In Summary - Guidance Counsellor - Post Primary
Guidance Counsellor - Post Primarys typically work in the following Career Sectors:
Videos & Interviews
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.
Videos on the Web
- Guidance Counsellor - Post Primary- from: Youtube Search
- Guidance counsellor, second level - from: GradIreland
The Work - Guidance Counsellor - Post Primary
The work of the Guidance Counsellor takes place with groups and also on a one-to-one basis. It consists largely of the following functions:
- Counselling: helping pupils with coping skills for the ever changing circumstances in their personal, educational, and career development; decision-making, problem-solving, behavioural change
- Personal and social development
- Career information management to acquire, store and disseminate useful careers and courses information
- Assessment: using psychological and educational standardised measurements
- Vocational preparation: job search skills, work experience
- Consultation with parents, staff and community
- Referrals: when necessary, students are referred to qualified professionals outside school
- Evaluation of school's guidance needs and services
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Counsel individuals to help them understand and overcome personal, social, or behavioral problems affecting their educational or vocational situations.
- Provide crisis intervention to students when difficult situations occur at schools.
- Confer with parents or guardians, teachers, administrators, and other professionals to discuss children's progress, resolve behavioral, academic, and other problems, and to determine priorities for students and their resource needs.
- Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
- Prepare students for later educational experiences by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and to persevere with challenging tasks.
- Evaluate students' or individuals' abilities, interests, and personality characteristics using tests, records, interviews, or professional sources.
- Identify cases of domestic abuse or other family problems and encourage students or parents to seek additional assistance from mental health professionals.
- Counsel students regarding educational issues, such as course and program selection, class scheduling and registration, school adjustment, truancy, study habits, and career planning.
- Provide special services such as alcohol and drug prevention programs and classes that teach students to handle conflicts without resorting to violence.
- Conduct follow-up interviews with counselees to determine if their needs have been met.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Interests - Guidance Counsellor - Post Primary
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.
Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
As a Guidance Counsellor, you must enjoy working with people, and helping them to make important decisions about their personal, education, training and employment options. The ability to put people at ease and give information clearly is important.
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 as psychometric tests tests and computer guidance software is useful.
The ability to use information technology is important, whether for administrative tasks, searching the Internet for information or demonstrating guidance software.
Entry Requirements - Guidance Counsellor - Post Primary
All teachers, including second level Guidance Counsellors, must register with the Teaching Council. You must first be eligible for registration as a Second Level Teacher, and in addition, hold a recognised qualification in Guidance and Counselling.
The qualification in guidance and counselling is a postgraduate one.
There are four courses available at differnt institutions around the country:
- NUI Maynooth
- Limerick Unversity
Courses involve both study and practical experience. Subject areas covered in a guidance and counselling course include such areas as:
- Counselling theory and practice
- Group theory and practice
- Career development and behaviour
- Principles and practice of psychological training
- Sociology of education
- Career information management
- Casework/counselling practice
Employers place importance on the right personal qualities. Relevant life and work experience are also highly valued.
Last Updated: October, 2014
Pay & Salary - Guidance Counsellor - Post Primary
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 31k - 56k
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.
Labour Market Updates - Guidance Counsellor - Post Primary
Useful Contacts - Guidance Counsellor - Post Primary
Institute of Guidance Counsellors
National Centre for Guidance in Education (NCGE)
Department of Education and Skills