Community & Social Services

Counsellor

Counsellors assist people to identify and explore their emotions, better understand themselves and to consider alternative ways of acting.

  • Entry-level education

    VET qualification

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Counsellor do?

Counsellors assist people to identify and explore their emotions, better understand themselves and to consider alternative ways of acting.

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Work activities

As a counsellor, you would:

  • provide a safe and confidential environment to meet with clients
  • build a relationship of trust and respect with clients
  • encourage clients to talk about their feelings
  • listen, ask questions and check your understanding of a client's situation
  • help clients to find solutions by challenging their views and ideas where necessary
  • refer clients to other medical professionals where necessary
  • act as a facilitator in group counselling sessions
  • specialise in a particular area such as marriage or relationship counselling, or eating disorders
  • keep up to date and confidential records.
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Key skills and interests

To become a counsellor, you would need:

  • the ability to build trust and make people feel relaxed
  • strong listening and communication skills
  • the ability to challenge clients in a positive way
  • maturity, patience, and sensitivity
  • a non-judgmental attitude
  • empathy and caring.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

In a full-time job you would normally work standard office hours, Monday to Friday. Part-time and flexible work should be readily available. You might see clients in the evenings and at weekends as well as during office hours.

Conditions

Counsellors work in various locations such as schools, medical practices, hospitals or advice centres. Many counsellors are self-employed and work from an office or home office.

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How to become an Counsellor?

Entry Level Education

You can work as a counsellor without formal qualifications. The minimum entry level for membership of the Australian Counselling Association is an accredited VET level Diploma in counselling.

Many counsellors have a degree in counselling, psychology or a related field. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English and maths would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.

www.theaca.net.au

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of counsellors is predicted to grow faster than the average for all occupations.

Growth is expected as the population grows, and people seek counselling for an increasing number of issues, including health, drug and alcohol problems, accommodation, relationships, employment, grief and loss, stress management, child development or abuse issues.

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