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Schools, colleges, and other educational institutions have many counseling job opportunities. These opportunities include guidance counseling, assessment counseling, and college–admissions counseling. There are also consultants for special–needs students, such as those with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and dyslexia. While most educational consultants work at educational institutions, a number may work at educational–services firms or even be self–employed.

The most well known school counseling jobs are guidance counseling jobs. They work at both public and private elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, boarding schools, technical schools, and colleges. In elementary and secondary institutions, they often provide psychological counseling to students who may be experiencing stress or peer pressure. They may hold meetings with parents separately or along with the student in order to facilitate familiar communication. In addition, they often hold meetings with one or more students. They also update the school principal on these issues to keep them informed of these new developments for student records. They may also ask the principal to administer disciplinary action on a student.

It is important to note that public secondary schools, which often operate on a smaller budgets, often create only one or two counseling jobs to perform the full round of guidance, academic, and admissions counseling. These counselors are therefore skilled in all areas and have past experience as generalists. The same is not true for private or boarding schools, which have greater funding and can support an entire staff of educational counselors.



Besides psychological counseling, educational consultants perform placement consulting that involves administering placement tests to determine a student's academic level. These placement consultants administer multi-disciplinary tests prior to the school year's start to determine if the student is eligible for advanced-placement classes. They may also administer learning-disability screening tests to decipher if the student struggles with certain coursework.

Many secondary schools also have college-admissions counselors. These counselors advise students from their freshman, year to their senior year on college and post-secondary education opportunities. They give students recommendations for maximizing their chances of acceptance to colleges. For instance, they may advise students to take advanced-placement classes in high school that assign college-level coursework. They also advise them on extracurricular activities and volunteer work.

When students become juniors, the college-admissions counselor may administer questionnaires to gain a vivid profile of the student. Using these questionnaires, the counselor then advises the student on the college that best fits their needs. Naturally, they take into account the student's preferred colleges, but often advise the student to apply to a range of schools with varying admission percentages. For some students, they advise that trade schools may be their best bet, since these students perform better with menial activities rather than academics.

If the student expresses a desire to enter college, admissions counselors will provide SAT/ACT preparation advice. Looking at their list of desired colleges, the counselor will tell the student whether the college requires either the SAT or the ACT. If the college accepts both exams, the counselor will then advise the student on which test is better suited to his strengths. For instance, a mathematically inclined student will excel more on the SAT because half of it consists of math, while the ACT consists of a quarter of math. For more, rigorous colleges, the counselor may also encourage the student to take SAT subject tests, if the student is strongly skilled in mathematics, history, English, and so forth. For each test, the counselor may loan the student books, software, and other test-preparation tools for the student. They may also assign tutors to the student and administer mock tests. As their students apply to college, counselors additionally prepare transcripts for their applications and write recommendations.

Many secondary and higher education institutions hire learning-disability counselors for students who struggle at school environments. For example, many students with ADD struggle with their attention spans in classrooms and find it difficult to sit still. These counselors question these students on their interests and hobbies in order to conceptualize coursework that responds to those preferences. They may advise special-education teachers to design activities, which teach such students normal school subjects, but are slanted to appeal to them. For instance, an ADD student who expresses an interest in football may be given coursework that contains math problems related to football. Many times, the student excels with this coursework and can triumph over his learning disability.

In addition, special-needs counselors who work at colleges may meet with students and ascertain their strengths and weaknesses. They then consult with these students' professors to modify these students' coursework. They may also assign note-takers who can attend lectures with the student and aid them. These students also work with tutors who can enhance their academic performance.

At colleges, there are many forms of guidance counselors, who advise students on psychological, academic, and personal concerns. Residential advisers (RAs) are the most prominent of these counselors. They are often upperclassmen who live in dormitories on each floor, and act as mentors to the undergraduates on their floor. Undergraduates seek them out for broad-ranging advice, such as roommate conflicts, exam stress, and health-related matters. These RAs are completely familiar with their college campuses and can point out university services that can help the student. Furthermore, RAs often offer advice based on their personal experiences.

Incomes for educational consultants are widely variable. Earnings largely hinge on the hiring institution's financial resources. However, most entry-level consultants earn roughly $50,000, with a potential salary advance of $80,000 after a decade or more of service. They also invest a great deal of money into their education, since many earn master's degrees in education and have past counseling experience in educational settings. Oftentimes, they also achieve fluency in another language, especially Spanish.

Counseling job openings are not expected to increase or decrease in the coming decade. Those who are knowledgeable about career paths and higher-education options will gain the most work, as will those who specialize in mental health, special needs, and drug abuse. Furthermore, there are expected to be higher enrollments at public schools in the next decade due to budget cuts.
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