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What It Really Takes to Become a School Counsellor in Australia

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Do you feel your skills and experience equip you to become a school counsellor in Australia?

Maybe you’ve seen a need for support services in the educational community. Or you are interested in advocating for vulnerable students. If so, embarking on this exciting journey could be incredibly rewarding!

To become certified as one of these professionals, it is important to know what comes with such a career path. This will provide interested individuals with greater clarity about the requirements.

This blog post will look at all the efforts and details that go in studying to become a school counsellor in Australia. So, let’s dive in and explore the path to this fulfilling career!

Understanding the Role of a School Counsellor

As a school counsellor, you will play a vital role in supporting students, teachers, and parents within the educational setting.

Your responsibilities help students with emotional and social issues that impact academic success. You may also guide career or educational choices and assist with conflict resolution.

Additionally, as a counsellor, you may help create agendas to promote mental health and well-being in school. This could include workshops, presentations, and other initiatives.

Education and Training Requirements

School counsellors in Australia need to have a bachelor’s degree in psychology or therapy. Remember that you have other choices. 

Some professionals may also possess degrees in social work or education. Also, most universities offer postgraduate counselling degrees.

Apart from education, aspiring counsellors must also complete several supervised clinical hours. This is typically around 25 hours but may vary by state or territory.

Getting Registered and Certified

Upon completion of school, clinical hours, and training, counsellors must register with the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) or other regulatory body.

A certification requires passing an exam. You will be evaluated on your knowledge and comprehension of ethical standards and counselling concepts in this exam.

You should also note that certification is not a one-time process. You must renew it every few years by completing continuing education courses.

The Importance of Personal Skills

Apart from education and training, school counsellors require certain personal qualities. These include:

  • Empathy: This allows you to understand and connect with students meaningfully.
  • Active listening skills: This helps you understand and respond to students’ needs effectively.
  • Strong communication abilities: Good communication skills will help you effectively collaborate with students, teachers, and parents.
  • Patience and understanding: As a counsellor, you will encounter students facing various challenges. Being patient and understanding is key to helping them navigate through these obstacles.
  • Problem-solving skills: Counsellors must be able to think critically and create effective solutions for their students.

This skill allows you to connect with kids and support their personal, educational, and career goals.

Continuing Professional Development

Continuing professional development or simply growing your skills and knowledge is necessary in school counselling.

Learning doesn’t stop once you get certified; it’s a lifelong journey! Like fashion trends change (remember when we all thought mullets were cool?), so do counselling techniques and research. 

Staying updated with the latest can help you be your best school counsellor. This could mean attending workshops, taking online courses, or reading counselling literature in your spare time. 

Remember, every bit of knowledge you gain can help make a big difference in the lives of the students you counsel. 

Express Your Interest

Becoming an Australian school counsellor requires more than education and abilities. It takes passion and interest to help students.

This isn’t a career path to follow because you think it might be a good job. To be successful school counsellors, you must care about students’ well-being and desire to assist them in solving their problems.

Perhaps you are the one students turn to when they need help, or you have personally witnessed the positive effects of counselling. Whatever your reason, expressing this interest is the first step to becoming a school counsellor.


Being a school counsellor is like taking a road journey where you can learn something with every turn. It’s more than just getting a degree or passing an exam, it is about developing, learning, and expanding as a person. 

You’ve got to pack a suitcase full of empathy, active listening, and communication skills. You need the patience to navigate tricky situations and the problem-solving skills to find the best routes for your students. 

Remember, this trip doesn’t end with certification; like a never-ending highway, your professional development continues. Staying updated with the latest counselling trends is like catching up with the latest hit songs. 

And expressing your interest? It’s like fueling your car for the journey. As school counsellors, we have a chance to impact students’ lives. 

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Third Sector provides high-level content and services for professional development and organisational growth to leaders and senior executives from Australia’s NFP sector and its supporting industries.

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