Home :: School Counselors & Members :: Careers/Roles

What Does a School Counselor Do?
Parents, administrators, teachers and students considering a career in school counseling often wonder just what it is school counselors do on a daily basis. Why do we need school counselors anyway? On a daily basis, school counselors are involved in character education, violence prevention, career planning and much more.

This section of ASCA's website contains a wealth of information on the roles of school counselors, how to become a school counselor, promoting your school counseling program, research on the effectiveness of school counseling and more.

Practicing school counselors should feel free to use any of this material at back-to-school nights, faculty meetings, school board meetings, one-on-one parent meetings or any other time they want to share their roles and expertise with others. Those considering a career in school counseling will also find valuable information here to guide them on their journey to a degree and job in school counseling.

The Role of the School Counselor
Today's school counselors are vital members of the education team. They help all students in the areas of academic achievement, personal/social development and career development, ensuring today's students become the productive, well-adjusted adults of tomorrow. Learn more about The Role of the School Counselor. Or download the parent resource, Who Are School Counselors? See the list of appropriate and inappropriate duties for school counselors.

The Need for School Counselors
School counselors are an important part of the educational leadership team and provide valuable assistance to students regardless of whether they work in an elementary school or middle school, high school or beyond.
Why Elementary School Counselors?
Why Middle/Junior High School Counselors?
Why Secondary School Counselors?
Why Post-secondary School Counselors?
Why School Counseling Directors/Coordinators?
Empirical Studies on the Effectiveness of School Counselors

Certification and Continuing Education Requirements
Every state has different requirements for certification and continuing education for practicing school counselors. Additionally, two organizations provide school-counseling-related certification options. Click here for a chart comparing the details of NBCC and NBPTS accreditation.

School Counseling Training
Looking to enter the school counseling field? There are 466 colleges and universities across the country with certificates, master's degrees, Ph.D., Ed.D. or PsyD programs in school counseling, counselor education or counseling psychology. Check out the programs.

School Counselor Competencies
The School Counselor Competencies outline the knowledge, attitudes and skills that ensure school counselors are equipped to meet the rigorous demands of the profession and the needs of PK-12 students.

Search for School Counseling Jobs
Looking to hire a school counselor or find a new school counseling job yourself? ASCA is working with Teachers-Teachers.com to provide a job search resource to members. This free job search resource is targeted to education job seekers and recruiters. Set up your free account today. Or, look for job openings or post your job ads on the ASCA SCENE.

Student-to-Counselor Ratios
Although ASCA recommends a 250-to-1 ratio of students to counselors, the national average is actually 491-to-1 for the 2013-2014 school year (the most recent year for which data are available). See how the individual states stack up (states alphabetically or states from lowest to highest ratio).