South Dakota School Counselors

Home to the highest mountains east of the Rockies, and including the famous Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota is reaching new heights in its school counseling endeavors. Professionals in this state act as an integral part of the educational system, and foster development in academic, social/emotional areas for all students.

With solid backgrounds in professional guidance, counselors are trained to enhance school culture, collaborate with others, and offer the best programs to ensure students succeed.

Although school counseling can mean different things in different states, counselors in the “Mt. Rushmore State” are unified in their active presence within its educational system. Student success is their ultimate goal, and they will continue to reach for new heights to achieve that goal.

What do South Dakota school counselors do?

The South Dakota Comprehensive Counseling Model encourages school districts to develop a vision of what students should be able to do as a result of participating in a comprehensive school counseling program.

Here are a few key things a South Dakota school counselor is expected to do:

  1. Use results of data and program assessment to implement activities, strategies, and programs for continued learning

    Through regular standardized testing and assessment, school counselors are able to identify learning challenges and offer activities, strategies, and programs for successful learning. This may include individual guidance or in-class instruction to help students continue on the paths towards graduation and beyond.

  2. Demonstrate the impact of social/emotional development, academic development, and career planning

    Not all students plan to go to college. That’s why school counselors are prepared to not only guide college/career-bound students, they are also ready to help students interested in entering the workforce directly out of high school. Of course, school counselors provide every opportunity for kids to excel in school and continue with higher education. Through classroom instruction, they demonstrate the impact of academic development and career planning. South Dakota school counselors are also equipped to address the social/emotional barriers that may impede a student’s success.

  3. Provide responsive services and crises prevention

    As school safety has become a prominent focus in recent years, school counselors have taken extra measures to be prepared and prepare school faculty and students for an unexpected crisis. They are equipped to train students and staff how to respond accordingly to an emergency event. They also work hard to offer crisis prevention resources to keep their schools as safe as possible.

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Why should someone consider becoming a school counselor in South Dakota?

Job Market Trends

South Dakota School Counselor Salary (average) 1


Number of School Counselors Employed 1


Projected employment growth in South Dakota 2

9.9% 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 South Dakota State Employment Projections. Data accessed July, 2021.

The reason why most professionals become South Dakota school counselors is the unmatched reward of helping students succeed. School counseling is one of the few careers in education where professionals have the opportunity to individually work with students who need guidance and assistance. Seeing students achieve their academic goals and move forward towards a positive future is more than rewarding for school counselors across the U.S.

Here are a few reasons why someone should consider becoming a school counselor in South Dakota:

  • South Dakota school counselors will typically earn $5,000 to $10,000 more each year than teachers.
  • Many South Dakota residents are demanding higher quality education and the importance of school counselors’ expertise.
  • School counselors in South Dakota are looking at a future with strong job security and continual salary increases.
  • Much support is offered to South Dakota school counselors, especially those new to the profession (click for school counseling tips).

Ultimately, school guidance counselors in the “Mt. Rushmore State” have reached new heights in their efforts to guide all students towards the best social/emotional and college/career paths. These professionals are prized assets to the South Dakota educational system and their surrounding communities.

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

Whether you are from Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Aberdeen, or anywhere else across the state, you will find school counseling a highly rewarding and respected career.

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