The field of counseling hosts job opportunities from clinical counseling in private practice to counseling administration for large organizations. Even if you are not yet ready to begin your job search, it may be helpful to understand the specific qualities employers are seeking, as well as the education and experience you will need for your target job.
The typical steps to landing a job as a counselor are:
- Complete the appropriate education for your focus area (typically a master’s degree).
- Obtain state counselor licensure.
- Bolster your professional reputation and skills by seeking voluntary credentialing or membership through organizations such as the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC), NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals, The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), and, specifically for school counselors, The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).
- Ready your resume and conduct a thorough job search.
A successful job search hinges on being specific about your desired career and goals. Once you have a target career, you can narrow your job search to the organizations that offer positions that align with your objectives. To help during your search, reach out to the peer network you developed in school and internships, as well as any other counselors you know from professional organizations or local hospitals and clinics. Some recommendations for job boards in counseling include:
- Addiction and Substance Abuse Counseling: NAADAC, National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers
- Counseling (All Disciplines): American Counseling Association (ACA), National Association of Black Counselors, Inc. (NABC)
- Counselor Education, Higher Education: HigherEdJobs, National Council on Rehabilitation Education (NCRE)
- Counseling in Federal Government Positions: USA Jobs
- Gambling Counseling: National Council on Problem Gaming (NCPG)
- Genetic Counseling: National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC)
- Marriage and Family Therapy: American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)
- Pastoral Counseling: ChurchStaffing.com
- Rehabilitation Counseling: Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Education (CRCE)
- School Counseling: K12 JobSpot, National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
- Multi-Field: Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn, Simply Hired, ZipRecruiter
For more about a career in counseling, please visit our counseling career guide, and to find even more opportunities, try our job board. Our counseling job board is a frequently updated list of the most recent mental health and licensed professional counseling job opportunities across the nation and in your area. To view open counseling jobs in a specific location, enter your target city or ZIP code in the Where field. To narrow your search to a particular job title, you can enter it into the What field before clicking “Find.” If you do not yet have a target job title in mind, you may want to begin your search with popular job titles for mental health professionals. Some of these titles include:
- Addiction Counselor
- Behavioral Health Counselor
- Drug and Alcohol Counselor
- Gambling Counselor
- Guidance Counselor
- Licensed Professional Counselor
- Marriage and Family Therapist
- Mental Health Counselor
- Pastoral Counselor
- Recreational Therapist
- Rehabilitation Counselor
- Substance Abuse Counselor
- School Counselor