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Counsellor

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Counsellors help people to talk about and explore aspects of their lives that may be causing them difficulty. You might work with people with a wide range of issues, or specialise in an area such as eating disorders or addiction.

Counsellors do not give clients advice but support them in making changes that could improve their lives.

The Work

You could be:

Counsellors differ from counselling psychologists, as counsellors do not normally have training in psychology.

Pay

The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:

Starting salaries for counsellors are in the range £19,000 to £27,000 a year. Experienced counsellors can earn up to £30,000 a year and managers of agencies or projects can earn £40,000 or more.

If you are self-employed, you charge a fee for each session with a client, which can be between £35 to £70 an hour. You may not have a regular income.

Counsellors working for the NHS are on the Agenda for Change salary grades and start at Band 5, £24,670 to £30,742 a year. Experienced counsellors may be on Band 6, £30,401 to £38,046 a year.

Conditions

Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

You do not always need formal entry qualifications but most employers will prefer you to have or be working towards a recognised counselling qualification, such as those accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland (COSCA). 

You could work in advice centres, schools and colleges, counselling organisations, charities, GP practices and hospitals. You can also work on some telephone helplines. Jobs are advertised in the press, through Jobcentres and on the COSCA and BACP websites.

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

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Job Outlook Scotland

Employment

Unemployment

Percentage of workforce registered as unemployed (Scotland)

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Job Outlook Scotland and UK

  Scotland
2019
1616
1.3 %
RISE
2024
1637
  United Kingdom
2019
17261
1 %
RISE
2024
17438

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What Does it Take?

You need to be:

You need to have:

Training

Getting On

Contacts

The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
Tel: 01455 883300
E-mail: bacp@bacp.co.uk
Website: http://www.bacp.co.uk/
Twitter: @BACP

COSCA (Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland)
Tel: 01786 475140
E-mail: info@cosca.org.uk
Website: http://www.cosca.org.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coscacounselling

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