Counsellors

ANZSCO ID 2721

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
34,700
Future Growth
14.2%
Weekly Earnings
$1,652
Full-Time Share
51%
Female Share
77%
Average age
45

Summary

Counsellors provide information on vocational, relationship, social and educational difficulties and issues, and work with people to help them to identify and define their emotional issues through therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapy, interpersonal therapy and other talking therapies.

Tasks

  • working with clients on career, study and employment options by obtaining and examining information relevant to their abilities and needs

  • providing information and resources to assist clients with job-seeking skills

  • assessing client needs in relation to treatment for drug and alcohol abuse

  • conducting counselling interviews with individuals, couples and family groups

  • assisting the understanding and adjustment of attitudes, expectations and behaviour to develop more effective interpersonal and marital relationships

  • presenting alternative approaches and discussing potential for attitude and behaviour change

  • consulting with clients to develop rehabilitation plans taking account of vocational and social needs

  • contributing information, understanding and advice on the learning and behaviour of students, especially those with special needs, and assisting parents and teachers in dealing with these needs

  • May work in a call centre

Characteristics

Job Type
Professionals
Skill Level
Very high skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Interests
  • Analytical
  • Creative
  • Helping
Physical Demand
  • Sedentary

Outlook

Employment Outlook

JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:

  • is expected to grow strongly
  • is likely to reach 27,800 by 2026.
  • Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.

    Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

    Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
14.2%
(or 3,500 jobs)
From
24,400
in 2021
To
27,800
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 15,100
2012 17,800
2013 18,300
2014 20,400
2015 21,400
2016 19,800
2017 27,000
2018 26,100
2019 31,400
2020 32,500
2021 24,400
2026 27,800

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 51% of people employed as Counsellors work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 15 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 41 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).

    Median full-time earnings are $1,652 per week, this is higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,476
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $2,238

    Median hourly earnings are $45, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Earnings Counsellors All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 1,652 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.


Industries

Main industries

1
Health Care and Social Assistance
49.2%
2
Education and Training
36.3%
3
Other Services
5.9%
4
Public Administration and Safety
4.7%
5
Other industries
3.9%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

30.4% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

28.1% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

18.9% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

7.2% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

10.1% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

2.0% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

1.5% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

2.0% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Counsellors All Jobs Average
NSW 30.4 31.6
VIC 28.1 25.6
QLD 18.9 20.0
SA 7.2 7.0
WA 10.1 10.8
TAS 2.0 2.0
NT 1.5 1.0
ACT 2.0 1.9



Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
45
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
77%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Counsellors is 45 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.

    Females make up 77% of the workforce. This is 29 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Counsellors All Jobs Average
15-19 0.5 5.0
20-24 4.9 9.3
25-34 21.3 22.9
35-44 22.3 22.0
45-54 23.4 21.6
55-59 11.6 9.0
60-64 9.1 6.0
65 and Over 6.9 4.2
Median Age 45 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

A bachelor degree in counselling, psychology, social work or another related field is usually needed to work as a Counsellor. Some workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification.

Registration with the state or territory teaching board is required to teach in schools.

Visit

  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Community Services VET training pathways.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Counsellors All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 37.3 10.1
Bachelor degree 35.5 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 13.4 11.6
Certificate III/IV 5.5 21.1
Year 12 5.6 18.1
Year 11 0.9 4.8
Year 10 and below 1.7 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Counsellors who can communicate clearly and are caring and compassionate.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 79%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 68%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 68%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 63%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 59%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 59%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 59%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 59%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 57%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 57%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 57%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 57%

    Persuasion

    Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.

  • 55%

    Negotiation

    Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.

  • 55%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 55%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 54%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 52%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 50%

    Science

    Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

  • 48%

    Systems evaluation

    Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.

  • 45%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 99%

    Therapy and counselling

    Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.

  • 97%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 89%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 73%

    Sociology and anthropology

    Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

  • 66%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 63%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 63%

    Philosophy and theology

    Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.

  • 62%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 46%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 45%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 45%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 33%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 33%

    Biology

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

  • 32%

    Medicine and dentistry

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.

  • 31%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 29%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 28%

    Sales and marketing

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  • 21%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 19%

    History and archeology

    Events of the past, their causes, how we learn about them, and how they influence the way we live today.

  • 14%

    Economics and accounting

    Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 70%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 66%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 66%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 66%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 63%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 61%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 57%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 57%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 57%

    Originality

    Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.

  • 55%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 55%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 54%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 54%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 52%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 45%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 43%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 43%

    Speed of recognition

    Quickly make sense of and organize things you can see like letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

  • 41%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 39%

    Multitasking

    Do two or more things at the same time.

  • 39%

    Memorization

    Remember things like words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 85%

    Helping and caring for others

    Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.

  • 85%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 82%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 81%

    Coaching and developing others

    Working out the needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or helping them to improve.

  • 80%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 78%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 73%

    Negotiating and resolving conflicts

    Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.

  • 70%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 69%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 69%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 68%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.

  • 67%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 67%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 66%

    Coming up with systems and processes

    Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.

  • 65%

    Assessing and evaluating things

    Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.

  • 65%

    Giving expert advice

    Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.

  • 63%

    Guiding and directing staff

    Guiding and directing staff, including setting and monitoring performance standards.

  • 58%

    Leading and encouraging a team

    Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

  • 58%

    Making sense of information and ideas

    Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.

  • 44%

    Working with computers

    Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.


Interests and demands

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 90%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.

  • 86%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 62%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 38%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 33%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 19%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 100%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 86%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 86%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 86%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 76%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.

  • 48%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 100%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 99%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 98%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 98%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 97%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 95%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 94%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 92%

    Spend time sitting

    Spend time sitting at work.

  • 86%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 84%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 78%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 76%

    Contact with the public

    Work with customers or the public.

  • 75%

    Letters and memos

    Write letters and memos.

  • 75%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 68%

    Consequence of error

    Work where mistakes have serious consequences.

  • 68%

    Lead or coordinate a team

    Lead others to do work activities.

  • 67%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 65%

    Conflict situations

    Deal with conflict or disagreements.

  • 64%

    Angry or unpleasant people

    Deal with unpleasant, angry, or rude people.

  • 61%

    Responsible for outcomes

    Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-3031.03 - Counseling Psychologists.


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