Counseling Career Outlook and Salary Information
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the career outlook for the counseling professions is expected to be better than average through 2014. Jobs in certain fields, particularly rehabilitation, substance abuse and behavioral counseling are expected to exceed the number of qualified applicants.
Educational and vocational counselors share a bright outlook, due to federally mandated counseling programs within public schools. Although budgetary constraints may impact hiring in school districts, funding provided by federal programs is expected to offset school budgeting issues. Counseling students with behavioral disorders and special needs is a growing area within school counseling programs.
Opportunities for counselors specializing in substance abuse and rehabilitation are expected to increase as correctional institutions implement more treatment programs. Many employers now offer Employee Assistance Programs, or otherwise refer troubled employees for counseling and rehabilitation. Some health insurance companies are expanding allowable expenses for counseling and rehabilitation treatment, which will provide more access to treatment.
Salary Projections for Counselors
As of May 2004, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated the median salary of elementary and secondary school counselors was $51,160, while the median salary for counselors at community colleges was $45,730. The median salary for substance abuse counselors was $32,130, with the middle 50% earning between $25,840 and $40,130.
Many opportunities in counseling occur in governmental agencies. Salaries of these employees are often impacted by budgetary limits, but government and corporate employers may offer generous benefits packages. As the demand for counselors continues to grow, their salaries will likely increase.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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