School counselors help K-12 students plan for the future and overcome problems. They also help students engage with learning. Aspiring school counselors can enroll in a master’s in school counseling online. Most programs require a bachelor’s degree and GRE scores. Some master’s in education programs only accept licensed teachers.
Online school counseling programs cover many topics, including counseling theories. Learners also study advanced counseling processes. Students complete professional seminars and practica at different schools. States require these experiences for licensing purposes.
This page features the best master’s in school counseling online programs. Read on for common courses and costs.View Our Rankings List Here
Frequently Asked Questions About School Counseling
Full-time students can finish a master’s in school counseling online program in two years.
Yes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for school and career counselors to grow 11% between 2020 and 2030.
Successful school counselors need strong analytical, interpersonal, and communication skills. They also need compassion for students and their families.
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Why Get a School Counseling Degree?
School counselors can make a lasting impact on students’ lives. These professionals can also advance within a school or district. The highest-earning school counselors make nearly six figures annually. The median annual salary for all occupations is $41,950, according to the BLS.
Online school counseling programs make earning a degree easier for many students. Asynchronous programs allow learners to complete coursework around work or family responsibilities. Online programs sometimes charge lower tuition than on-campus programs. Learners can attend the most affordable master’s in school counseling online program without relocating.
How Much Does a School Counseling Degree Cost?
The cost of a school counseling degree varies by school and program. In-state, public schools charge the most affordable tuition. Online learners do not incur expenses for campus parking or housing.
Financial aid such as scholarships and grants can help learners pay for their degree. These awards do not require repayment.
Additional Online Student Fees
For online students, tuition comprises the highest portion of a degree’s total cost. However, they should plan for added expenses, like a reliable computer and upgraded internet. Learners may also need to buy specialized software. Students in a hybrid program should plan for commuting costs.
Some schools charge distance learning or graduation fees. Aspiring school counselors should also set aside money for state licensure fees.
How Much Do School Counseling Majors Make?
School counselors earn a median annual salary of $58,120, according to the BLS. Pay varies by geographic location, employer, and experience. Counselors working in California, New Jersey, and Virginia earn the most. School counselors in these states earn $73,590-$81,350. Professionals employed by private or public K-12 schools make more than their peers working at junior colleges.
School counselors can increase their salary potential by exploring related careers. Examples include working as a high school teacher, social service manager, or psychologist. These positions require a master’s degree or a doctorate. Some counselors do not want to return to school. They can boost their salary by working for promotions or changing employers.
Courses in School Counseling
Master’s in school counseling online courses prepare enrollees to create many positive learning outcomes. Degree-seekers learn how to recognize students in need and provide the best interventions. Learners also explore how to collaborate with teachers and administrators. Students supplement coursework with in-person practica and internships at K-12 schools. Some programs require a thesis.
See below for common courses in school counseling programs. Keep in mind that not every school offers these exact courses.
Students gain a broad overview of counseling best practices and techniques. They learn how to connect with students, apply interventions, and recognize when learners no longer need counseling services. Aspiring school counselors may take this course alongside peers.
School counselors must know how to work with students from different cultural backgrounds. This course focuses on how race, religion, sexual orientation, and other factors influence learners’ development. Degree-seekers analyze the latest trends and issues, such as the rising number of refugees living in the United States.
Counseling and Culturally Diverse
School counselors must understand how children and adolescents develop physically and mentally. Coursework focuses on different development theories. Learners study family interaction and significant life transitions. Enrollees learn how to identify students not developing normally and apply ethical standards when doing their job.
Lifespan and Development
How to Become a School Counselor
School counselors need a master’s degree to practice in most states. Approved graduate programs meet one or more states’ licensure requirements. Aspiring counselors can increase their job prospects by specializing in an in-demand subfield, such as career counseling. Some employers only hire applicants with prior teaching experience or national board certification.
Licensure for School Counseling
Licensure requirements vary by state. Most school counselors need a master’s degree with coursework in human growth and development, program evaluation, and group counseling. Candidates must also complete a supervised practicum and internship lasting at least 500 contact hours.
Some states charge counselors applying for initial licensure a processing fee. Licensed counselors should expect to pay more fees when they renew or upgrade their license. School counselors may also need to pay for background checks. If they move, counselors may need to pay to transfer a license to a new state. Some states waive the latter fee for professionals relocating due to military service obligations.
Licensure renewal requirements include continuing education (CE) from an approved provider. School counselors should keep track of CE paperwork and submit it with a renewal form every 1-5 years, depending on their state.