Admissions Counselor: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Aug 26, 2019

What is an admissions counselor? Learn about the job as well as education and preparation needed to become an admissions counselor, including a college admissions counselor, to find out if this is the career for you.

What Is an Admissions Counselor?

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 college application process. If you're thinking about a career as an admissions counselor, you will need strong communication skills. Keep reading to learn more about requirements and career information for this field.

Required Education Master's degree
Other Requirements State licensure to work in public schools, communication, organization and interpersonal skills
Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)* 13% for school and career counselors
Median Salary (2018)* $56,310 for educational, guidance, school, and vocational counselors

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

What Does an Admissions Counselor Do?

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

College Admissions Counselor

A college admissions counselor is expected to organize recruitment events for their school and promote the school to potential students and their parents. They meet, or communicate via phone and email, with incoming students to discuss the application status and to provide them with information about financial aid, scholarships, programs and majors. Counselors also meet with alumni and create networking systems to find promising potential applicants.

High School Admissions Counselor

Admissions counselors working for a high school are expected to help students through all steps of the college admission process. They should 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. Admissions counselors help students with meeting application deadlines, registering for required standardized testing, deciding what programs are best suited for their career goals, and seeking financial aid and scholarships.

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 master's degree in a relevant field and experience working with people. Admissions counselors need solid organizational and interpersonal skills in order to connect with students.

Employment and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment opportunities for school and career counselors, including admissions counselors, are expected to increase by 13% between 2016 and 2026. This is above average growth compared to all occupations in the U.S. The BLS also reports that in May 2018, education, guidance, school and vocational counselors earned a median annual salary of $56,310.

Admissions counselors work at high schools helping students with college applications, or in colleges recruiting and encouraging applicants. Counselors help students with the many stages and requirements of the college application process, and must be organized and able to communicate well with high school students and their parents.

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