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Counselor

Counselors assist people with personal, family, educational, mental health, and career problems. Their duties vary greatly depending on their occupational specialty, which is determined by the setting in which they work and the population they serve.

Hours: counselors usually work a standard 40-hour week.

Opportunities: counselors work in a wide variety of public and private establishments, including healthcare facilities; job training, career development, and vocational rehabilitation centers; social agencies; correctional institutions; and residential care facilities, such as halfway houses for criminal offenders and group homes for children, the elderly, and the disabled.

Pay: Median annual earnings of wage and salary educational, vocational, and school counselors in May 2006 were $47,530. The middle 50 percent earned between $36,120 and $60,990. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $27,240, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $75,920.

Training: Education requirements vary based on occupational specialty and State licensure and certification requirements. A master's degree is usually required to be licensed as a counselor. Some States require counselors in public employment to have a master's degree; others accept a bachelor's degree with appropriate counseling courses. Counselor education programs in colleges and universities are often found in departments of education or psychology.

Citation: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition , Counselors, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos067.htm (visited July 28, 2009 ).

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