careers.novascotia.ca

School Counsellors

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NOC:4033
Occupation:School Counsellors
Category:Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

About the job

Nature of work:

Educational counsellors advise current and prospective students on educational issues, career planning and personal development, and coordinate the provision of counselling services to students, parents, teachers, faculty and staff. They are employed by school boards and post-secondary educational institutions.

Job duties:
Educational counsellors perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Counsel students regarding educational issues such as course and program selection, time tables and scheduling, school adjustment, attendance problems and study skills.
  • Counsel students regarding career or vocational issues including career exploration and planning, resume preparation, job interview skills and job search strategies and make available to them a wide range of educational and occupational information.
  • Coordinate co-op and school-to-work transition programs, and the provision of counselling and information services, such as career information, professional development sessions and exchanges with other educational institutions, to students, parents, teachers, faculty and staff.
  • Consult with teachers and parents or faculty and other professionals such as psychologists, speech therapists and social workers regarding various issues and concerns, and with administrators and community agencies regarding programs and referrals.
  • Administer and interpret standardized intelligence, personality, vocational, aptitude and interest tests.
  • Develop and coordinate study skills groups or workshops in high schools, colleges and universities on topics such as note-taking, test or examination anxiety and preparation strategies and time management skills.
  • Visit colleges and secondary schools to provide academic information to prospective students, their parents and educational counsellors.
  • Coordinate or participate in student orientation programs in colleges or universities.
  • Arrange for employers to recruit graduating college and university students, and students for co-op education work terms.
  • Counsel students regarding personal and social issues such as substance abuse, depression, sexuality, eating disorders, anxiety, self-esteem, family problems, relationship and interpersonal skills and anger management.
  • Counsel students in crisis situations such as dealing with the death of a friend or family member, suicidal tendencies and abuse situations.
  • May supervise peer counselling programs in school settings.
  • May supervise field experience for graduate students in counselling.
  • May teach regular classes.
Sample job titles:
  • academic adviser
  • college counsellor
  • guidance counsellor
  • international student adviser
  • school adjustment officer
  • school counsellor
  • student affairs and employment officer
  • student employment services co-ordinator
  • student services counsellor
  • university counsellor
Skills:

To work in this field, you should be patient, imaginative, objective, and resourceful. Leadership skills and the ability to motivate students are important. You must be able to communicate ideas in a clear, concise, and interesting way. Planning and organizational skills are also necessary. Energy and stamina are often needed, as a school counsellor's workday involves more than just school hours.

Job requirements:
  • A bachelor's degree in counselling, career development, education or social sciences is required for counsellors in school settings.
  • A master's degree in counselling psychology or a related field such as educational psychology, developmental psychology or social work is usually required.
  • Educational counsellors in post-secondary settings require an undergraduate degree and may require a graduate degree. A particular academic specialization may also be required.
  • A teacher's certificate in the province of employment and some teaching experience is usually required for counsellors in school settings.
  • Educational counsellors in colleges and universities may require licensing from a provincial regulatory body governing psychologists, educational counsellors or social workers.
Other considerations:

Elementary school counsellors generally provide more social and personal counselling whereas academic counselling is provided more by high school counsellors. Educational counsellors in colleges, universities and other settings may specialize in academic, career or personal issues counselling.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Fair

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow slightly over the next few years, which should provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. School Counsellors most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 51% of School Counsellors who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $67,780. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
School Counsellors620Weak growth75Low
Minimum: $27.50
Median: $38.46
Maximum: $50.55
Minimum: $11,714
Median: $60,033
Maximum: $87,328
Occupations in Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services55,420Moderate growth4,880Low
Minimum: $14.00
Median: $26.88
Maximum: $46.15
Minimum: $5,616
Median: $44,335
Maximum: $92,599
School CounsellorsCompared to: Occupations in Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services
Percent employed full-time91%79%
Percent self-employed3%6%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentSchool CounsellorsCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern11%$31,42312%$30,581
Northern19%$47,38416%$33,660
Cape Breton13%$61,24113%$32,974
Halifax43%$48,17947%$41,209
Annapolis Valley15%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeSchool CounsellorsCompared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services
% Employed% Employed
15-246%N/A
25-3414%5%
35-4429%37%
45-5432%29%
55-6415%24%
65+5%5%
Median Age4444
GenderSchool CounsellorsCompared to: Occupations in Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services
% Employed% Employed
Female82%64%
Male18%36%
EducationSchool CounsellorsCompared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high schoolN/Ax2.8%$11,346
High school8.5%$39,89014.3%$25,801
Trades certificate1.4%x4.2%$35,678
College certificate or diploma11.3%$21,92621.5%$28,183
University certificate or diploma2.8%$36,9682.6%$35,967
Bachelor's degree21.8%$49,43529.2%$43,533
University advanced certificate or diploma2.8%$60,3753.4%$47,801
Master's degreeN/A$79,96117.2%$35,978
Doctorate52.1%x4.6%$60,991
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry1.4%x0.2%$83,456
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

Employment Requirements & Contacts

Regulations:
Counselling Therapist
Right to Title:This job is regulated in Nova Scotia. The job title is protected (you may not use this job title without a professional designation). Professional designation shows that the holder has met provincial requirements for the job. Employers may require professional designation, however, you do not need professional designation to legally work in this job.
Regulating body:
Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists
36 Brookshire Court, Suite 201
Bedford, NS B4A 4E9
(902) 225-7531
registrar@nscct.ca 
Useful contacts:
Nova Scotia School Counsellors Association
c/o Nova Scotia Teachers Union, 3106 Joseph Howe Drive
Halifax, NS B3L 4L7
Tel: (902) 477-5621
Fax: (902) 477-3517
nstu@nstu.ca
Nova Scotia Teachers Union
3106 Joseph Howe Drive
Halifax, NS B3L 4L7
Tel: (902) 477-5621
Fax: (902) 477-3517
centraloffice@nstu.ca
Nova Scotia Department of Education, Teacher Certification
PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
Tel: (902) 424-6620
Fax: (902) 424-3814
Canadian Teachers' Federation
2490 Don Reid Drive
Ottawa, ON K1H 1E1
Tel: (613) 232-1505
Fax: (613) 232-1886

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Counsellor education/school counselling and guidance services
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply the theory and principles of guidance and counselling to the provision of support for the personal, social, educational, and vocational development of students, and the organizing of guidance services within elementary, middle and secondary educational institutions. These programs include courses in legal and professional requirements, therapeutic counsellor intervention, vocational counselling, and related sociological and psychological foundations.
See all institutions providing this program+
Acadia University
15 University Avenue
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
(902) 542-2201
agi@acadiau.ca
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
registrar@cbu.ca
Program Name:Education/teaching of individuals with multiple disabilities
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the design of educational services for children or adults with multiple disabilities which adversely affect their educational performance and that prepares individuals to teach such students. These programs include courses in identifying students with multiple disabilities, developing individual education plans, teaching and supervising multiple handicapped students, counselling, and applicable laws and policies.
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Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
kingstec.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
lunenburg.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Educational psychology
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the application of psychology to the study of the behaviour of individuals in the roles of teacher and learner, the nature and effects of learning environments, and the psychological effects of methods, resources, organization and non-school experience on the educational process. These programs include courses in learning theory, human growth and development, research methods, and psychological evaluation.
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Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2J6
(902) 457-6117
admissions@msvu.ca
Program Name:Human resources development
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply integrated training, organizational development, and career planning and counselling skills to the design, management, and evaluation of programs to improve individual productivity, employability, and job satisfaction and organizational effectiveness. These programs include courses in psychology; organizational behaviour; principles of adult education; occupational counselling; skill testing and evaluation; program design; consulting practice; organizational development; and applications to issues such as training, management development, customer service, and total quality management.
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Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Program Name:School psychology
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply clinical and counselling psychology principles to the diagnosis and treatment of student behavioural problems. These programs include courses in child and/or adolescent development; learning theory; testing, observation and other procedures for assessing educational, personality, intelligence and motor skill development; therapeutic intervention strategies for students and families; identification and classification of disabilities and disorders affecting learning; school psychological services planning; supervised counselling practice; ethical standards; and applicable regulations.
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Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2J6
(902) 457-6117
admissions@msvu.ca
Additional resources: