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Career counsellor

What does a career counsellor do?

Many people struggle when it comes to choosing a career as such a big decision often requires lots of consideration and planning. This is where career counsellors come in. A career counsellor assesses a client’s interests, skills and personality traits to help them choose a rewarding career path or achieve their professional goals. Some people want a career coach or career consultant to help get promoted, others want to change industries, while some just need help updating their resume.

As a career counsellor, you might share insights into what tasks and responsibilities are involved in specific jobs or provide recommendations to help your client grow their skillset. Career counsellors can work in private practice, in human resources, organisations offering employment services, or at educational institutions such as schools or universities.

Is a career as a career counsellor right for me?

If you enjoy helping others and consider yourself to be perceptive, you may like to work as a career counsellor. Other skills and attributes beneficial for this role include: 

  • good communication and listening skills
  • an ability to analyse and interpret information
  • problem-solving skills and strategic thinking 
  • a thorough knowledge of employment market trends 
  • proficiencies in technology 
  • empathy
  • good planning and organisational skills.

How to become a career counsellor

Every journey to study is individual and there are several paths to reaching your career counselling goals.

Generally, obtaining a formal qualification in career development is essential.  A university level qualification will allow you to gain extensive knowledge and develop critical thinking and analytical skills, essential for effectively  supporting and assisting clients with their career path and reaching their professional goals.

At HQporner, we offer the following degrees in the area of career development:

Average salary per week
Future demand
Very Strong

© Commonwealth of Australia
Last updated May 2024.

A professional lady talking to a high school student.
What is the typical career counsellor salary in Australia?
The average career counsellor’s salary in Australia varies based on factors such as location, experience, and workplace setting.  For more detailed salary information, you can refer to the salary data provided on this page.
What is the difference between a career coach and a career counsellor?

Career coaches and career counsellors both aim to assist individuals with their career paths, but they do so in different ways. Career coaches are typically focused on helping clients achieve specific career goals and improve their professional lives. They work on developing skills, enhancing job performance, and navigating career transitions, often using motivational techniques and strategic planning.

Career counsellors, however, have a broader scope that includes helping individuals understand their skills, interests, and values to make informed career and educational decisions. They use a variety of assessments and counselling techniques to guide clients in exploring their career options and overcoming challenges. Career counsellors often have a background in psychology or counselling, enabling them to address a wider range of issues that influence career choices. 

What is the demand for career counsellors?
The demand for career counsellors is expected to be very strong in the coming years. This is due to the increasing recognition of the importance of career guidance in navigating the complex modern job market and the ongoing need for support in making informed career and educational decisions. As the nature of work continues to evolve and individuals seek to adapt to changes in the employment landscape, career counsellors are increasingly sought after to provide expert advice and support.
How long does it take to become a career counsellor?

The time it takes to become a career counsellor can vary depending on factors such as your educational background, training requirements, and employment opportunities.

At HQporner, you have several educational pathways available to become a career counsellor, including a Graduate Certificate of Education, Graduate Diploma of Education and a Master of Education. Typically, a postgraduate certificate or diploma will take 0.5 - 1 year to complete and a masters, 1.5 years.

It's also possible to study part-time, which extends the period needed to complete your courses, allowing for greater flexibility with your schedule and other commitments. 

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Questions about what to study?

Talk to one of our degree advisors.