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Whether at school or at work, counseling is an incredibly important service that benefits countless people every day. There exists student counseling in the education system for teenagers who need emotional support, career advice, or general direction. There are counseling programs and personnel services for employees who simply need someone to listen after a traumatic experience or a long day. Counseling is not limited only to school or professional workplaces. Counseling and guidance services are also available at hospitals, marriage clinics, religious institutions (churches, temples, mosques, etc.), community centers, private homes, and everything in-between. And although the particulars of each venue, patient, and problem might vary, the basic skills required to become a counselor are pretty much the same across the board.
In a typical counselor program, students will learn all the essentials required for guidance services. Psychology, conflict resolution, crisis management, trust building exercises, breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, counseling methodology, and various branches of medicine are fairly popular at most counseling programs. But probably the two most important areas include listening and patience. Whether you're a counselor in education or a counselor at a hospital, learning to listen to your patients/clients is extremely important.
Employment of school and career counselors is projected to grow 12 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Increasing school enrollments should lead to employment growth of school and career counselors. However, hiring may be limited, due to slow growth- or decline- in school funding from state and local governments. The median annual wage for school and career counselors was $53,610 in May 2012.
Employment of mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists is projected to grow 29 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected in both occupations as more people have mental health counseling services covered by their insurance policies. In May 2012, the median annual wage for mental health counselors was $40,080. The median annual wage for marriage and family therapists was $46,670 in May 2012.
Source: US Department of Labor