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Guidance Counsellor Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Guidance Counsellor, or Educational Counsellor, advises students, parents, and faculty on educational issues. Their duties include providing guidance to current and prospective students, facilitating important communication between students and their parents or teachers, analyzing student behaviour, and addressing academic issues.

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Guidance Counsellor duties and responsibilities

Guidance Counsellors counsel students on personal, academic, and other issues. Students often confide in their Guidance Counsellors, so building trust is crucial. Students look to their Guidance Counsellor for informed and sound advice. A Guidance Counsellor candidate must therefore be confident performing the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Providing supervision, guidance and instruction for students in their social, academic, and personal lives
  • Assisting students living with disabilities to meet their academic goals
  • Planning and organizing individual and group programs using multi-disciplinary approaches
  • Holding meaningful and insightful conversations with students, faculty, and parents, and mediating communication between these groups
  • Assisting with homework and other study-related issues
  • Referring students to scholarship, fellowship, internship, research, and other academic and employment opportunities
  • Proactively identifying methods for growth, development, and mentorship
  • Developing other guidance and counselling programs as needed
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Guidance Counsellor Job Description Examples:

What does a Guidance Counsellor do?

A Guidance Counsellor works in educational institutions with students, faculty, and parents to identify opportunities for growth, address issues, and offer academic guidance. They get to know students and assist them with meeting their personal and educational aspirations.

In addition to helping with academic achievements at school, Guidance Counsellors may work with students to identify further education and career opportunities, such as internships and scholarships. They keep files on students, parents, and teachers, and provide helpful resources about relevant academic and career opportunities for students. They serve an important role in a school to facilitate conversations, and guide student growth and development.

Guidance Counsellor skills and qualifications

To identify a strong Guidance Counsellor candidate, you must look for someone with excellent listening, mentoring, interpersonal, and communication skills. They must be comfortable and trustworthy around students of all ages. You may need a candidate experienced in working with children of specific needs or interests. For example, a performing arts school should hire a Guidance Counsellor with in-depth knowledge of performing arts opportunities and career paths. Other skills and qualifications include:

  • Comfortable in a fast-paced environment
  • Able to manage multiple student files
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Understanding of personal or life skills management
  • Training or teaching experience or qualification
  • Comfortable working with children of different ages, as well as faculty and parents
  • Leadership skills when working with groups and individuals

Guidance Counsellor experience requirements

A Guidance Counsellor typically needs experience working with children. Some of this can be learned on-the-job, but you may want a candidate who is experienced with a specific age group. Schools for younger children, for example, require a Guidance Counsellor who is familiar with managing behavioural issues. You may also want an experienced Counsellor who knows how to organize training sessions, act as a mentor, and has knowledge of psychology or a related discipline.

Guidance Counsellor education and training requirements

A strong candidate for Guidance Counsellor has an undergraduate degree or equivalent in education, psychology, developmental psychology, or a similar field. First Aid and CPR certifications are crucial for anyone working with children. Some educational facilities may also require a teacher’s certificate and a background check or security clearance to work with students. The requirements vary by province and territory, but many Guidance Counsellors require additional certification from a local regulatory body.

Guidance Counsellor salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average wage for a Guidance Counsellor in Canada $24.3 per hour. It’s important to note pay depends on experience, location and the hiring organization.

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Guidance Counsellor job description FAQs

What qualities make a good Guidance Counsellor?

Some schools use the terms interchangeably. However, a School Counsellor is more focused on assisting students with academic issues. Guidance Counsellors assist students, faculty, and parents with more than just academic concerns. They also assist with personal, social, and career development. They sometimes work outside of schools, such as in a career center, however, most work within educational facilities.

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