Relocation counselors help employees, such as those who have recently been hired or transferred, transition to unfamiliar cities and environments. Some of their responsibilities may include arranging for and scheduling the transport of an employee's household goods. Relocation specialists may also help employees find new housing arrangements by networking with real estate firms or providing real estate listings that would be a good match for him or her. They'll also keep track of the housing and moving costs associated with a transfer, especially as some companies cover these expenses. Relocation counselors may need to work during evenings and weekends in order to meet their clients' scheduling needs. Although some employers prefer applicants with bachelor's degrees, experience in areas like customer service, office work, and real estate services can help prepare workers for entry-level employment in the field.
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree typically preferred or required|
|Degree Fields||Not specified|
|Experience||1-3 years of experience in customer service, office work, or real estate services|
|Key Skills||Good communication, customer service, organizational, and problem-solving skills; knowledge of data-entry systems|
|Licensure and Certification||Counselors who also work as sales agents or brokers must be licensed; voluntary professional certification is available|
|Median Annual Salary (2016)*||$45,500 (for relocation specialists)|
Sources: Online job listings from employers (January 2013), U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2014), Worldwide ERC, *PayScale.com (August 2016)
Step 1: Bachelor's Degree
As we just said, some employers prefer or require prospective relocation counselors to have a bachelor's degree. Relevant majors may include accounting, business administration, finance, human resources, or real estate.
- Take electives in office work. Business-related courses in computer keyboarding and use may help aspiring relocation counselors find employment after graduation. Many schools offer various classes in communications, keyboarding, office management, and the use of popular spreadsheet and word processing software.
Step 2: Experience
Employers typically look for relocation counselors with at least 1-3 years of related experience. Entry-level jobs can include those in business, customer service, or data entry. Any experience related to relocation, such as real estate or leasing, could also prove advantageous when pursuing a relocation counselor position. To gain this experience, future counselors may look for job opportunities with real estate companies, travel agencies, or other related business.
Step 3: Certification & Licensing
Worldwide ERC (the Association for Workforce Mobility) offers credentials for those looking to specialize in relocation counseling, such as the Certified Relocation Professional (CRP), Senior Certified Relocation Professional (SCRP), and Global Mobility Specialist (GMS) credentials. Specific requirements vary by credential but typically require membership or at least one year of experience.
Relocation counselors who handle the duties of a broker or sales agent may need to be licensed in their states. Although requirements can vary, applicants should be at least 18 years of age. They'll also need to complete a specific number of hours in real estate education and successfully pass an examination. Those with combined experience, education, and certification will have the greatest prospects of advancement in this career field.
If you're still interested in becoming a relocation counselor, remember you'll most likely need a bachelor's degree in a relevant major, such as accounting, business administration, finance, human resources, or real estate, after which you may earn a median annual salary of $45,500.