universities may require licensing from a provincial regulatory body governing psychologists, school 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. Energy and stamina are often needed, as a school counsellor's workday involves more than just school hours.

By the numbers

Quick look

710

employed in 2016

89.4%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

82.4%
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17.6%
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44.4

median age

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

55,420

employed in 2016

76.4%

employed full-time

6.6%

self employed

64.0%
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36%
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43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

43.0%

Halifax

19.0%

North Shore

14.8%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

10.6%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

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%

Other services (except public administration)

1.6%

Professional, scientific and technical services

What is the age of Employment?

28.0%

35-44

27.0%

45-54

17.0%

55-64

17.0%

25-34

6.0%

15-24

5.0%

65+

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

24.2%

35-44

22.7%

45-54

21.4%

25-34

17.2%

55-64

8.4%

15-24

Top levels of education

52.1%

Master

$77,695 median annual income
21.8%

Bachelor

$49,467 median annual income
10.6%

College Diploma

$39,150 median annual income
8.5%

High school

$5,402 median annual income
2.8%

Diploma Below Bachelor

N/A

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

28.9%

Bachelor

$45,929 median annual income
21.2%

College Diploma

$35,398 median annual income
16.8%

Master

$71,043 median annual income
14.6%

High school

$29,055 median annual income
4.6%

Doctorate

$100,443 median annual income

Education & training

Education of Students with Multiple Disabilities

College or University Program

These programs focus 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. They 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

Kentville, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

Bridgewater, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

Sydney, NS

Human Resources Development

College or University Program

These programs prepare students 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. They 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

Halifax, NS

School Counselling and Guidance Services

College or University Program

These programs prepare 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. They include courses in legal and professional requirements, therapeutic counsellor intervention, vocational counselling, and related sociological and psychological foundations.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

School Psychology

College or University Program

These programs prepare students to apply clinical and counselling psychology principles to the diagnosis and treatment of student behavioural problems. They 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

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Social Worker

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated. The job title is protected, and you may not use it without a professional licence. A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia College of Social Workers
1888 Brunswick Street, Suite 700
Halifax, NS B3J 3J8
(902) 429-7799
(902) 429-7650
Teacher

Special Requirements: Nova Scotia Teacher Certification is required to work in the public school system. Certification may be required by other education related employers.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Department of Education & Early Childhood Development, Office of Teacher Certification
2021 Brunswick Street
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(902) 424-6620
(902) 424-3814
Counselling Therapist

Right to Title: This job is regulated in Nova Scotia. The job title is protected, and you may not use it without a professional designation. Professional designation shows that the holder has met provincial standards for the job. Employers may require professional designation, but professional designation is not necessary to do this work.

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
Halifax, NS
Nova Scotia Teachers Union
Halifax, NS
Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Teacher Certification
Halifax, NS
Canadian Teachers' Federation
Ottawa, ON

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.