A counselor works with individuals or groups of people, providing them with assistance in overcoming certain psychological problems. A counselor may further specialize in different roles, such as marriage counselors, child counselors, etc. In their general sense, counselors work with their patients on a session basis, providing them with a specific therapy aimed at solving their problems. Counselors are sometimes hired as a preventive measure, keeping track of a patient’s mental condition so that they can spot any uprising problems and alert the patient accordingly, as well as provide them with appropriate treatment.
The job of a counselor is strictly controlled by the government, and requirements can be quite strict in some jurisdictions. In most cases, a degree in counseling is required – a Master’s degree in most cases – as well as a certain number of years spent training in a hospital environment under direct supervision. There are specific tests and examinations related to the job as well, and some states may require candidates to have undergone those, too.
As a counselor, one can make between $32,000 and $48,000 a year, depending on the frequency of patient consultations, as well as their reputation (as it allows them to dictate higher prices in some cases). On the other hand, some counselors employed on a permanent basis at institutions have reported low salaries compared against the workload imposed over them, and as a result, a low rate of job satisfaction. This problem has been echoed in recent times as more counselors are moving to a private practice model.