What Can You Do With a Master's in School Counseling?

There are a number of different career options for individuals who have a master's degree in school counseling. We will discuss a few of these possibilities in greater detail by focusing on job responsibilities and licensure requirements.

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Individuals who are considering pursuing a master's degree in school counseling may be interested in exploring the various career options that would be available to them. Below, we will look at a number of different careers in fields like education and counseling for which this master's degree would prepare you.

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  • College Student Counseling

Career Options for Individuals with a Master's Degree in School Counseling

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
School and Career Counselor $54,560 13%
School Psychologist $73,270 14%
Postsecondary Teacher $75,430 15%
Marriage and Family Therapist $49,170 23%
Substance Abuse Counselor $41,070 (substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor) 23% (substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

School and Career Counselor

As a school and career counselor, you will be responsible for working with students to help them set and achieve academic and career-related goals. You may meet with students who are performing poorly in class to identify any issues that may be adversely affecting their grades, work with students who are in the process of applying to college to prepare their applications, and administer various aptitude and skills tests to help students identify potential career paths. A master's degree in school counseling is a common prerequisite for this career field, though some states may have additional licensure requirements.

School Psychologist

School psychologists typically work with students who are experiencing different types of problems in the school setting, often due to learning, behavioral, or educational disorders. They work with students individually based on their specific needs and help them develop plans and strategies to be successful in school. They may also provide their recommendations to teachers, parents, and administrators in order to create a learning environment that is most conducive to the student's needs. While some psychologists may have a doctoral level degree, some school positions may be open to those who have a master's degree in school counseling along with licensure. Those who are interested in working in instructional or organizational psychology will likely only need a master's degree.

Postsecondary Teacher

As a postsecondary teacher, you will work with college-age students and organize courses in your areas of expertise. Some of your responsibilities may include lecturing and leading class discussions, working with students one-on-one to help them succeed in class, assigning homework and projects, administering tests and exams, and assigning grades to students based on their performance. Though many postsecondary teachers do have Ph.D. degrees, some positions at community colleges or as an adjunct professor may be available to those who only have a master's degree in a related field.

Marriage and Family Therapist

Marriage and family therapists are professionals who primarily work with couples and families who are experiencing some sort of problem in their relationships. You will help clients describe their emotions and experiences with their partners or families in order to help them overcome various traumatic events like cheating, divorce, behavioral problems, or loss of job. With a background in school counseling, you may be particularly interested in working with families with school-aged children who may be having problems in school because of their home environment. Marriage and family therapists typically have a master's degree in a mental health field and need a license to practice. In addition, they would likely need to complete an internship in marriage and family counseling in order to work in this capacity.

Substance Abuse Counselor

Substance abuse counselors work with individuals who are struggling with various forms of addiction as well as with close family members and friends of the addict. These counselors may work with various addiction support groups to keep struggling and former addicts accountable, in mental health and drug treatment facilities, and with individuals who need guidance as to how to get their lives back on track after recovering from addiction. They may also help family members plan interventions if an individual has an addiction problem that could possibly endanger their life. While there are a variety of paths one could follow to become a substance abuse counselor, having a master's degree in school counseling along with an internship in this field could help prepare an individual for this career.

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