The Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association reports that there should be one counselor for every 350 students. If you'd like to learn how you can help students as a school counselor, we'll explain the steps to certification below.
Requirements for School Counselors in Texas
|Average Salary for School Counselors in Texas (2017)*||$63,973|
|Required Degree||Master's Degree|
|Required Field||School Counseling|
|Testing Requirements||TExES School Counselor|
Source: *Texas Education Agency
Step 1: Become a Teacher & Gain Experience
The first step to becoming a school counselor in Texas is to become a certified teacher. This may seem a bit out of the ordinary, since counselors are really not the same thing as teachers, but 2-years teaching experience is a requirement with the Texas Education Agency (TEA). To become a teacher, you must first earn a bachelor's degree. This degree can be in any major that would be relevant to teaching in a Texas classroom. This could be elementary education or psychology or even physical education. After taking the requisite pedagogy and content exams, you'll need to be fingerprinted. After all this, seek a position in which you'll teach for four or more hours a day. Substitute teaching is not considered acceptable.
Step 2: Complete Education Requirements
For school counselors in Texas, a master's degree is required. Several colleges and universities offer programs on campus and online that are TEA-approved. Online programs or night courses may be more conducive for earning your degree while completing the two years of experience teaching. School counselors must complete an education that provides them with several important skills, such as intervention techniques, societal trends, assessing students, impact of cultural factors, counseling methods, and an understanding of the school system. Counselors need to be prepared to help teachers, assist students with their educational path and future, and be a listening ear and mediator when needed.
Along with this, you'll need to complete a TEA-approved school counselor preparation program. A school counselor preparation program will be a part of your master's program in school counseling. For those who already hold a master's in another area, the preparation program can be completed as a standalone certification program. These programs will put you at the heart of the profession while continuing education, and provide a good opportunity for you to work with mentor counselors and to learn the daily tasks of the job.
Step 3: Pass Required Exam
The final step is to pass the TExES School Counselor certification exam. By now, you've already taken a few TExES exams, so you are familiar with the cost of $131 and the 5-hour maximum testing time. This exam covers three areas important for school counselors: understanding students; implementing a developmental guidance and counseling program; and collaboration, consultation, and professionalism as a school counselor. Similar to many other TExES exams, this is made up of 100 multiple-choice questions.
Certification Resources for School Counselors in Texas
There will be several exams ahead of you if you'd like to become a school counselor in Texas. Allow us to provide you with some links to study guides and resources that can help.