Working in counselling and advice with a degree (or similar)

Counsellors often work with people over a long period of time to help them with deep-rooted difficulties.

You could be involved in the management of a counselling or advice service, managing staff, planning services and ensuring delivery to high standards.

Example jobs

Workplace counsellor
Seeing clients confidentially, listening and helping them to find solutions.

Addiction therapist
Working with substance misusers to develop individual treatment plans.

Service manager
Leading the delivery of advice services, managing volunteers and staff, planning and budgeting.

Project manager
Planning, setting up and running a specific advice project over a fixed time period.

Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

Some counsellors and advisers work as volunteers.

Pay level graph

Typical working conditions

  • You will usually work indoors with a lot of client contact (face to face or by phone).
  • You will be dealing with other people's emotional issues and will receive regular professional supervision.
  • Your work may include travel to see clients or attend meetings.

Qualifications needed

Although not a requirement, many advisers and counsellors have a degree. The subject of your degree is generally not important but it is important you have good people skills. Counsellors usually have a diploma, which includes counselling practice (and having counselling yourself). Advisers need to build up long experience working in their specialist area and may have a Level 3, 4 or 5 qualification in advice and guidance. You may choose to study for specialist qualifications in, for example, substance misuse, working with young people, etc.

Career path

Counsellors and advisers usually progress by becoming more expert in their field and dealing with more complex cases. You could become a team leader or supervise other advisers. You may choose to become a manager, often doing no work directly with clients. Managers can progress to managing larger services or becoming head of service.

Useful links

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British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

National Counselling Society