Admissions Counselor: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an admissions counselor. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and salary to find out if this is the career for you.

Essential Information

Admissions counselors usually work at colleges or universities to recruit students, assist students with admissions paperwork, and establish outreach programs to promote their school. Some admissions counselors are hired by high schools to assist their outgoing seniors with the undergraduate application process.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements Experience working with people, communication and organizational skills
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 12% for educational, guidance, school, and vocational counselors;
15% for postsecondary education administrators
Average Salary (2013)* $56,160 for educational, guidance, school, and vocational counselors;
$100,600 for postsecondary education administrators

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job Description

Admissions counselors, both at the high school and college level, have a wide variety of responsibilities involved with the application process. At the college level, counselors often work to improve the school's visibility throughout the community and to entice potential applicants. At the high school level, they help students apply to the colleges, universities, or technical schools of their choice.

Job Duties

When working with high school students, admissions counselors are expected to have a wide range of knowledge regarding specific educational, vocational and certificate programs that may interest students after graduation. They should have a keen understanding of various college applications, and they should be able to assist students in obtaining the necessary documentation needed for the application process.

In addition, high school counselors typically have to spend one-on-one time with students during the application process and help them choose high school courses that will meet college requirements. Students will also need help meeting application deadlines and deciding what programs are best suited for their career goals.

Admissions counselors who work at the postsecondary level will be expected to organize recruitment events for their school where they promote their school to potential students and their parents. They meet with incoming students to discuss the application status and to provide them with information about financial aid, scholarships, programs and majors. Counselors also need to meet with alumni and create networking systems to find promising potential applicants.

Requirements to Become an Admissions Counselor

Requirements for high school and postsecondary counselors can vary according to school districts, institutional regulations and state laws. Many schools require a bachelor's degree in a relevant field and experience working with people. Admissions counselors need solid organizational, interpersonal and communication skills in order to connect with students.

Employment and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment opportunities for postsecondary education administrators and school and career counselors, both of which may include admissions counselors, are estimated to experience an increase of 15% between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than average increase for all occupations within the nation ( The BLS also reports that as of May 2013, education, guidance, school and vocational counselors earned an average annual salary of $56,160 and postsecondary education administrators made an average of $100,600.

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