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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?

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Counsellor roles in AUS were typically advertised between $75k and $95k over the last 3 months.
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Latest Counsellor jobs on SEEK

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Source: Full time annual package based on job ad data.

How to become a Counsellor


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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.
  4. To get experience in the industry and to boost your resume, you can volunteer with a helpline or other more direct support roles.

Interested in a career in community services?

Open Colleges have developed a short course that provides you with an overview of the industry and the different career paths available.
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Explore related qualifications

SEEK users who have worked as a Counsellor have studied these qualifications.

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Master of Counselling

This master degree provides advanced knowledge of counselling theories and practices and prepares graduates for a career as a Counsellor.

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Diploma of Counselling

This diploma prepares you for roles in established counselling agencies and to work with clients on personal and psychological issues.
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Diploma of Counselling provider logo
Diploma of Counselling provider logo
Diploma of Counselling provider logo

Bachelor of Counselling

This qualification provides you with the skills and knowledge to work as a Counsellor.
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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

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Job market trends for Counsellors
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Job opportunities

Counsellor jobs on SEEK
3,355
Jobs on SEEK right now
Source: SEEK
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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Role Reviews

Latest Counsellor reviews

Latest reviews from 54 Counsellors surveyed on SEEK
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Positive
Negative
May 2021
Counelling: A Challenging and Rewarding Role
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Counselling
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Chronic/complex trauma
The good things
Counselling is challenging and carries with it a significant level of responsibility. I enjoy the relationships I have with my clients and feel happy that they love coming to me for counselling. The...
The challenges
When a client who has experienced chronic and complex trauma presents for counselling, there are always a myriad of challenges to be negotiated. Firstly, trust is critically important. In order for ...
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May 2021
Counselling is a rewarding career choice, provided you have work life balance, self care and support
Reviewer's Qualification
Master of Counselling
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Domestic Violence
The good things
It is rewarding to help people and make a difference in their lives. I love working with other counsellor staff, my team at work keeps me going. I really enjoy clinical supervision
The challenges
Limited resources due to lacking funding. Hearing traumatic details about people’s lives can be tough. Work life balance is not great as I have two jobs.
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Source: SEEK Role Reviews

Frequently asked questions about becoming a Counsellor


Do I need a degree to become a Counsellor?


How long does it take to get qualified as a Counsellor?


Is being a Counsellor a stressful career?


Is being a Counsellor a stable career?