14 counselling careers (with salaries and primary duties)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 22 November 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Counselling is a psychological speciality focusing on using professional research, assistance and guidance to manage psychological and personal problems. There are multiple forms of counselling that provide several career opportunities in the field. Learning about counselling careers can help you determine which jobs to pursue with your counselling qualifications. In this article, we list 14 counselling careers, provide information about their national average salary and discuss their primary duties.

14 counselling careers

Here's a list of 14 counselling careers, including their average salaries and primary duties:

1. Camp counsellor

National average salary: £10.00 per hour

Primary duties: A camp counsellor is a professional who organises camp activities and ensures the safety of children. They have special training and collaborate with other staff members to plan and lead camp events. Camp counsellors monitor the grounds to ensure compliance with the rules, memorise all emergency procedures and report any incidents to staff and parents. They also work one-on-one with campers to ensure they meet personal and camp goals and solve any issues.


  • How to become a camp counsellor in 6 steps (with key skills)

  • How to become a child counsellor: a step-by-step guide

2. Residential counsellor

National average salary: £23,086 per year

Primary duties: A residential counsellor is a professional who offers psychological and supports services to patients in residential facilities, such as group homes, youth summer camps, university residence halls, rehabilitation centres, shelters and residential care facilities. They provide various services, including one-on-one therapy, crisis support advocacy and companionship. Residential counsellors also help clients with such day-to-day requirements as meal preparation, grooming and housekeeping. They also organise and facilitate activities, ensure residents' safety, enforce rules and policies and maintain reports on each resident's progress.

Related: How to become a counsellor: duties, qualifications and jobs

3. School counsellor

National average salary: £23,991 per year

Primary duties: A school counsellor is a counselling professional who works in all education levels, including primary schools, secondary schools, universities and colleges and special schools. They listen to students' issues, including their emotional, social or academic challenges, and help them process their problems, plan goals and work towards them. These counsellors organise counselling programmes and refer students to other mental health resources and professionals, such as psychologists. School counsellors also mediate when there's a conflict between staff and students to help to improve parent-teacher relationships and educational conditions.

Read more: How to become a school counsellor (definition and skills)

4. Military counsellor

National average salary: £26,797 per year

Primary duties: A military counsellor provides guidance and support to military service members and their families. They help these ones to manage various military life challenges, such as frequent moves, deployments and other concerns that arise from serving in the armed forces. Military counsellors also conduct workshops for families regarding financial management and financial independence, conflict resolution, stress management, parenting skills and grief counselling. They may also refer families to other resources and professionals, such as childcare services, financial assistance or mental health help.

5. Crisis counsellor

National average salary: £27,224 per year

Primary duties: A crisis counsellor is a mental health professional who provides psychological first aid to manage a crisis. They receive special training on how to help people manage trauma. Crisis counsellors work in various settings, including emergency rooms, crisis support line clinics and military camps. They deliver prompt and thorough assessment evaluations and interventions in person or via the telephone and provide verbal or written communication when necessary.

Read more: What does a counsellor do? (With responsibilities)

6. Youth counsellor

National average salary: £27,623 per year

Primary duties: A youth counsellor is a professional who provides guidance, mentorship, counsel and support to young people to manage various issues and achieve different goals. They also help young people manage mental health concerns, such as anxiety, substance abuse and depression. Youth counsellors commonly work at community centres, clinics, hospitals, schools or private practices. They also collaborate with parents to monitor young people's progress and may refer clients to other professionals, including psychologists or psychiatrists, to receive more specialised care.

Read more: How to become a youth counsellor (plus work environments)

7. Substance abuse counsellor

National average salary: £29,904 per year

Primary duties: A substance abuse counsellor is a mental health professional who helps people overcome substance, alcohol and behavioural addictions. They evaluate, treat and monitor a patient's mental and physical health and support the patients and their caregivers. Substance abuse counsellors often collaborate with doctors, nurses, psychiatrists and Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service to develop treatment and recovery plans for substance abuse patients.

Related: How to become a prison counsellor (with skills and duties)

8. College counsellor

National average salary: £31,002 per year

Primary duties: A college counsellor is a specialist who helps university or college students manage their career goals, academic performance and higher learning experience. They answer students' questions, offer and recommend resources and monitor their academic progress. College counsellors often also support students with admissions, identifying higher education institutions that may suit their career goals and helping them to compile applications that describe their background, strengths and goals.

9. Grief counsellor

National average salary: £31,662 per year

Primary duties: A grief counsellor, or bereavement counsellor, is a health care professional who provides therapy and support to clients dealing with personal losses, such as the death of a loved one. They support clients through the various stages of grief and help them adjust and continue their lives. A bereavement counsellor can work in private practice or public health institutions. They typically engage with community support groups, relevant resources and other professionals, such as medical experts.

10. Mental health counsellor

National average salary: £32,442 per year

Primary duties: A mental health counsellor uses various psychotherapy methods to help people manage emotional and mental challenges. They assess and diagnose clients' symptoms of psychological distress, talk to them about their emotions, thoughts and experiences and collaborate with their families in group sessions to support them. They help clients identify situations, thoughts and behaviours that affect their wellness and recovery. A mental health counsellor also works with clients to create treatment goals, develop plans and gain insights from the treatment.

Related: How to become a mental health counsellor (with salary info)

11. Family and marriage counsellor

National average salary: £37,010 per year

Primary duties: A family and marriage counsellor provides guidance and support to couples and families. They help them to learn how to balance daily living and manage any conflicts. Marriage and family counsellors often help people transition through difficult life events, such as unemployment, divorce or losing a loved one. They teach clients how to improve their communication skills, advise on family relationships and parenting practices and recommend resources or other health experts that can help the client manage their situation successfully.

Related: What is genetic counselling and genetic counsellors?

12. Clinical counsellor

National average salary: £40,213 per year

Primary duties: A clinical counsellor assesses patients' mental health and behavioural problems and helps them manage these challenges in a clinical setting. They examine various issues, including depression, stress, substance abuse, self-image concerns and ageing factors. Clinical psychologists also research psychological, emotional, organisational and behavioural patterns to identify issues. They discuss treatment plans with the patients, hold regular individual sessions, attend emergency sessions and document the client's progress. Clinical counsellors also educate patients and families on various aspects of recovery, such as health conditions, proper nutrition and observing medical appointments.

Related: What's the difference between clinical and counselling psychology?

13. Career counsellor

National average salary: £41,057 per year

Primary duties: A career counsellor advises on decisions regarding a profession or job. They usually work with students to determine future educational and career paths. Career counsellors also help established professionals who want to change their profession or advance their careers. They help clients to search for jobs by providing useful resources.

Career counsellors evaluate a person's educational and work background to help determine the next step to achieving their career goals. They also help students to find financial support to pay for their education. Career counsellors teach and help clients practice skills that may help with searching for jobs, such as CV writing, networking and interviewing.

Related: What does a career counsellor do? (With salary and duties)

14. Behavioural therapist

National average salary: £42,050 per year

Primary duties: A behavioural therapist is a mental health practitioner who helps patients to identify challenges and develop skills to overcome unhealthy behaviours. Behavioural therapists analyse behavioural patterns to diagnose disorders, develop an appropriate treatment program and adjust the treatment according to the patient's needs. They may work in schools, detention facilities, rehabilitation centres, hospitals and clinics or run their own practice.

Behavioural therapists also maintain observation and counselling notes on each patient to monitor their progress. They usually collaborate with a patient's family to obtain feedback on the treatment plans and progress. These therapists can also recommend activities and exercises to help patients develop methods and skills to manage their diagnosis.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organisation‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

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