4 Steps to Become a Counsellor in Australia
Become a counsellor, it’s easier than you think! Counselling and psychotherapy in general is a popular profession with many opportunities available. In this article we’re going to give four easy steps that will help guide you through the process of joining the mental health sector, and becoming employed as a counsellor.
1. Meet the Personal Requirements
To begin your journey to becoming a counsellor, we first need to look at the personal requirements. In order to determine whether this is the right career path for you, you must consider whether you have the skills and personal qualities required to work as a counsellor. These are:
- Good active listening skills: Listening attentively to the speaker, understanding, and responding.
- Prompting: Ability to sit back and ask questions while letting people understand their own problems.
- Empathy: Ability to understand and relate to peoples emotional needs, putting oneself in another’s shoes.
- Independent: Ability to work independently and not having to always rely on others.
- Self-reflection: Ability to stop, evaluate and give deeper thought to your actions or current circumstance.
2. Sign Up for a Counselling Course
As counselling is not a regulated profession in Australia there are technically no requirements or qualifications required to work in the field. However, you will not be able to join an Industry Association, which is viewed as the sign of a qualified and experienced professional. Without a minimum qualification at Diploma level you will not be eligible for Professional Indemnity Insurance, which is a requirement for industry membership also.
Ethically and academically, Counselling Diploma’s are seen as the starting point for a long term career as a professional Counsellor, especially those aiming to be in Private Practice. A Diploma in Counselling can open doors for agency positions, meaning you will be working under more qualified supervisors, which will ensure they have the opportunity to gain experience and on the job learning. This is a great substitute for further study, resulting in sufficient experience to then consider private practice opportunities.
3. Build Your Resume
Now that you’ve completed your counselling course and have some training under your belt, it’s time to get building your resume with some practical experience. Start your job search and explore your employment opportunities! You can seek employment in counselling from a range of organisations and sectors such as:
- Education facilities (schools and universities)
- Community service facilities
- Health centres
- Aged care residencies and agencies
- Welfare support
- Refugee centres
- Crisis call centres
- Drug and Alcohol recovery facilities
Browse your options and evaluate what related prospect is right for you.
4. Network And Contact Job Prospects
Once you have a resume and portfolio of work, it’s time to start networking for job opportunities. Your Diploma of Counselling course may provide graduates with access to contacts in the industry but if not, there are plenty of ways to get listed on job boards such as Seek or Indeed. You can also use social media to connect within the industry and in your area. This way, you’ll be able to contact them directly about job openings or even offer your services for free as a marketing ploy! Let everyone know that you’re looking for work by posting on Facebook groups where you can network with people in your local community, or even advertise yourself by purchasing a classified ad on sites such as Gumtree.
FAQS: Advice for Aspiring Counsellors
What qualifications do you need to be a counsellor?
To find an entry level position within the counselling field you will require a Diploma of Counselling (CHC51015). To become a registered, fully qualified counsellor you need to complete a Bachelor of Counselling undergraduate degree or equivalent. This can also be obtained by using the completion of your Counselling Diploma as a study pathway. At TrainSmart Australia all our courses have been given national accreditation.
Can I be a counsellor without a degree?
As counselling is a self-regulated degree, technically you do not need any qualification to be regarded as a councillor. However, a counsellor without qualifications cannot be registered by professional bodies and is therefore open to all kinds of liability and legal trouble if they practice as one. Not to mention you’ll find it extremely difficult to find an organisation that will hire you without the relevant training. Learn more about this in our blog article ‘Can I Be A Counsellor Without A Degree?’.
How much do Counsellors earn in Australia?
Employment in the Australia as a counsellor continues to grow at a steady rate, with jobs predicted to grow by 14.5% in the next five years. According to Seek.Com counsellors in Australia currently earn between $80,000 to $95,000 a year, with the average salary sitting at $85,000.
What jobs can I get with a Diploma in Counselling?
· School Counsellor: Provide counselling and assistance for students seeking guidance in their schooling career
· Drug and Alcohol Counsellor: Help people recover from their addictions
· Case Worker: Provide assistance to individuals and groups in the community affected by mental health issues, alcohol and drug abuse, and disability
· Youth Worker: Assist vulnerable young people with growing and developing as individuals
· Guidance Officer: Support young people/ students with planning out their career paths
· Disability Respite Worker: Provide everyday care and assistance for people living with disability
How Do You Become ACA Accredited?
Diplomas are a sufficient base line qualification for joining an Industry Association, such as the Australian Counselling Association or Perth Aged Care Financial Advisers. TrainSmart Australia is not officially accredited with ACA however students are still permitted to gain provisional membership with a TSA Diploma and 25 hours of Clinical Supervision experience.
At TrainSmart Australia we’re passionate about producing quality health and community service professionals, giving our students the confidence and skills to build a fulfilling and prosperous career in counselling. We’re a leading provider of nationally recognized training and education, conveniently located in the Perth CBD. We ensure all our students are properly trained and prepared to enter the workforce as exceptional workers. We are very proud to be on the panel of approved providers for the Jobs and Skills WA Participation Equity Program, meaning we offer this course at a majorly discounted rate for eligible WA students. Become a member of a booming industry. Begin your journey to a new career in counsellors work now and enrol today!