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What are the different types of counselling careers you could pursue

by Elizabeth Harmon
Posted: October 29, 2021

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Are you looking for an enriching career where you can make an impact in other people’s lives?

If you’re a good listener, caring, extremely determined and unafraid of taking on a challenge, then a career in counselling could be ideal for you.

Counsellors work all across Australia, and they play a critical part in society. While the job requirements vary depending on the role, their common goal is to help individuals overcome their issues in a highly confidential setting. It could mean working with those who have mental health concerns, family difficulties or alcohol abuse. It can involve various environments too, from hospitals, schools, rehabilitation centres or offices.

Counselling session

With the industry growing, this presents you with lots of excellent career opportunities. According to Job Outlook, the number of workers in counselling grew very strongly over the past five years. Plus, expect jobs to grow from 33,000 in 2020 to 37,800 by 2025. Earnings are also strong at around $1,584 a week. This is slightly higher than the ‘all jobs’ average, and there are plenty more opportunities to increase your earnings as your experience grows.

What job opportunities are available in counselling?

The role of a Counsellor (which is not to be confused with a psychologist) is very diverse, with many ways to specialise.

Here are 5 types of counselling jobs you may want to consider:

Mental Health Counsellor – You will help those suffering from mental health disorders. This could involve finding suitable solutions or coping mechanisms for those dealing with addictions, phobias, marital problems, depression and anxiety.

• Alcohol and Substance Counsellor – You’ll be working with very vulnerable people to help get to the root cause of their issues and to break the cycle of addiction. You’ll work with a wide variety of other professionals, such as mental health specialists, nurses and social workers, to offer the appropriate support.

Family Counsellor – Through working with individuals, couples and families, you will help people work through emotional conflicts, separation, the loss of a loved one and even domestic violence.

Rehabilitation Counsellor – You’ll provide counselling to individuals with mental, physical or social disabilities, such as those recovering from an accident or substance abuse. The aim is to help them achieve their individual goals, whether that’s living independently or returning to work.

Grief Counsellor – You’ll be responsible for supporting people struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one, where their grief is affecting their daily lives. This could take place as one-to-one or group counselling sessions.

What soft skills will you need?

Whether you decide to focus on family counselling or to become a Grief Counsellor, there are many essential skills you’ll need, from being caring, impartial and non-judgemental, to becoming a self-learner and incredibly patient.

Here are a few other soft skills that will be essential for you:

Communication – You’ll be working with people every day, so becoming an excellent communicator is vital. Being an active listener is also crucial, as well as being able to pick up on non-verbal cues, to help identify and understand people’s challenges and concerns.

Problem-solving – Being able to think critically is essential. That’s because every day, you will meet new patients and have new personal problems to solve.

Teamwork – As well as working one-to-one with patients, you’ll work with families, groups and other medical professionals. You’ll need to work well with others and delegate work where required to ensure patients get the best care.

Resilience – Being a Counsellor is highly rewarding, but it can also be very challenging. You may work with complex characters, struggle to get to the root of problems or have to listen to some unsettling situations. It’s crucial that you deal with these situations day after day while staying professional and supportive. 


How can you develop your skills to work in counselling?

To work in counselling, you will need to acquire a very particular set of skills. Most employers will expect you to have undertaken professional training.

At Open Colleges, we offer a Diploma of Counselling, where you will learn all you need to know to become a professional Counsellor. Discover the most current and effective counselling techniques and methods, understand how to build a relationship with clients, learn how to support people with mental health issues, and more.

Enrol in CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling course now and open the doors to various rewarding career paths where you’ll be able to make a big difference in people’s lives.


Elizabeth Harmon

Elizabethis an experienced Freelance Social Media Consultant based in the south of England. She works with a growing number of clients all around the world, showing businesses how to use social media more effectively and helping them to get the maximum benefit from it.

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