Career Development

What Does a Career Advisor Do?

Find out what a career advisor does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a career advisor.

Career advisors help people figure out what they want to do with their lives. They may work with individuals who are trying to decide on a major, change careers, or enter into the workforce for the very first time.

They also commonly work with groups of students at once—such as high school seniors about to graduate—to help them identify and prepare for potential career paths.

Career Advisor Job Duties

A career advisor typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Developing a comprehensive plan for career development based on each client’s interests, needs, and goals
  • Explaining the principles of human resource management to new employees in an organization
  • Conducting assessments to determine an individual’s interests, aptitudes, and personality traits that could impact their success in a particular career field
  • Reviewing resumes and providing feedback on how to improve their effectiveness
  • Providing job search assistance including helping clients create a resume or apply for jobs online
  • Recommending educational opportunities such as vocational training or community college courses that may lead to a career change
  • Working with clients to develop a plan for career advancement including identifying strengths and weaknesses, identifying interests and skills, and creating a workable action plan
  • Assisting clients in identifying opportunities for career advancement that match their interests and abilities
  • Assisting clients in identifying career options that match their interests and abilities and helping them to prepare for the career path they have chosen

Career Advisor Salary & Outlook

Career advisors’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of organization they work for. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses or commissions.

  • Median Annual Salary: $53,500 ($25.72/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $84,500 ($40.63/hour)

The employment of career advisors is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by an increase in the number of older workers, who are more likely to seek advice from a career counselor than younger workers. In addition, demand for career planning services may increase as employers continue to offer fewer traditional pension plans and more defined-contribution retirement plans, which require workers to make investment decisions on their own.

Related: Career Advisor Interview Questions and Answers

Career Advisor Job Requirements

A career advisor typically needs to have the following:

Education: Career advisors typically need a master’s degree in a related field, such as human resources, business administration or organizational behavior. Some of the coursework they complete in these programs includes leadership, management, ethics, communication and organizational behavior.

Training & Experience: Career advisors typically receive on-the-job training to learn the specific processes and procedures of their new role. This training may include shadowing current career advisors or other company employees to learn the basics of the job. Training may also include learning the software and computer programs the company uses to manage job postings and candidate information.

Certifications & Licenses: While certifications are not always required, they can be a helpful way to demonstrate your expertise and motivation to potential employers.

Career Advisor Skills

Career advisors need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: Career advisors often communicate with their clients through email, phone calls and in-person meetings. Effective communication skills can help you convey information to your clients and answer their questions. You can also use your communication skills to schedule appointments, send reminders and send thank you messages.

Business knowledge: Career advisors often have a basic understanding of business practices and how they relate to the workplace. This can help you explain the various aspects of a career, such as the duties, responsibilities and potential growth opportunities. You can also use your business knowledge to explain how various industries operate and how they may differ from one another.

Problem-solving skills: Career advisors often help their clients develop action plans for reaching their career goals. This often involves identifying potential challenges and suggesting solutions to overcome them. For example, a career advisor might help a client identify the skills they need to advance in their current role and then help them find ways to develop those skills.

Time management skills: Career advisors often have multiple responsibilities, including meeting with students, updating their own knowledge and skills and completing administrative tasks. Having strong time management skills can help you manage your workload and complete all of your tasks in a timely manner.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s feelings and perspective. Career advisors often use empathy to help their clients understand their career options and make the best decisions for their future. For example, a career advisor might use empathy to help a client overcome their fear of change by explaining how a new career path could help them achieve their career goals.

Career Advisor Work Environment

Career advisors work in a variety of settings, including colleges and universities, government agencies, and private companies. They typically work full time during regular business hours, although they may need to work evenings and weekends to meet with clients or attend career fairs. Career advisors typically work in an office setting, but they may travel to meet with clients or attend conferences. They may also work from home, especially if they are self-employed. Career advisors need to be able to work well under pressure and handle multiple tasks simultaneously. They must be able to deal with people who are experiencing stress and anxiety about their careers.

Career Advisor Trends

Here are three trends influencing how career advisors work. Career advisors will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Personalized Career Advice

The need for more personalized career advice is becoming increasingly important as job seekers become more sophisticated in their search for the right position.

Career advisors can capitalize on this trend by developing a deeper understanding of their clients’ needs and goals. They can then use this information to provide more personalized advice that is tailored to each individual’s specific situation.

More Focus on Diversity and Inclusion

As diversity and inclusion becomes more important in the workplace, career advisors will need to focus on helping students prepare for these changes.

By understanding the challenges that students may face in a diverse and inclusive environment, career advisors can help them develop the skills they need to be successful in the future workforce. This includes teaching them how to communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds, as well as providing them with the tools they need to navigate the hiring process.

A Greater Emphasis on Employer Branding

Employer branding has become an increasingly important part of recruiting in recent years. As more and more candidates are looking for jobs online, employers are realizing that they need to have a strong presence on social media and other platforms in order to attract top talent.

This trend is leading to a greater emphasis on employer branding among career advisors, who are now tasked with creating and maintaining a positive image of their company in the eyes of potential employees.

How to Become a Career Advisor

A career as a career advisor can be rewarding in many ways. You’ll have the opportunity to help people make important decisions about their lives, and you’ll get to learn about different industries and professions. You may also be able to specialize in certain areas, such as working with veterans or people with disabilities.

To become a career advisor, you’ll need to have a degree in counseling or social work. You’ll also want to develop your skills in listening, questioning, and problem solving. Additionally, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the job market so that you can provide accurate information to your clients.

Advancement Prospects

There are many ways to advance your career as a career advisor. One of the best ways is to get further education and training in the field. This will enable you to apply for more advanced positions and to better understand the ever-changing landscape of the job market. You can also advance by becoming more involved in the field, such as by joining professional organizations or taking on leadership roles. And of course, as you gain more experience and knowledge, you will be able to better help your clients achieve their career goals.

Career Advisor Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we want our employees to have successful and fulfilling careers. To support this goal, we’re looking for an experienced career advisor to join our team. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in human resources, career counseling, or coaching. They will be skilled in resume writing, interview preparation, and job search strategies. Additionally, they will be able to provide guidance on career planning and development. The career advisor will be responsible for helping employees identify and achieve their career goals.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Understand the needs, goals, and objectives of each client in order to provide the most accurate and helpful advice
  • Develop a rapport with clients and maintain frequent communication to ensure that they are satisfied with the services received
  • Keep up to date on industry trends, changes, and news in order to best advise clients on their career paths
  • Assist clients with resume writing, job search strategies, interview preparation, and networking
  • Help clients identify their strengths, weaknesses, and areas of improvement
  • Collaborate with clients to set realistic and achievable goals
  • Connect clients with resources, such as job postings, educational opportunities, and professional development programs
  • Follow up with clients after meeting to ensure that they are making progress towards their goals
  • Maintain detailed records of all client interactions and communications
  • Update and grow knowledge of available technology and software to better assist clients
  • Refer clients to other professionals or services when necessary
  • Provide support and encouragement to clients throughout the career advising process

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in counseling, psychology, or related field
  • 3-5 years experience in career counseling, coaching, or teaching
  • Strong understanding of the job market and current trends
  • Ability to assess individual skills, interests, and values
  • Excellent communication, writing, and presentation skills
  • Empathetic and supportive personality

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Certification in career counseling, such as National Career Development Association (NCDA) or Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF)
  • Experience with a variety of career assessment tools, including Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Strong Interest Inventory (SII), and Occupational Information Network (O*NET)
  • Familiarity with resume writing and interviewing techniques
  • Knowledge of job search resources and strategies


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