College Consultant: Job Description and Requirements

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

The education needed to become a college consultant often requires a master's degree in counseling or related discipline. Since college consultants assist clients in realistically planning out postsecondary prospects, they must have an intimate knowledge of schools, programs and admission requirements. As such, prior work experience in a college admissions office is often required.

Essential Information

College consultants can be categorized as school and career counselors. A job as a college consultant entails coaching students and helping them receive acceptance into their first choice college or university. There are professional organizations, like the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), that offer support and requirements for college consultants. Requirements for the position of college consultant include extensive higher education and experience with the college admissions process.

Required Education School and career counselors must be credentialed, and this requires a master's degree in counseling or a related discipline
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 8% (school & career counselors)
Median Annual Salary (May 2015)* $53,660 (school & career counselors)

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

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College Consultant Job Description

A college consultant is hired to help students achieve acceptance into the college of their choice. Consultants help students by setting goals, being realistic about their college prospects, and advising the student on their high school academic and extracurricular choices. College consultants utilize an intimate knowledge of schools, degree programs and admission practices, and families pay them to increase their child's chance of enrolling in his or her first choice school.

College consultants may choose to join the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) by adhering to the organization's Principles of Good Practice, as well as meeting strict experience and education requirements. As a member of the IECA, a college consultant becomes a verified entity of the system and has a network of professional support.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

School and career counselors earned a median salary of $53,660 in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS reports that employment prospects for school and career counselors should increase by 8% over the 2014-2024 decade.

Requirements for a College Consultant

Higher education solidifies the consultant's understanding of the collegiate system, and ensures the admissions advice comes from a highly educated source. Therefore, a master's degree in school counseling is recommended.

Experience in college admissions offices is also vital to a career as a college consultant, because it encourages the client's belief that they are hiring a qualified individual. Working in the office that accepts high school students into college encourages an inside understanding of college acceptance practices.

Finally, if the goal is to become a member of the IECA, strict guidelines for professional membership include obtaining a master's degree, three years of consulting experience, 50 plus documented college visits, and professional references from college admissions offices and former clients. Plans that include joining an independent educator's professional organization should start with adhering to their guidelines for membership, especially in the areas of advanced education and work experience in the university admissions process.

Becoming a college consultant first requires significant education and work experience, as clients hiring a consultant want to be sure they are working with a qualified individual. Knowing the training involved to become a college consultant is a good first step in determining if this is the right career path for you.

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