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The term “professional counselor” is used to refer to individuals who have earned at least a master’s degree in counseling and possess specific skills, knowledge and a professional orientation. Professional Counselors are unique among mental health professionals in two main areas: 1) Professional counselors have a strong “wellness” orientation. 2) Professional counselors are trained in career planning and development. Professional counselors are uniquely prepared to help people with personal, social, educational and career problems.
What do Professional Counselors do?
Professional Counselors work in a variety of school and community settings to help people make adaptive decisions. Through counseling, consulting, and educational activities, Professional Counselors help people fulfill their potential and realize their goals.
Professional School Counselors work in elementary, middle and high school settings addressing the personal, social, educational and career needs of students. Professional School Counselors implement and manage comprehensive school counseling programs, oversee the delivery of guidance curriculum, provide individual and group counseling, coordinate activities and provide consultation to parents and teachers to:
•Prevent and address learning obstacles.
•Help students develop the personal and social skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to live healthy and productive lives.
•Facilitate student exploration and implementation of academic and career goals.
Community Counselors work in public and private community counseling centers, businesses, educational institutions, private practice, hospitals and employee assistance programs providing individual and group counseling, implementing and managing community programming and consultation to address:
•Mental health problems
•Drug, alcohol and other substance abuse issues
•Adaptation to life transitions
Available positions for Professional Counselors are expected to grow by 14% (an increase of approximately 38,600 positions) for Professional School Counselors and by 24% (an increase of approximately 27,000 positions) for Professional Community Counselors through 2018. (http://www.bls.gov./oco/ocos067.htm#projections_data June 28, 2011). Salaries for Professional School Counselors commonly range from $40,000 to over $60,000 (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211012.htm). For Professional Counselors working in community settings, salaries typically range from $ 30,000 to over $45,000 (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211014.htm). Increasing enrollment in elementary, middle and high school schools and expanding responsibilities combine to increase the demand for Professional School Counselors. As the population becomes more comfortable seeking counseling and as employers increasingly recognize the importance of maintaining the well-being of employees, the demand for Professional Community Counselors is expected to grow. (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 http://www.bls.gov./OCO/)
Employment of 2006-2010 UCM Graduates
- 91% of graduates of Community Counseling area of Concentration employed in the field
- 92% of graduates of School Counseling area Concentration employed in the field
For additional information about the Counselor Education Program at the University of Central Missouri, contact:
Dr. Janelle Cowles
Counselor Education Program Coordinator
Lovinger 1334, UCM
Warrensburg, Missouri 64093
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