Employment counsellors (NOC 4156)

High opportunity occupation

About this job

Employment counsellors work one-on-one with people, giving advice, information and the tools needed to find jobs and plan their careers. They also share information with employers on staffing and employment issues.

Watch the video below to see what a day in the life of an employment case manager is like.

Common job titles
  • coach, career
  • consultant, employment
  • consultant, outplacement / relocation
  • co-ordinator, career resource centre
  • counsellor, Aboriginal employment
  • counsellor, career (except education)

Duties

Employment counsellors:

  • Interview clients to gather information about their education, work history and career goals
  • Test and assess clients’ interests, abilities and challenges
  • Help clients write resumés, prepare for job interviews, build job-readiness skills and develop job-search strategies 
  • Assess clients’ needs for support, financial aid and training and refer them to the appropriate services
  • Provide information to workers on keeping a job, moving within an organization, dealing with job dissatisfaction and making a mid-career change
  • Give clients labour market information about job openings and skill requirements
  • Advise employers on staffing and other employment-related issues
  • Consult with community groups, businesses, industry and other organizations that offer career planning resources
  • Take part in or organize workshops, networking events, panel discussions and other group learning opportunities 

Work environment

About half of all employment counsellors work in the Lower Mainland. Most are employed by the federal or provincial government or by post-secondary institutions. Some work for large organizations or private employment service agencies. Others are self-employed.

Employment counsellors work in offices and keep regular office hours. Sometimes, they attend evening and weekend events. Those who are self-employed may have more flexible hours.

They spend most of the workday at their desks and speaking with people, either in person or by video conference.

This work can be stressful. Employment counsellors deal one-on-one with clients who are at transition points in their lives. Many have recently lost their jobs. Some also have personal problems or unrealistic goals. Nevertheless, helping people navigate this difficult time and find a good job can make the work very satisfying. 

Insights from industry

Technology has become increasingly important to the hiring and job-search processes. Employment counsellors with a strong understanding of new technologies can best support their clients. This includes applications used by employers to analyze resumés and applications, and one-way interviews, through which job applicants record answers to questions and upload them for review.

Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are also key priorities of many employers. A good understanding of EDI efforts will help employment counsellors better serve their clients.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

With experience, employment counsellors may advance into supervisory, human resource or training positions.

Some may go into private practice and work as consultants or executive-level coaches.

Additional resources