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Proud students from John Hancock High School.

Few people see or understand the benefits of becoming a school counselor, but there are actually many reasons why being a school counselor is a useful and important position, and should be considered as a career. If you’ve wanted to work with young people but just can’t see yourself in a classroom, or are a teacher but need a change, becoming a counselor might be the right move for you.

Make an Impact Today

When you are a counselor, you work with students one-on-one daily and are able to make an immediate impact on their lives. While teachers have to wait and hope that what they’ve done has helped, a counselor gets to fix immediate problems for students and help them feel secure and happy, from something as simple as changing them into a class they need to something as complex as family troubles or bullying, you have the opportunity to change things for the better.

It might seem scary to work with students in their most difficult moments, but it can also be the most satisfying and lead to the biggest impact. Most of your job will be focused on helping them get the classes they need and want to allow them to be successful, which is rather simple but very important to those students, but you’ll also get the opportunity to help them solve the big problems and know that you’re making a significant difference in their lives.

Influence Kids’ Futures

Helping a student in the moment is great, but you also get to help set them up for the future that they want. As you meet with students and discuss their goals, you will be able to help them figure out who they want to be. By helping them sign up for scholarships, figure out what they’re passionate about, and guiding them to the classes that will best help them, you will influence students far into the future, giving them the life they want.

Job Security

Education is one of the most secure fields available, and as a counselor you’ll find that you don’t have to worry about getting laid off. In fact, in most districts you can quickly get tenure and only be fired for gross violations, regardless of economic downturns or other factors that make jobs in other areas so volatile. Further, you often get a solid retirement as part of your contract if you work for enough years, leaving you secure even when you’re done working.

Summer Vacation

Last but not least, who wouldn’t want several weeks off each year, allowing you to spend time with your family and go on vacations? School counselors often get almost as much time off per year as teachers (though it varies by school district), so you have the chance to take longer vacations and enjoy some time at home, an opportunity that is nonexistent in most careers.

If you’ve never considered becoming a school counselor, but you want to work with students, you may want to think about it. There are many advantages to a career as a counselor over other fields and even over that of a school teacher, and you could find that it’s the perfect fit for you.

Nancy Meyers writes for education blogs where you can learn more about the Top 10 Best Online School Counseling Degree Programs.