How do I train to become a counselor?

Counsellors help people understand themselves and the world around them so that people can make better decisions, work through issues and improve their lives. Counsellors work in a variety of settings, from camps to schools to clinics.


First, decide what type of counsellor you want to be. The most common types of counsellors are school, rehabilitation, mental health, substance abuse, and marriage and family. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for all types of counsellors are expected to increase by 18 per cent by 2018, which is faster than average for all occupations.

Training and Education

Summer camp counsellors complete a week or two of training provided by the camp. Other types of counsellors complete a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as psychology, social work or education. To become a licensed counsellor, most states require a master's degree or a doctorate in psychology.

Other Considerations

Find out what types of licenses and certifications are required in your state. A camp counsellor may be required to be certified in CPR and First Aid. A school counsellor may need a teaching license. Many states require rehabilitation counsellors and family therapists to complete a supervised clinical experience and pass a state exam.

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About the Author

Dawn Trautman has been a writer for fifteen years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Valparaiso University and master's degrees from Luther Seminary and New York University.

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