Illinois School Counselors

It was Abraham Lincoln who once said, “I will prepare, and some day my chance will come.” This was, perhaps, a self-fulfilling prediction of the opportunity he would have to make a lasting impact on our nation. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that school guidance counselors in the “Land of Lincoln” have the opportunity to make a meaningful and lasting impact on the next generation of students across the state.

According to the Illinois State Board of Education, “A school counselor’s job is to help students put all the pieces together.” They are expected to provide critical services to students in Illinois, in three areas: Academic, College/Career, and Personal/Social.

There is no doubt that school counselors in Illinois do a great job of helping students piece together the sometimes confusing puzzle of their academic and career options.

What do Illinois school counselors do?

What originally began as vocational guidance in schools, now incorporates the guidance and support of students academically, socially, and psychologically. Here are a few specific roles an Illinois school counselor can be expected to fulfill:

  1. They evaluate students’ abilities and interests through aptitude assessments, interviews, and individual planning.

    Each student has their own set of unique skills and interests, and it’s the school counselor’s job to identify those strengths and help the student find the best course of action. Evaluations, assessments, and aptitude tests are part of the Illinois school counseling program.

  2. They help students understand and overcome social or behavioral problems through classroom guidance lessons and counseling.

    One of the tougher parts of school counseling is helping students overcome social or behavioral barriers. However, with solid curriculum and guidance lessons, school counselors are often able to inform students of potential social and behavioral pitfalls before they happen.

  3. They work with students to develop skills, such as organizational and time management abilities and effective study habits.

    Not only is college and career planning the crux of school counseling, enforcing strong study habits and organizational skills is equally as important. Long before a student heads off to college or the workforce, they need to know how to manage their time and resources.

  4. They provide support for others who influence student success, including parents, educators, and administrators.

    There’s no doubt that today’s student is influenced by many different people. Their well-being, inside and outside the school walls, is crucial for academic and social success. School counselors often act as liaisons between students and parents, and students and school staff. This is one of the most important roles of the school counselor, as all students deserve to have a voice and unbiased support.

  5. They report possible cases of neglect or abuse and refer students and parents to resources outside the school for additional support

    In the unfortunate event of possible neglect or abuse, school counselors are beholden to report their suspicions and seek outside support. Iowa school guidance counselors work closely with school officials as well as community officials to ensure the safety and well being of every student.

Why should someone consider becoming a school counselor in Illinois?

Job Market Trends

Illinois School Counselor Salary (average) 1

$57,920/year

Number of School Counselors Employed 1

13,660

Projected employment growth in Illinois 2

4% from 2018 - 2028

1.) May, 2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics job market and salary figures for Educational, Guidance and Career Counselors and Advisors represents state data not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed July, 2021.

2.) School Counselor projections data pulled from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections in collaboration with Illinois State Employment Projections. Data accessed July, 2021.

While school counseling is an ever-evolving field, the high demand for dedicated people in this profession remains the same. There are many reasons why someone should consider school counseling in Illinois, but here are some of the main reasons:

  • The average salary for a school counselor in Illinois is $57,920 per year.
  • The biggest benefit of becoming a school counselor is the opportunity to prepare students for academic/career options and play an integral role in their future success.

School counselors in the “Land of Lincoln” have a world of opportunity at their fingertips, and will continue to direct students in piecing together each part of their individual goals. Certainly, they are to be commended for making a lasting impact on students in the state of Illinois.

Contact schools offering school counseling or mental health counseling programs and learn how you can begin a career as an Illinois School Counselor.

Whether you are from Chicago, Rockford, Aurora, Naperville, Peoria, Springfield or anywhere else across the state, you will find school counseling a highly rewarding and respected career.

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**Some states require completion of a state-approved School Counselor preparation program from a regionally accredited institution in order to be licensed as a school counselor. Capella University is regionally accredited and their School Counseling specialization is state-approved by the Arizona Department of Education. We recommend that you follow up with your state Department of Education (DOE) to determine whether Capella’s Arizona- approved School Counseling specialization meets your state’s licensure requirements.