High school counselors guide and support students as they navigate the challenges of adolescence and prepare for their futures. Here are several things you should know for those interested in pursuing this career.


You need a master’s degree in counseling or a related field. Some states may also require a specific counseling certification or license—research state requirements before pursuing a career in this field.

In addition to formal education, high school counselors require soft skills and the willingness to work with diverse populations. They must be comfortable working with students from all backgrounds and be able to support students with a range of needs.

Responsibilities of a High School Counselor

High school counselors help develop academic and career goals and provide resources and support to help students achieve those goals. They also work with students to address personal and social issues.

High school counselors may coordinate college and career fairs, help students with college applications, and provide financial aid and scholarship information. They might be asked to help develop and implement school-wide initiatives to promote student success.

Working with Students

Counselors must be able to build relationships with students and create a safe and supportive environment where students feel comfortable discussing their concerns and seeking guidance.

High school counselors may work with students individually or in groups. They may provide counseling sessions to help students address personal or social issues, or they may work with students to develop academic and career goals. They may also guide study skills and time management and help students develop effective strategies for success.

In addition to working with students, high school counselors may collaborate with teachers and other school staff to address student needs. They may participate in team meetings to discuss student progress and develop plans for intervention or support.

Challenges and Rewards of the Job

Working as a high school counselor can be both challenging and rewarding. Counselors may face various challenges, including working with students struggling with mental health issues, academic difficulties, or personal problems. They may also face challenges related to working in a school environment with limited resources and competing demands.

Despite these challenges, many high school counselors find their work extremely rewarding. They can positively impact young people’s lives and help students achieve their goals. They may also find satisfaction in collaborating with other school staff to create a supportive and inclusive learning environment.

Career Outlook

The career outlook for high school counselors is generally favorable. The school and career counselor industry is projected to grow exponentially due to increasing demand for counseling services in schools, as well as a growing emphasis on academic and career readiness. However, the need for high school counselors can vary depending on location and budgetary constraints.  

Becoming a high school counselor can be fulfilling for those passionate about helping young people. It requires a combination of formal education, strong communication, empathy, and a willingness to work with diverse populations. High school counselors have a range of responsibilities, from providing academic and career guidance to addressing personal and social issues.