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Occupation Details

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Guidance Counsellor - Adult Education

Job Zone

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€20k > 40
Adult Guidance worker
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€20 - 40
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Offers information and guidance on education, training and work opportunities in environments such as VTOS, adult literacy and community education.

Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records:1

Brian Howard
Guidance Counsellor
Brian Howard works as a Guidance Counsellor in Newbridge College in Kildare. He attended secondary school in Patrician Secondary School Newbridge. Following his Leaving Certificate he went on to do a B.Sc in NUI Maynooth. After completing his H-Dip he spent 5 years teaching Maths and Science before embarking on the Higher Diploma in School Guidance and Counselling in NUI Maynooth.
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The Work header image

Adult guidance counsellors provide adults with guidance on learning, training and occupational opportunities. Some concentrate on education while others are more concerned with helping adults to make career decisions, although these roles are very much inter-linked.   
Guidance counsellors may work with clients through in-depth face-to-face interviews, which usually last for one hour. There may also be 'drop-in' sessions where a client can discuss an issue, usually for between 20 and 30 minutes. Sometimes guidance counsellors talk to clients over the telephone. Some advisers give presentations to groups, or run courses or workshops to help adults in the community. They may work with adults who have special needs, for example, because of learning difficulties.   
Adult guidance counsellors provide information on the availability of courses, their content and how to get on them. They may use booklets and printed sheets, or audio and visual materials. Some guidance workers produce their own materials.   
The guidance worker may use a computer database to find educational and vocational training courses. They guide their clients through assessment techniques such as psychometric tests. Guidance workers encourage self-assessment. The information they give must be impartial, and must help clients to come to their own decisions.   
Building a trusting relationship with clients is essential. For example, an adult may have to address factors in their lives that have prevented them from making educational achievements in the past. By listening carefully, the guidance worker can begin to understand any difficulties from the client's point of view. The guidance worker may ask questions to help clients explore various aspects of their life and feelings, encouraging them to talk as freely and openly as possible.   
It is very important that the guidance worker does not make judgements or attempt to impose solutions of their clients. Their aim must always be to enable people to talk about and clarify their problems, and then to help them act for themselves to resolve them.   
Some duties of Adult Education Guidance Counsellors include:

  • to provide guidance, counselling and information services to individual clients and to groups, and provide referral services to other agencies as appropriate
  • to provide support and advice in the field of guidance and counselling to staff of Further Education centres, and support the development  of an integrated curriculum of learning, guidance and progression
  • to broker services with educational bodies and other institutions as emerging client needs are identified
  • to share good practice from the sector and supporting the mainstreaming of relevant lessons into national policy and practice 

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You must enjoy working with people and helping them to make important decisions about their education, training and careers. General experience of life is a very important aspect of this job.   
Good communication skills are very important. You must be able to listen carefully and ask the right questions to find out about the client's interests, skills and values. Knowledge of assessment techniques such as psychometric tests and computer guidance systems is also useful.   
You will meet people from many different backgrounds, with different levels of self-confidence and experience of education. You should encourage self-assessment, avoid imposing solutions, and guide the client to come to their own choices and decisions.   
You will need strong negotiating skills, to represent the client's interests when you work with colleges or training providers.   
Adult guidance can be very varied, so you will need to be flexible and well organised. You will need to be able to plan your caseload, and do administrative tasks such as writing reports and keeping records.

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Institute of Guidance Counsellors
Address: The Basement, 17 Herbert Street, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 676 1975
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: National Counselling Institute of Ireland (NCII)
Address: Walton House, Lonsdale Road, Plassey Park, Castletroy, Limerick
Tel: 061 216288
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: National Centre for Guidance in Education (NCGE)
Address: Fitzwilliam Court, Leeson Close, Dublin, 2
Tel: (01) 8690715/6
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Adult Education Guidance Initiative
Address: Contact the Adult Education Organiser (AEO) in your local Education & Training Board (ETB)
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Psychology & Social Care
Education & Teaching

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