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Do I have to have experience as a teacher to be a school guidance counseler?

I am willing (and eager) to eventually go back to school for a Master's in Counseling & my Pupil Personnel Services Credential, as required by the state of CA. While I have experience within the classroom and in mentoring/tutoring positions, I am not sure I am willing to go back to school for a teaching credential and teach for a few years before moving on to counseling. Would I be less likely to receive job offers because I have not specifically been a teacher?

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Subject: Career question for you

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norma’s Answer

When it comes to school counseling, teaching helps in a way because there’s moments where you’re going to teach classroom guidance. From my experience, I had some teaching as a substitute teacher but what helped the most was the interactions with teachers themselves as they understand a student and have more exposure time with the student. So to answer your question, I feel that it adds to your toolbox the amount of experience with students as a teacher because it gives you the tools for counseling.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Coral-Anne
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Jillian’s Answer

Hey!
Not all districts require classroom teaching as a pre-req for a counseling job. I’ve worked in two Public districts and one private school (Bakersfield, actually). Bakersfield required the teaching years- I went private bc like you said— I wasn’t going to go into a classroom to then transition to counseling 3-4 years later.
I think that your substitute background will definitely help you and give you that classroom experience which is what they want.

Good luck!
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Carl’s Answer

Hi Coral-Anne. It isn't a prerequisite to be a teacher before being a counselor. A school counselor's job is to help support the emotional well-being of a student and to help a child navigate the next phase of their academic and professional career. In fact, this website exists because the student-to-counselor ratio is so high, that it is nearly impossible for counselors to reach every student that needs help navigating career choices. You shouldn't have any issues getting employment as a school counselor with your current career path.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! That is a huge relief to me, you have no idea Coral-Anne
Thank you comment icon I also think a lot depends on the state you live in. I live in Colorado, and school counselors have to have a Master's degree and license in school counseling, but this may vary by state. Audrey Roybal
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T.’s Answer

School counselors never again need to become educators before they become instructors. Notwithstanding, to enter a school advising profession, you will need a college education. That remembers a master's degree in counseling with an emphasis on school advising necessities for the certificate.
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Favour Chiamaka’s Answer

Anne, you don't necessarily need to have a teaching credential to be a school guidance counselor, however, it puts you at more advantage in securing a job. Although not necessary it heightens your knowledge of dealing with things, this is because teaching is primary in counseling.
This might be stressful but believe me, Anne, you should give it a trial, it's worth it
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