Become a Transfer Admissions Counselor: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Mar 11, 2020

Learn how to become a transfer student admissions counselor at a college or university. Research the education requirements, knowledge, and job skills needed to start a career in transfer admissions counseling.

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Transfer Admissions Counselors

Transfer admissions counselors work with students who choose to change institutions during their collegiate studies. Counselors review transcripts, assess courses for transfer, and guide transfer students through the process of finishing their degree.

Career Requirements at a Glance

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Varies
Experience Previous admissions experience may be required
Key Skills Familiarity with computers, organizational abilities, interpersonal skills, written and verbal communication abilities, problem-solving skills
Salary (2020)* $38,692 per year (median annual salary for all college and university admissions counselors)

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

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor's degree from any academic field is typically the minimum education needed for initial employment as an admissions counselor. Prospective transfer admissions counselors can prepare for future employment through college coursework that develops written, oral, and interpersonal communications skills, since this occupation generally requires frequent interactions with individuals, as well as making presentations at recruitment fairs. Additionally, successful candidates need skill with computer technology and software used for managing information, as well as the ability to learn specific software.

Step 2: Find Entry-Level Employment

Before working as a transfer admissions counselor, individuals might gain experience in the admissions office. You may consider seeking an entry-level or assistant position in student affairs, student development, admissions, or another administrative office on a college or university campus. These positions allow employees to become familiar with academic procedures, college catalog offerings, degree programs, and various student populations. In some cases, an advanced degree could substitute for entry-level experience.

Step 3: Pursue Continuing Education

Students can pursue post-baccalaureate certificate programs in professional areas, such as student affairs, counseling, career planning, and admissions counseling. These programs include instruction in financial aid planning, advising techniques for a variety of student populations, and an overview of typical academic admissions requirements. Master's degree programs, such as the Master of Education in School Counseling, can offer courses in counseling theory, research methods, and admissions counseling, as well as fieldwork.

Step 4: Advance in the Field

With continuing education and proven job experience, education administrators can advance to positions with greater responsibility. Admissions counselors may acquire directorship or other leadership roles or seek employment at larger colleges and universities in order to advance their careers. For the highest-level administrative positions in student services, employers typically require a doctoral degree.

Transfer admissions counselors work with students who choose to change institutions during their collegiate studies. A bachelor's degree is all that's necessary for this field, though people hoping for better positions may need more experience and/or schooling.

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