Family, marriage and other related counsellors help individuals, families and groups identify, understand and overcome their personal problems and reach their goals. Counsellors may specialize in areas including rehabilitation, addiction, marriage and family therapy, behavioural disorders or trauma.
Watch the video below to see what a day in the life of a registered clinical counsellor is like.
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 2,690
In general, counsellors:
They may also:
Some counsellors work in private practice, either on their own or in group clinics. Others work for community-based agencies like hospitals, schools, universities or justice-related organizations.
Counsellors may work in offices or in facilities such as group homes, health-care centres or rehabilitation centres. Remote counselling has also become more common as technology advances.
Counsellors use computers to do record keeping and administrative work.
Source: 2016 Census
Most jobs require a master’s degree in counselling, psychology or a related social service area. Certain roles may only call for an undergraduate degree or college diploma in a social science.
Counsellors who specialize in specific issues or areas often need extra training. All counsellors can gain useful skills by doing volunteer social service work.
Counsellors in B.C. are not regulated and do not need an official designation to practise. But those who wish to get a formal designation can do so by joining a provincial or national association. To use the title Registered Clinical Counsellor, for example, counsellors must become members of the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors. To use the title Registered Marriage and Family Therapist, counsellors must become members of the British Columbia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. To join these associations, counsellors must complete specialized training and a period of supervised clinical work with clients. They must also follow a code of ethics and commit to continuing education.
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
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See the list of work-related skills below, ranked in order of importance for this career. You’ll also find the skill strength needed, letting you know how capable you must be in that skill.
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As people become more aware of the importance of good mental health, the demand for counselling has increased. At the same time, education programs have expanded so that they can produce enough new graduates to generally meet the demand.
Nevertheless, demand for qualified counsellors continues to be high in northern and more remote parts of B.C. Demand is also high for counsellors who specialize in family conflict, addiction, and new citizens and immigrants.
New graduates can find entry-level counselling work in community-based organizations, counselling programs and schools. Many go into private practice, either on their own or in clinics with other counsellors.
With training and experience, counsellors can specialize in a particular area of practice. They may also move on to management positions.