School counsellors have approved qualifications in psychology and school counselling, and a background of primary or secondary teaching. As a member of school Learning and Support Teams school counsellors are involved in programs which enhance the wellbeing of all students in a school or year group. School counsellors work with students of all ages and their families, from pre-Kindergarten to Year 12, providing valuable individual or small group support, counselling and psychological assessment for students with specific needs. Their daily work activities may include counselling students, assessing students' learning and behaviour, helping families make informed decisions about their child's education, identifying adjustments to support students' learning and liaising with external agencies regarding students' wellbeing.
Demand for school counsellors
School counsellors are in demand in NSW public schools, particularly in rural and metropolitan locations of workforce need. The high-demand rural locations include Albury, Armidale, Batemans Bay, Bathurst, Bourke, Broken Hill, Central Coast, Deniliquin, Dubbo, Griffith, Lake Macquarie, Lismore, Maitland, Moree, Muswellbrook, Newcastle, Orange, Port Macquarie, Queanbeyan, Shellharbour, Tamworth, Taree, Wagga Wagga and Wollongong. The high-demand metropolitan locations include Bankstown, Blacktown, Campbelltown, Fairfield, Granville, Liverpool, Mount Druitt, Parramatta, Penrith, Ryde and Windsor.
Attributes of great school counsellors
School counsellors are committed to evidence-based practice in the fields of psychology and education. They are empathetic listeners who have the ability to make students feel comfortable and at ease. School counsellors are also excellent verbal communicators who know how to quickly build relationships based on trust, and collaborate with families, school staff and external agencies to support a young person. School counsellors are organised, have high professional standards and are committed to ethical record-keeping.
How to decide if you should be a school counsellor
If you are approachable, have a high ethical standard, and are able to respond calmly and flexibly in difficult situations, consider becoming a school counsellor in NSW public schools.
How to become a school counsellor
To become a school counsellor in NSW public schools, you will need to complete approved courses in primary or secondary teaching and psychology/school counselling, and be eligible for full or provisional registration as a psychologist in NSW.
The department offers tailored scholarship pathways to achieve the qualifications to become a school counsellor, further information is available below under the heading Get Paid to Become a School Counsellor. The become a teacher webpage outlines the steps you will need to take to become a teacher in a NSW public school.
Get paid to become a school counsellor
A sponsored training program is available to current teachers who would like to become a school counsellor.