Alternative Careers for School Counselors

School counselors play a crucial but varied role in society. They work with students from various age groups and offer guidance and counseling regarding academic and professional matters. A school counselor can handle several tasks in one day while remaining calm. They even work with enterprise information systems and collaborate with families, teachers, and administrators.

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Counselors in schools may switch careers if they discover better opportunities elsewhere. Since they invested the time to earn a degree and are qualified and licensed educators, they are eligible to apply for positions similar to those open for classroom teachers.

School counselors are usually well-versed in data tracking, material creation, planning, communication, collaboration, empathy, problem-solving aptitude, tenacity, listening aptitude, adaptability, organization, data analysis, and collaboration. These can be used for many other similar jobs.

Below are a few alternate jobs for school counselors in the education sector:

1. School Psychologist

School psychologists fight for the mental health needs of all students by providing guidelines that promote awareness of mental health and social/emotional development.

Generally, they can spread awareness through seminars on anger management, dealing with bullying, stress management, conflict resolution strategies in school, etc.

With the aid of teachers, they can observe students to spot psychological, emotional, or behavioral patterns; after doing so, they can work with the parents to create treatment plans for the students.

Additionally, they may assess the families to ascertain what is affecting the student’s mental health, after which they can offer necessary counseling.

2. Academic/ Career Counselor

School counselors can serve as academic and career advisors and guide students in choosing a course of study that suits their interests and abilities. They examine the students’ educational and career goals and assist with course selection to ensure they are on track to achieve their objectives. Moreover, they keep records of the student’s progress or help them identify the kinds of jobs they might be qualified for based on their academic credentials.

Students in high school might get assistance from them with their college applications. In general, they can support a student’s academic growth.

3. Educator

Teachers in elementary schools instruct students from kindergarten through the sixth or eighth grade. They develop lesson plans, monitor student progress, assign homework, and grade exams while working in public or private schools. Teachers in elementary schools also give parents feedback on their children’s development. School counselors are equipped with all these abilities, so they can easily fill the position.

4. Special Education Teacher

This is perhaps the best alternative career option for school counselors. They already possess some of the skills required for this job, such as communication and problem-solving skills. Thus, they can guide and teach students with various disabilities comprehensively.

Special educators help organize lessons, identify each student’s learning challenges, and work with their colleagues to determine each pupil’s unique needs.

5. Administrator/HR

Counselors frequently excel as administrators because of their interpersonal and conflict-resolution skills. They can use their excellent interpersonal skills to great effect in such positions.

HR managers often settle workplace conflicts, monitor their specific departments, and ensure that employee protocol is followed. These tasks require excellent interpersonal skills and a commitment to doing the right thing. Counselors have already proven they are capable of the task because listening is half of the job in any managerial position.

As mentioned above, school counselors hold a lot of in-demand skills that can fit them into other roles as well. Below are a few of them:

1. Outpatient Therapist

School counselors can work as outpatient therapists who offer interventions to people in outpatient facilities who are recovering from mental health disorders. They oversee therapy sessions, examine client histories, and decide which patient treatments are most effective. They confer with their clients and other experts in the field to develop an appropriate treatment strategy.

2. Mental health technician and Social health worker

Patients with mental health issues are also supported by a mental health technician. They help administer medication, care for patients, and foster a healing environment. Additionally, mental health professionals provide patients with daily assistance and see to their comfort while receiving treatments. School counselors can easily fit in because they have the fundamental abilities needed for these positions.

3. Community Health Worker

Counselors can promote healthier lifestyles for individuals and communities by working in the field of community health. They identify the health needs of the community or an individual, develop programs and events to educate people about health issues, and help people manage various health conditions.

4. Social Service

Another job that school counselors can take up is social service. Social workers decide who needs help, individuals, communities, etc. They pinpoint the requirements and circumstances of a person and assist them in coping with the challenges they encounter in life, such as divorce or unemployment. In addition to observing client behavior, social workers develop treatment plans that align with their clients’ requirements.

5. Outreach Specialist

Outreach Specialists deliver important information, boost motivation, and increase public awareness using interpersonal abilities, database management, and group presentation experience. For instance, they advocate for public awareness and safety in the COVID-19 era.

6. Case Managers and Case Workers

Another interesting career path for a school counselor is case manager or case worker.

A case manager is a point of contact for patients and medical professionals. They assess treatment options, determine patient needs, and facilitate and coordinate patient care. They may collaborate with social workers, human service providers, and families.

Caseworkers assist and support a range of clients in a similar way. They ascertain a client’s needs, develop plans to enhance their standard of living, and locate nearby resources and services for public assistance as required. Caseworkers may also provide crisis intervention and therapy, depending on a client’s needs.

7. Juvenile justice counselor

A school counselor can also become a Juvenile justice counselor. They develop success strategies for young people and work with them to help them overcome any social or mental health problems. They assist minors who have been found guilty of crimes and are under 18. A bachelor’s degree is the bare minimum requirement, but a master’s in social services is preferred and might even be needed in some states.

8. Substance abuse counselor

Substance abuse counselors treat patients who suffer from a chemical dependency on alcohol or drugs. Throughout the process of recovery and rehabilitation, they provide assistance and guidance. Counselors for substance abuse provide their clients with various coping mechanisms and assistance with crisis management.

School counselors can also take up this role.


School counselors have a wide range of opportunities they can enter without needing additional training or qualifications. However, returning to school for an additional two years to complete certification or licensing requirements may be a wise decision that could be very profitable. Given their background and experience, they might be able to start one of these new positions without much hassle.

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