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Counsellor

Support clients by helping them to develop strategies to cope with emotional, mental or lifestyle issues.

What's it like to be a Counsellor?

Counsellors provide support to people experiencing emotional difficulties by helping them to identify and work through their issues.

Tasks and duties

  • Meeting with clients to discuss their emotional, mental or lifestyle issues and helping them set goals and adopt strategies to address their issues.
  • Facilitating group counselling sessions or mediating in conflict resolution settings.
  • Referring clients to other healthcare professionals when appropriate and liaising with healthcare professionals as part of a health management team.
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Most Counsellors work with clients over a short period of time for a specific problem. They may use techniques such as talking therapy to assist clients reach their own resolutions or develop strategies to address their concerns.

Counsellors may choose to specialise in relationship counselling, crisis and trauma counselling, drug and alcohol counselling, conflict resolution, stress management, grief and loss counselling or counselling of children and young people.

What can I earn as a Counsellor?

All
NSW
VIC
WA
QLD
TAS
SA
NT
ACT
The most common salary in AUS for a Counsellor is between $65k and $75k
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info
Source: SEEK job ads

How to become a Counsellor


SEEK Learning
To become a Counsellor, you will need to complete a formal qualification. Once you have finished your training you will have the opportunity to apply for membership with external bodies such as the Australian Counselling Association (ACA).

  1. Complete a Diploma of Counselling (CHC51015) which will introduce you to the field of counselling and qualify you for entry level roles within the industry. This qualification can also be used as a pathway into further study.
  2. Complete an undergraduate degree such as a Bachelor of Counselling which is the most common qualification needed to be registered as a fully qualified Counsellor. An undergraduate qualification will often give you important practical experience in a work environment.
  3. To specialise or further your studies, complete a postgraduate degree such as a Graduate Diploma or Masters. These degrees will set you up with the required knowledge to help a wide variety of clients.

Explore qualifications

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NSW
VIC
WA
QLD
TAS
SA
NT
ACT
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What skills are employers looking for?

Employers want:

  • Working with children check
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Confidentiality
  • People skills
  • Written skills

Shortlisted applicants:

  • Emotional intelligence
  • People management
  • Team work
  • Interpersonal skills
info
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How do Counsellors rate their role?

Latest reviews from 38 Counsellors surveyed on SEEK

Work-life balance
4.2
Job satisfaction
4.6
Career progression opportunities
3.4
Job security
3.4
Pay / Salary
3.3
Variety of work
4.2

Latest reviews

All
Positive
Negative
Aug 2019
Reviewer's Qualification
Post Graduate Diploma (Applied) Psychology
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Child and Adolescent Counselling
The good things
If you are passionate about working with families and children, this will be a very rewarding role. You get to be part of potentially affecting change for future generations of a family, and part of ...
The challenges
Moving within Family Law and Child Protection Act can be challenging at times. Mandatory reporting requirements differ by state, professional body of registration and organisation at times - always fa...
Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
BA Psychology Major
Experience
1 - 4 years
Organisation size
I'm self-employed
Specialisation
Not applicable
The good things
I love counseling because it allows me to get really deeply into someone else's experience. It enables me to use my creativity to help people make breakthroughs and also to inspire other peoples creat...
The challenges
Being a counselor can be very difficult because it is not publicly funded. This means that clients have to pay quite a lot to come to counselling and often the people most in need can't afford it. It ...
Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Diploma
Experience
1 - 4 years
Organisation size
I'm self-employed
Specialisation
Not applicable
The good things
Counselling is a very rewarding position as you have the chance to help people from various backgrounds and all walks of life with their problems. It is a varied role as you never know what you're up ...
The challenges
The only challenges are people that would not listen to you and think that you hold the "magic pill" that will solve everything even if they don't follow your instructions.
Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Graduate Diploma of Counselling
Experience
1 - 4 years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Not applicable
The good things
The Good Things about my role as counsellor are being able to provide an opportunity to help people in need. Mostly this need js a mental health need, but it affects every other part of their lives.
The challenges
The Bad Thing about being a Counsellor is that you generally cannot be a Medicare provider, and therefore people won't book appointments with you because they don't want to pay for the service.
Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Diploma
Experience
5 - 9 years
Organisation size
I'm self-employed
Specialisation
Not applicable
The good things
Help in changing young lives
The challenges
Getting young people to understand boundaries
Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Social Work
Experience
1 - 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Counselling for Veterans
The good things
The challenge is the huge number or clients who range in age, gender and the types of counselling provided by the organisation and the is the best thing about the organisation
The challenges
The challenge is the huge number or clients who range in age, gender and the types of counselling provided by the organisation and the is the best thing about the organisation
Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Master of Mental Health
Experience
1 - 4 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Drug and alcohol
The good things
I love working in a role where every day I get to help people who in need of someone neutral and non judgemental to listen to their issues.
The challenges
Some of the challenges of my role would be: People who aren’t really motivated for change Clients can become suicidal or even take their lives in rare instances You hear some very confronting informat...
Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Master of Counselling
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
I'm self-employed
Specialisation
Trauma
The good things
Being able to make a difference in people’s lives who struggle is hugely rewarding. Due to my spialisatiom of trauma and the fact that I work with individuals and couples, my counselling work is very ...
The challenges
I have to know my boundaries and not take on too many clients. There is no one to pull me up when I work too hard other then my own discipline and capacity to say no to people in need. There is the in...
Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Graduate Diploma of Counselling
Experience
1 - 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Smoking cessation expert
The good things
There are several good things about my role including being able to help people overcome their addictions. Help them to discover their strengths and abilities and to encourage them when they have sets...
The challenges
Its a very pressured environment time wise.
Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Diploma of applied psychology
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Department of juvenile justice
The good things
Ability to influence positive outcomes & assist young people to reach their full potential & overcome difficulties in their life
The challenges
Client group presents with complex needs & are involuntary
info
Source: SEEK Role Reviews

Working hours for Counsellors

Overtime
Weekends
Shift work
Late nights
Often
Sometimes
Never
info
Source: SEEK Role Reviews from 38 Counsellors

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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data