Working in the Counselling profession involves guiding and empowering people to develop self-understanding and to make changes in their lives in order to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals. Effective counsellors require high levels of empathy, patience and respect. They assist people by offering them a structured and focused way of addressing their problems, and work with clients on developing strategies to overcome obstacles and personal challenges that they are facing. Jobs in this sector can be found in Educational settings, Worker’s Compensation, Rehabilitative services (including Drug & Alcohol), Children and Family services, and Refuge services (Can require further qualifications).

Specific Job Titles

  • Careers Counsellor
  • Correctional Counsellor
  • Telephone Counsellor
  • Addiction Counsellors (drugs, alcohol, gambling)
  • Family and Relationship Counsellor
  • Domestic Violence Counsellors/Court Support
  • Rehabilitation Counsellor
  • Mediators
  • Student Success Advisor

Mandatory Qualifications

  • You can work as a counsellor without formal qualifications,but employers and clients will prefer a counsellor who has qualifications (e.g., Diploma of Counselling, Bachelor of Counselling, Psychology, Human Services etc.) and is a member of a professional organisation.
  • Membership of a professional counselling association usually requires you to have completed an accredited training program of at least two years, have ongoing professional development, and meet certain ethical and professional practice standards.
  • Australian Counselling Association (ACA).
  • The Psychotherapists and Counsellors Federation of Australia (PACFA).
  • Current Working with Children, Police checks, and First Aid certification are required for some jobs in this sector.
  • Core skills in the discipline of psychology.

Specific Job Titles

Career Counsellor (University)

In this role you provide counselling and guidance to individuals with regards to their career goals and future pathways. Usually career counsellors work in a university or other institutional setting, and work with others in a team to support students in developing career goals, as well as the skills required to obtain employment after their study.

  • Bachelor Degree in relevant field (e.g., Counselling, Education, Human Resources or Psychology) PLUS
  • Postgraduate qualification in career development or in educational, developmental or counselling psychology (e.g.,Graduate Certificate Career Development).

Correctional Counsellor

In this role you provide counselling and specific support programs to offenders so as to enable them to re-enter society and to ensure the safety of the community.

  • In addition to a Bachelor Degree in relevant field, you may need some experience working with a forensic client base or in a corrections setting.

Telephone Counsellor

In this role you provide crisis support, counselling and mental health education, and referral to other agencies for longer-term intervention. Telephone counselling may also involve online chat and email support for specific services (e.g., Lifeline Medibank etc.).

  • In addition to a Bachelor Degree, Telephone counsellors usually need specific on-the-job training and supervision.

Addiction Counsellors (drugs, alcohol, gambling)

In this role, you  provide person-centred counselling, assessment and treatment to clients, and family members, as individuals or in small groups relating to a range of health, social and other issues.

  • In addition to a Bachelor Degree in a relevant field, you may need specific knowledge and expertise of the issues associated with addiction, or additional study (e.g., Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs).

Family & Relationship Counsellor

In this role you work with families and couples, providing counselling support, as well as psycho-educational therapeutic programs, or community education activities. 

  • In addition to a Bachelor Degree in a relevant field , you will need specific knowledge and expertise in relationship and couples counselling.

Domestic & Family Violence Counsellor

In this role, you provide individual counselling and group work to clients affected by domestic violence.  You may also develop and deliver community development strategies aimed at increasing awareness about the effects of domestic and family violence.

  • In addition to a Bachelor Degree in relevant field , you will require specific knowledge and expertise of domestic and family violence and the associated issues.

Rehabilitation Counsellor

In this role, you work with individuals experiencing injury, disability and/or social disadvantage to achieve occupational, personal and social goals. To achieve this, rehabilitation counsellors work with individual strengths and facilitate change in both the person and their environment.

  • Bachelor Degree in relevant field, PLUS
  • Current membership (Full or Associate) with Australian Society of Rehabilitation Counsellors (ASORC).
  • Full Membership Alternative Pathway applications are dealt with on a case by case basis by the Membership Committee. Applicants will need to demonstrate:
  • An undergraduate (bachelor) degree, graduate diploma or post graduate degree in Behavioural Sciences. These typically include psychology, behavioural sciences, and some social sciences and health sciences qualifications and;
  • A history of current work in a professional position requiring the use of the Rehabilitation Counselling Core Competencies for a period of at least 3 years full-time equivalent.
  • Associate membership. Applicants who have a undergraduate (bachelor) degree in the behavioural sciences but have not completed a graduate diploma or post graduate degree in Rehabilitation Counselling and  who have a minimum of 12 months experience in a role relevant to Rehabilitation Counselling.

Worker’s Compensation Advisor

In this role you work with individuals to support them in effective injury management, physical and mental rehabilitation, and returning to work. You work in a team with the employer, injured worker, health care providers and other service providers.

  • Bachelor Degree in relevant field (e.g., Allied Health including Psychology) PLUS 
  • Rehabilitation and Return to Work certification;Graduate Certificate in Case Management.
  • Specific knowledge and expertise in worker’s compensation Legislation.

Mediator

In this role you provide mediation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services to help individuals to resolve their disputes quickly and without the use of more costly legal services. Disputes may involve neighbours, families, communities, and workplaces.

  • Bachelor degree in relevant field (e.g., Counselling, Psychology) desirable.
  • Meet requirements of the Mediators Standards Board.
  • Complete a training course of a minimum of 38 hours with a provider whose course meets the training standards and undertake an assessment of at least 1.5 hours in length.
  • Apply to a Recognised Mediator Accreditation Body (RMAB) for accreditation.

Student Success Advisor

This role usually exists in an education institution, and provides support, information, education and advice to students to enable them to successfully engage with university life and study, access relevant services achieve academic and personal goals, complete their studies and transition to employment. In this role you develop supportive relationships with students and facilitate student community-building, pastoral care, front line advocacy for student needs and systematically identify and respond to the needs of students at risk of discontinuing their studies.

  • Bachelor Degree in relevant field (e.g., Education, Psychology, Social Work or similar).
  • Relevant work experience.
  • A good understanding of the education environment, especially the tertiary sector.