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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.


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 Practices 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.


Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

Employers and clients look for a counsellor with 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.

What Does it Take?

You need to be:

You need to have:


Getting On


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The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
Tel: 01455 883300
Twitter: @BACP

COSCA (Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland)
Tel: 01786 475140

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