School/Vocational/Career Counselor  What They Do

Just the Facts


Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors Career Video



Counsels individuals and provides group educational and vocational guidance services.

This career is part of the Education and Training cluster Professional Support Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Provides crisis intervention to students when difficult situations occur at schools.
  • Confers with parents or guardians, teachers, administrators, and other professionals to discuss children's progress, resolve behavioral, academic, and other problems, and to determine priorities for students and their resource needs.
  • Identifies cases of domestic abuse or other family problems and encourages students or parents to seek additional assistance from mental health professionals.
  • Counsels individuals to help them understand and overcome personal, social, or behavioral problems affecting their educational or vocational situations.
  • Counsels students regarding educational issues, such as course and program selection, class scheduling and registration, school adjustment, truancy, study habits, and career planning.
  • Maintains accurate and complete student records as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
  • Prepares students for later educational experiences by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and to persevere with challenging tasks.
  • Teaches classes and presents self-help or information sessions on subjects related to education and career planning.
  • Provides special services such as alcohol and drug prevention programs and classes that teach students to handle conflicts without resorting to violence.
  • Conducts follow-up interviews with counselees to determine if their needs have been met.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Academic Advisor --
  • Academic Counselor --
  • Advisor --
  • Career Center Director --
  • Career Counselor --
  • Career Services Director --
  • College Counselor --
  • Counselor --
  • Guidance Counselor -- Helps students figure out what they want to do in the future by helping them analyze their strengths and interests and find the career opportunities which may be perfect for them.
  • School Counselor --