CAREER GUIDE FOR EDUCATIONAL, VOCATIONAL AND SCHOOL COUNSELOR

SOC Code: 21-1012

Pay Band(s): 4           (Salary Structure)

Standard Occupational Description: Counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.

Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors positions in the Commonwealth are assigned to the following Roles in the Training and Instruction:

Trainer and Instructor II

While Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors within the Commonwealth are all located within the Training and Instruction Career Group, individuals may want to pursue other opportunities within the Commonwealth depending upon individual training, education, knowledge, skills, abilities, and interests.   

Other Career Group(s) that may be of interest are:

Education Administration

General Administration

Counseling Services

Psychological Services

Education Support Services

SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE, ABILITIES AND TASKS

(Technical and Functional Expertise)

Skills
Note: The technical and functional skills listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the skills listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

  1. Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  2. Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  3. Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  4. Actively looking for ways to help people.
  5. Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  6. Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  7. Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  8. Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  9. Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  10. Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Knowledge
Note: The technical and functional knowledge statements listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the knowledge listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

The Knowledge of:

  1. Principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  2. Human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  3. Principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  4. Structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Abilities
Note: The technical and functional abilities listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the abilities listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

The Ability to:

  1. Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  2. Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  3. Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  4. Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  5. Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  6. Speak clearly so others can understand you.
  7. Come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).

Tasks
Note: 
The following is a list of sample tasks typically performed by Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors.  Employees in this occupation will not necessarily perform all of the tasks listed. 

  1. Counsel individuals to help them understand and overcome personal, social, or behavioral problems affecting their educational or vocational situations.
  2. Counsel students regarding educational issues such as course and program selection, class scheduling, school adjustment, truancy, study habits, and career planning.
  3. Evaluate individuals' abilities, interests, and personality characteristics using tests, records, interviews, and professional sources.
  4. Address community groups, faculty, and staff members to explain available counseling services.
  5. Assess needs for assistance such as rehabilitation, financial aid, or additional vocational training, and refer clients to the appropriate services.
  6. Compile and study occupational, educational, and economic information to assist counselees in determining and carrying out vocational and educational objectives.
  7. Conduct follow-up interviews with counselees to determine if their needs have been met.
  8. Confer with parents or guardians, teachers, other counselors, and administrators to resolve students' behavioral, academic, and other problems.
  9. Enforce all administration policies and rules governing students.
  10. Establish and enforce behavioral rules and procedures to maintain order among students.

Tasks

INTERESTED?

Like people, occupations have traits or characteristics.  These characteristics give important clues about the nature of the work and work environment, and give you an opportunity to match your own personal interests to a specific occupation.  When you choose a job in an occupation that matches your own interests you have taken an important step in planning a successful and rewarding career.

The occupation of Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors has characteristics as described below:

Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

LICENSURE, REGISTRATION, OR CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

Generally this is required for Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors positions in state government.

All States require school counselors to hold State school counseling certification and to have completed at least some graduate course work; most require the completion of a master's degree. Some States require public school counselors to have both counseling and teaching certificates and to have had some teaching experience before receiving certification.

For Virginia's requirements visit the Virginia Department of Education's web site: http://www.pen.k12.va.us/

EDUCATIONAL, TRAINING, AND LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES 

The Department of Labor provides the following information:

Educational, vocational, and school counselors provide individuals and groups with career and educational counseling. In school settings—elementary through postsecondary—they are usually called school counselors and they work with students, including those considered to be at risk and those with special needs.

As mentioned earlier, a master's degree is typically required to be licensed or certified as a counselor.

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) has accredited a number of counseling programs. For a listing of the Virginia colleges and universities with accredited school counseling programs, visit the American School Counselors Association web site at http://www.schoolcounselor.org/.

School counselors can move to a larger school; become directors or supervisors of counseling, guidance, or pupil personnel services; or, usually with further graduate education, become counselor educators, counseling psychologists, or school administrators.

There is one recognized apprenticeable specialty associated with this occupation:
Guidance Counselor. For more information visit the Virginia Department of Labor web site at: http://www.dli.state.va.us/

COMMONWEALTH COMPETENCIES

Competencies are a set of identified behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities that directly and positively impact the success of employees and the organization. Competencies can be observed and measured.  When consistently demonstrated, competencies make employees particularly effective in their work.  Competencies help lay out a road map to career success.  You can use the Commonwealth Competencies to help improve your individual performance by adopting behaviors that make high performing employees successful in their jobs. In this way, you can use the Commonwealth Competencies for your further professional development.

The Commonwealth Competencies are:

  1. Technical and Functional Expertise
  2. Understanding the Business     
  3. Achieving Results
  4. Serving the Customer
  5. Teamwork
  6. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  7. Leadership and Personal Effectiveness

The above competencies may be applied to employees throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.  They can be rank-ordered by agencies and hiring managers to represent the needs of a specific job.  The rank ordering will change depending upon the occupation, an organization's priorities, the actual job requirements, and the supervisor's preferences. 

Career success is both about what you do (applying your technical knowledge, skills, and ability) and how you do it (the consistent behaviors you demonstrate and choose to use) while interacting and communicating with others.  Hopefully, by studying the Commonwealth competencies, identifying your developmental opportunities, and working to refine your own competence, you can take charge of your career!

For additional information about the Commonwealth Competencies go to: http://jobs.state.va.us/cc_planningctr.htm.  For the competencies, we first list the competencies and then define each.  Finally, we list competency indicators; to describe what successful performance looks like. 

COMMONWEALTH CAREER PATH

Career opportunities in the Commonwealth are not limited to moving “up” to the next highest role and pay band, changing positions, or to becoming a supervisor.  That's because most roles describe a broad group of occupationally related positions that perform a range of work that requires increased knowledge and skills.  For that reason, Commonwealth roles describe the career paths within the same or higher-level role for the same or different Career Group.  The broad salary range and the Commonwealth's pay practices provide flexibility in recognizing career development and advancement. (Salary Structure)

For example: Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors

PAY BAND

PRACTITIONER ROLES

 

PAY BAND

MANAGER ROLES

4

Trainer and Instructor II

 

5

Training and Instruction
Manager I

5

Trainer and Instructor III

 

6

Training and Instruction
Manager II

         

Sample Career Path

Trainer and Instructor II

The Trainer and Instructor II role provides a career track for educational, vocational and school counselors responsible for providing a variety of counseling services to students or clients with issues affecting their educational or vocational situations.

Trainer and Instructor III

The Trainer and Instructor III role provides career tracks for the employee performing at the advanced level of expertise. Employees are responsible for coordinating and determining training or organizational development needs and educational counseling and other services for an agency, or a geographical division of an agency responsible for several dispersed facilities, or outside entities.

Training and Instruction Manager I

The Training and Instruction Manager I role provides career tracks for training managers with responsibility for determining organizational performance or development needs and services; and planning, developing, and implementing agency-wide or statewide training programs and/or initiatives in an agency that may be geographically dispersed. Duties include conducting research, needs assessments and analyses; initiative or program development; monitoring, and evaluating; project planning; budget development; staff supervision; and consultation to senior administrators.

Training and Instruction Manager II

The Training and Instruction Manager II role provides career tracks for training managers who direct diverse programs and specialized, comprehensive training activities statewide or in an agency that is geographically dispersed and provides instructional services to localities or outside entities. Complex duties involve the planning, directing, implementing and evaluating training functions for agency staff and external customers; establishing and monitoring goals and performance standards for training programs; and may include managing the operations of a training facility.

ADDITIONAL OCCUPATIONAL INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: 

O*NET (Occupational Information Network) 

http://online.onetcenter.org/gen_search_page

Virginia Employment Commission 

http://www.alex.vec.state.va.us/

Career One Stop

  http://www.careeronestop.org/

Virginia Career Resource Network 

http://www.vacrn.net/

American Federation of Teachers

http://www.aft.org/

National Education Association

 http://www.nea.org

American School Counselor Association

http://www.schoolcounselor.org/