To be a successful Counselor you should…
- have a strong interest in helping others
- have the ability to inspire respect, trust and confidence
- enjoy working independently and as part of a team
What will my job be like?
Counselors help clients solve their personal problems or conflicts, which they are unable to resolve on their own. They may help families work through conflicts by improving communication and relationships. Mental health counselors work with clients who struggle with substance abuse, other addictions, marital problems, stress and aging.
Counselors may specialize in the following:
- Alcohol and Drug Prevention Programs
- Employment or Vocational Counseling
- Gerontological Counseling
- Marriage and Family Counseling – View Video
- Mental Health Counseling – View Video
- Multicultural Counseling
- Rehabilitation Counseling
- School and College Counseling
Where could I work?
Counselors are employed in a variety of settings: community mental health centers, drug rehabilitation centers, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities. In addition, master’s prepared counselors may work for themselves in private practice. The work week is 40 hours and may include nights or weekends for the convenience of the patients. School counselors work the same hours and months as teachers.
Other workplace settings:
- Hospice Programs
- Nursing Homes
- Halfway Houses
- Residential Care Facilities
- State/Local Government Agencies
- Insurance Companies
- Private and Group Practices
- Social Agencies
- Vocational Rehabilitation Centers
What is the average annual salary?
What is the future of this career?
According to the BLS, employment of substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors is projected to grow 23 percent from 2016-2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth is expected as people continue to seek addiction and mental health counseling.
What type of education and/or training do I need?
Counselors receive their education through academic programs at community colleges, colleges and universities. Most counselors receive a 4-year bachelor’s degree plus a graduate degree. There are 2-year associate degrees that offer certification in specialized areas of counseling.
Where can I get the education and/or training?
- Albertus Magnus College, New Haven
- Capital Community College, Hartford
- Central Connecticut State University, New Britain
- Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic
- Fairfield University, Fairfield
- Gateway Community College, New Haven
- Manchester Community College, Manchester
- Middlesex Community College, Middletown
- Northwestern Connecticut Community College, Winsted
- Norwalk Community College, Norwalk
- Post University, Waterbury
- Quinnipiac University, Hamden
- Sacred Heart University, Fairfield
- Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven
- Trinity College, Hartford
- Tunxis Community College, Farmington
- University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport
- University of Connecticut, Storrs
- University of Hartford, West Hartford
- University of New Haven, New Haven
- University of St. Joseph, West Hartford
- Wesleyan University, Middletown
- Western Connecticut State University, Danbury
- Yale New Have Hospital, New Haven
Do I need a license or certification for this career?
Licensure is required in the state of Connecticut. Prerequisite: In addition to an earned Master’s degree or Doctoral degree, a counselor must pass NBCC’s, NCE or NCMHCE exam, and participate in 3000 hours of postgraduate degree supervised experience in professional counseling, including a minimum of 100 hours of direct supervision by an appropriately licensed individual.
Where can I get more information?
American Counseling Association
6104 Stevenson Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22304
American Mental Health Counselors Association
107 West Street, Suite 779
Alexandria, VA 22314