Careers counsellor

What they do

Career counsellors help people plan and manage their careers. They offer assistance in making decisions about education and training and personal development, and may also assist in arranging work experience and internships. As career development is a lifelong process, career counsellors work with clients of all ages and may work in schools, TAFE colleges (or institutes of technology), universities, business organisations, government agencies and/or private practice.

Working conditions

Career counsellors generally work standard office hours. They have a high level of contact with people, including clients and industry contacts.

Tools and technologies

Career counsellors use a wide range of industry-specific tools such as books, websites (including career websites) and attend professional development seminars and conferences.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a careers counsellor, you usually need to complete qualifications in career development or employment services.

The Certificate IV in Career Development and the Certificate IV in Employment Services are offered at registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. To find a training provider near you, browse the Jobs and Skills WA website or visit the My Skills website.

You can undertake a traineeship in employment services. The employment services (level 4) traineeship usually takes 12 months to complete.

You can study a degree majoring in counselling, education, human resources or psychology followed by a postgraduate qualification in career development.

All universities in Western Australia offer relevant undergraduate degree courses. Postgraduate courses in career development are offered at interstate universities, through distance education. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Required registration and licensing

To work as careers counsellor in schools in Western Australia, you will need to obtain registration from the Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia (TRBWA).

You will also need to hold a current Working with Children Check issued by the Working with Children Screening Unit of the Department of Communities and undergo a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check (NCCHC) conducted by the Department of Education Screening Unit.