10 Counseling Careers to Consider

When thinking about career fields to pursue, how to plan your first semester of college, or which electives to take during your third year of post-secondary education, many fields can branch off into other occupations. The field of counseling and mental health is expansive. Perhaps you’ve heard of a mental health counselor or a school counselor. What about pastoral counseling? Grief counselors? With certifications offered from counseling organizations to further learning on ethical work with varying populations from children with learning disabilities to the LGBTQ communities, the field of counseling may offer much more than advocacy for mental health.

1. Career Counseling: Certified counselors providing career guidance helps individuals to better understand themselves from the view of the world of work in order to make solid occupational, education, and life decisions.

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Aidan Robinson, a fifth grade Sollars Elementary School student, folds an origami crane April 6. The school has collected more than 7,000 cranes to help reach the goal of 100,000 as part of an art display at a reconstructed school in Sendai, Japan. Students Rebuild is a global organization that mobilizes young people to connect, learn and take action on critical issues. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marie BrownReleased)

2. Child/Adolescent Counseling: Counselors working with children and adolescents help them to progress through their life challenges, family discord, and issues within peer groups, school, and other environments.

3. College Counselor: Different from academic advisors, college counselors provide support and psychoeducational learning opportunities to post-secondary students experiencing crisis, emotional difficulties, mental health concerns, substance abuse, or other issues that impact academic goals.

4. Grief Counseling: Professional counselors can pursue an additional certification as a grief counselor. In this field, counselors work to help clients cope with profound loss from death of a loved one, divorce, debilitating injury, or other significant bereavements through community support groups, individual, and psychoeducational sessions.

5. Mental Health Counselor: Perhaps a well known occupation in counseling, mental health counselors combine psychotherapeutic approaches with problem-solving techniques to address clients who present a variety of mental, emotional and behavioral concerns.

6. Military Counseling: Whether active duty or civilian-contracted, military counselors are specifically trained to provide therapeutic approaches to address the mental health concerns, adjustment issues, substance abuse, marital, career, and crisis intervention concerns that arise in the military lifestyle.

7. Pastoral Counselor: Combining theological training and counseling, pastoral counselors are licensed mental health professionals that offer their clients a unique approach to therapeutic support with spiritual guidance.

8. Rehabilitation Counseling: Sometimes mistaken for substance abuse counselors, rehabilitation counseling involves the work with clients who have physical, emotional, developmental, or mental disabilities to lead a fulfilling life by addressing environmental barriers, arranging for evaluations, and collaborating with other social services to ensure a holistic approach to treatment for their clients.

9. School Counselor: Often referred to as guidance, school counselors provides much more to K-12 students. Supporting the academic, personal/social, and career development of every student, certified school counselors advocate for their students through collaboration and leadership.

10. Substance Abuse/Addiction Counselor: Counselors addressing substance abuse or addiction concerns evaluate each client’s mental and physical state in order to address treatment in the development of skills and replacement behaviors that are necessary to recover from addiction or their maladaptive behaviors.

As the editor for OnlineCounselingPrograms.com, Syrenna Kononovitch creates and designs supportive content surrounding counseling education and careers to promote mental health and client advocacy. Syrenna is also a New Jersey certified school counselor and co-creator of the School Counselor ToolKit. You can follow OnlineCounselingPrograms.com and Syrenna on Twitter → @CounselingEd.



One Comment on “10 Counseling Careers to Consider

  1. My respect for counselors grows every time I learn more about them. I’m glad you mentioned a mental health counselor, even if it’s well known. Mental illnesses are, in my opinion, very sneaky and can sometimes go unnoticed, so it’s a relief knowing that there are trained specialists out there who can help these people.

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