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Can Some Explain to Me How to Become a Guidance Counselor?

Question by Merdith: Can some explain to me how to become a guidance counselor?
I am going to Modesto Junior College and I really wanna become a guidance counselor and work with kids in schools, I no I wanna go to school and get my masters degree, but like i’m very confused what do I major in?, What are some classes to take? stuff like that.

Also if anyone can tell me a little about it, Salary, everyday duties, what is it like? Things like that would be great. Thank you so much

Best answer:

Answer by Dave W
No public school district will hire you as a “Guidance Counselor” without a Master’s Degree in counseling. This is a “state” requirement, your state grants credentials, or certifies you as having fulfilled the studies that prepare you for this difficult job.

If they hired someone else, not certified, the district could get sued, much like a hospital could be sued it they allowed a medical doctor to practice medicine without proper credentials.

What many adult will do, is get their Master’s Degree in Education, and become a teacher, and then work on their MA degree in “Counseling”: part-time, that is, take evening classes or go to summer school

That is one of reasons teachers get off three months a year, so they can pursue additional educational classes at least 3 months a year.

You need about 30 hrs of classes beyond your BA degree to get a Masters, that will mean at least 10 more classes, you could get your MA in 2-3 years going to college part-time.

Pay for counselors isn’t any higher than for teachers of same training and years in the school system.
Most make about $ 35,000 a year (10 month contract), and after 12-14 years, you could be earning up to $ 45,000.
Your duties are not just dealing with children that have emotional problems, but also talking to parents especially those who are requesting help because they don’t really know how to help their own children.

Sometimes teachers will come to school counselors to ask for advice about how to deal with some of their special need children, or children that have emotional or discipline problems.

Likely more than 50 percent of your time will be spent working on student schedules, helping older children plan for high school, or future work careers, AND helping your school Special Education Teachers complete their IEP’s (Individual Educational Plans) for special need students.

IEP’s are inspected by State Inspectors, and public funding for school programs at your school may depend on how accurately these plans are made to justify spending for school curriculum and other materials. (this is important Paper/”admin” work, not directly related to counseling) Maintaining student personal school records is often another responsibility of school counselors.
People do not go into education for the money, lol.
Good luck.

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