So you want to become a school counselor? A rewarding degree, this is nevertheless a career choice you want to contemplate carefully. Plenty of pros and plenty of cons, a future as a school counselor could be the best career in the world for you. Or, it might not be a good fit. Without further ado, let’s check out some of the pros and cons of becoming a school counselor.
One of the biggest job perks of being a school counselor is getting summers off. You also get to be around the fun and energy of a school. Does office work sound boring? A school can never be.
Loving What You Do
If you’re cut out to be a school counselor, then you’re going to love your job. Every day, you’ll be making a lasting difference in students lives–watching for signs of problems at home, evaluating their academic needs, and teaching the students about topics like bullying. Every day, you get to go home having done something meaningful.
Making a Difference
Someone has to be there for these kids. If it’s not you, it’s going to be someone else–but it might be someone else who isn’t as good at the job. If you don’t want your future to be all about money, and you want it to be about helping people who need love and care, then becoming a school counselor could be the perfect job for you. You might see some kids never get help, and never change, but you will often be the deciding factor in a troubled student in turning around and realizing a completely different life.
Becoming a school counselor takes a great deal of time. You have to be sure you really want it before you proceed because it doesn’t just take a bachelor’s; it also requires a master’s degree at least. Even after your schooling is done, you’ll need to work under supervision for at least a year, more likely two, to be certified and finally work on your own. While not automatically a con, the length of training may be too much for some.
Teachers are starting to report more and more job pressure. Schools are no longer the calm, respectful places we saw in 1950s television shows. (If they ever were.) TV reality or not, dealing with students is getting harder. Some students’ home lives might be rough, and the internet has made bullying an even worse problem. Being a school counselor will not spare you when it comes to pressure and even high stakes at your job.
Low Median Salary
While some school counselors might make around $90,000 a year, the lowest salary is around $32,000. The median is only $53,660, which isn’t much when you factor in how long you were in school. If you want to work as a school counselor, money can’t be your top priority.