There are many different kinds of counsellors, including career counsellors, drug rehabilitation counsellors, mental health professionals and school counsellors. Counsellors help people with problems involving work, family, health and relationships. Salaries vary widely depending on the the field the counsellor is in. According to a 2008 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for counsellors in various fields was between £20,105 for rehabilitation counsellors and £33,180 for career and school counsellors. All counsellors generally must have a master's degree in psychology or a related field, as well as hold a license in the state they are working in.
Career and school counsellors
Career and school counsellors are the highest-paid counsellors, according to the BLS. Career and school counsellors generally work in public and private schools from elementary school to college. They also work in private practice. These counsellors help students and professionals achieve their job- and school-related goals. They might help students apply for colleges or help job-seekers discover which kind of job they prefer. School counsellors might also help students with behavioural problems. The median wage for career and school counsellors was £33,180 in 2008.
Marriage and family counsellors
Marriage and family counsellors generally work in private practices. They provide couple's therapy, as well as group therapy for families. Marriage and family counsellors may also be licensed to provide individual therapy. There are numerous types of methods used by marriage and family counsellors, but generally they use talk therapy, in which couples and family members communicate with each other in a safe environment. Marriage and family therapists are often used by families in crisis. According to the BLS, the median wage for marriage and family counsellors was £28,985 in 2008.
Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counsellors
Substance abuse and behavioural disorder counsellors work with people who have drug or alcohol addictions, as well as eating and gambling disorders. These counsellors work with individuals to help control their addictions. Counsellors in this field might work at private practices or in hospitals or rehabilitation centres. They likely provide individual therapy as well as group therapy. According to the BLS, the median wage for substance abuse and behavioural disorder counsellors was £24,070 in 2008.
Mental health counsellors
Mental health counsellors work with individuals who have mental illnesses, as well as individuals who have emotional disorders. These illnesses range from minor depression to major schizophrenia. Many times, mental health counsellors work in addition to any drug therapy the individual is participating in. Mental health counsellors work in private practice as well as mental hospitals. The BLS reported the median wage for mental health counsellors in 2008 was £23,925.
Each state has its own requirements for counsellors to be licensed, but this generally requires an advanced degree in a related field of counselling, as well as completing a training programme. There are, however, some states that accept a bachelor's degree before entering a training program. Counsellors must renew their licenses at given intervals, and this generally requires continued education programs to ensure the counsellor is up-to-date on current practices. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the career outlook for counsellors varies greatly depending on the field. Substance abuse and behavioural disorder counsellors are expected to see the largest growth of job opportunities. The increasing knowledge about addictions as well as the growing tendency for first-time drug offenders to be placed in rehabilitation in lieu of sentencing will fuel the growth.