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Occupation Details

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Guidance Counsellor - Post Primary

Job Zone

Education
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Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organisational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and most scientists.

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At a Glance... header image

Guides and advises young people as they make their career choices.


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.
Go to Interview  
 

The Work header image

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
 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Counsel individuals to help them understand and overcome personal, social, or behavioral problems affecting their educational or vocational situations.

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Provide crisis intervention to students when difficult situations occur at schools.

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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.

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Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.

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Prepare students for later educational experiences by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and to persevere with challenging tasks.

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Evaluate students' or individuals' abilities, interests, and personality characteristics using tests, records, interviews, or professional sources.

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Identify cases of domestic abuse or other family problems and encourage students or parents to seek additional assistance from mental health professionals.

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Counsel students regarding educational issues, such as course and program selection, class scheduling and registration, school adjustment, truancy, study habits, and career planning.

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Provide special services such as alcohol and drug prevention programs and classes that teach students to handle conflicts without resorting to violence.

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Conduct follow-up interviews with counselees to determine if their needs have been met.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Assisting and Caring for Others:  Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Provide Consultation and Advice to Others:  Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

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Thinking Creatively:  Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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Coaching and Developing Others:  Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others:  Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Psychology:  Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

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Therapy and Counseling:  Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Education and Training:  Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

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Customer and Personal Service:  Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Social Perceptiveness:   Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Service Orientation:   Actively looking for ways to help people.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Learning Strategies:   Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

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Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Time Management:   Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

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 Routesheader image

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:

  • DCU 
  • TCD
  • 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.

See: How to become a Guidance Counsellor - NCGE

Last Updated: October, 2014


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Education Adviser - from:  icould [UK] Video
Go..Employment Advisor - from:  icould [UK] Video
Go..Guidance counsellor, second level - from:  GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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

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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

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Organisation: Department of Education and Skills
  Address: Marlborough St, Dublin 1
  Tel: (01) 889 6400
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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