What should you look for in a Career Counselor? Learn how to evaluate a legitimate qualified Career Professional:
I want to assist you in understanding the training, qualifications, and credentials of a Professional Career Counselor. Anyone can pay for a certification, the only requirement for basic certifications is the ability to pay.
You deserve the best possible trained professional today in our challenging economy to assist you in obtaining a job or making a career change. Here are the requirements for Professional Career Counselors:
- Professional Career Counselors earn a Bachelor’s degree in any field, usually human services or liberal arts, and a Master’s Degree in Counseling.
- The Master’s Degree trains them in a two-year academic graduate level Counselor Preparation Program at an accredited College or University.
- Legitimate Career Counselors are certified nationally by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).
- The National Board of Certified Counselors offered the designation “National Certified Career Counselor” (NCCC) signifying that the Career Counselor has achieved the highest certification in the profession.
- Career Counseling Professionals also earn related credentials such as the NCC (National Certified Counselor), or the MCC (Master Career Counselor).
- These professionals are carefully screened to ensure that their level of expertise meets (6) or more of the NCDA counseling competencies.
This means that the professional Career Counselor has:
- Earned a Graduate Degree in Counseling or a related professional field from a regionally accredited institution
- Completed supervised Counseling experience which included Career Counseling experience
- Acquired a minimum of three years of full-time Career Development work experience
- Successfully completed a knowledge-based National Career Certification Examination
- Maintains Continuing Education Units (CEUs) every year
NCDA offers Special Membership Categories to recognize members who hold special levels of achievement in education, training, and experience in Career Development.
The three special membership categories are:
- The Master Career Counselor (MCC) (This is the most experienced level of training)
- The Master Career Development Professional (MCDP)
- The Career Development Fellow (CDF)
I have earned the Master Career Counselor (MCC) designation, 1 of only 120 in the country. The MCC credential is designed to recognize individuals who can provide a full range of career services, including career assessment, to consumers.
Your Career Counselor’s role:
- Services of Career Counselors differ, depending on the Counselor’s level of competence, the setting, client needs, and other factors.
- Master Career Counselors and other professional career counselors help people make and carry out decisions and plans related to life/career directions.
- Strategies and techniques of professional Career Counselors are tailored to the specific needs of the person seeking help.
My typical services:
- Conduct individual or group personal counseling sessions to help clarify life/career goals
- Administer and interpret career tests and inventories to assess abilities, interests, and other factors, and to identify career options
- Encourage exploratory activities through assignments and planning experiences
- Utilize career-planning systems and occupational information systems to help you better understand the world of work
- Assist in understanding the integration of work and other life roles
- Provide opportunities for improving decision-making skills
- Assist in developing individualized career plans
- Teach job hunting strategies, interviewing skills and assist in resume writing
- Help resolve potential personal conflicts on the job through practice in human relations skills
- Other services as needed
Noting the importance of consumer rights and responsibilities, the National Board for Certified Counselors and Chi Sigma Iota, an Honorary Counseling Society, have published the following statements:
- Be informed of the qualifications of your Career Counselor: education, experience, and professional Career Counseling certification(s)
- Receive an explanation of services offered, your time commitments, and fee scales and billing policies prior to receipt of services.
- Understand that everything you say is treated confidentially like a Mental Health Counseling relationship, but be informed of any state laws placing limitations on confidentiality in the Career Counseling relationship.
- You may ask Career Counselors for a detailed explanation of their services, fees, time commitments, and a copy of their ethical guidelines.
- Professional counselors are required to follow the ethical standards of professional bodies, such as the National Board for Certified Counselors, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychological Association, or the National Career Developmental Association.
- A link to ethical guidelines is available at NDCA.org.
- The American Counseling Association
- Career Thought Leaders
- National Board for Certified Counselors
- National Career Development Association
- Society for Human Resources Management
- Society for Technical Communicators