By Gladys Mae
Gladys is the Associate Director of Admissions & Student Services with over 10 years of experience at the International Career Institute.
Are you interested in becoming a counsellor? If so, you are probably someone who empathises with people and wants to help make their lives better. However, you also want to be sure you are putting your time, energy, and money toward a career that has excellent growth prospects and a liveable salary. How much do counsellors get paid, and what is the expected growth for this field?
A counsellor provides therapy, support, and problem-solving skills to their clients to assist them with short and long-term emotional challenges. Counsellors work with people from all backgrounds who are in emotional distress and therefore, they need to be compassionate, caring, and confidential. Other requirements for this career include:
To become a counsellor, you need first to complete courses at a diploma level, followed by further education in the pursuit of a bachelor degree, graduate degree, or masters degree in counselling. The level of experience and qualifications that counsellors have determines the levels they can work at in Australia.
Counselling is a self-regulated sector in Australia, and many counsellors become members of professional organisations such as the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) and the Australian Counselling Association (ACA). The PACFA and ACA have standards that members must uphold, including continued professional development and compliance with an established code of ethics. These organisations define the role of counsellors, with first and second level counsellors working in primary care and early intervention, third level counsellors working in secondary care, and fourth level counsellors working across the mental health spectrum.
Counsellors may choose to work in private practices or provide contract services to various organisations and companies. A career in counselling offers a multitude of job options, and counsellors can work in private and public schools, health centres, and not-for-profit organisations.
Because of the variety of counselling positions available in a wide range of scopes, the average salary of a counsellor often depends on a counsellor’s area of speciality or expertise. On average, a full-time counsellor can earn almost $80,000 annually, although a counsellor’s experience level will influence that average. Here are some average annual salaries for different counselling positions:
There are many other categories of counselling, but the above examples are some of the most in-demand positions in Australia. Entry-level counselling positions generally start around $37,000 annually, but the room to grow both in terms of salary and professional experience in this field is unlimited.
As a career field, counselling has grown strongly over the last five years and is projected to continue to grow steadily for the next five years as well. An estimated 32,500 counselling positions will be needed by 2023, and as such, the unemployment level in this field is below average.
With mental health issues increasing amongst Australians, especially in levels of depression, anxiety, and psychological and emotional distress, more counsellors will be in demand in the immediate future. A career as a counsellor is one that, with a few years experience, will pay well and will provide security for years to come.
Do you want to help people and make a difference in their lives? Would you like a job with definitive growth prospects, an excellent salary, and potential for professional advancement? If so, get your career as a counsellor started by enrolling in the ICI Diploma or ICI Advanced Diploma in Counseling and Psychology program. Our courses will prepare you for an incredibly influential career that will not only provide you with a paycheck but will offer you the opportunity to change the lives of other people.