Becoming a youth counselor is one rewarding career option with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. A youth counselor or youth worker focuses on helping young people who are struggling with academic, social, and emotional issues. These professionals typically work in a variety of settings including community programs, educational institutions, social service agencies, and faith-based organizations.
What Does a Youth Counselor Do?
Some of tasks that a youth counselor might perform include:
- Talking to young people about the problems they are facing
- Connecting children and teens with resources in the community
- Scheduling activities for young clients
- Meeting with social workers, teachers, therapists and other professionals
- Interviewing family members
- Completing paperwork and writing progress reports
- Assessing the needs of young people in the community
- Administering programs related to areas such as smoking, bullying, and drugs
What Training and Education Does a Youth Counselor Need?
Many employers require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related social science area such as social work or education. Requirement vary by employer and by state and most advanced positions in the field require licensure and an advanced degree, although there are generally entry-level positions available for those at the bachelor’s level.
How Much Does a Youth Counselor Earn?
The BLS reports that the average annual salary for all mental health counselors as of May 2013 was $43,700, although it is important to note that many of these professionals hold master’s degrees. Payscale.com suggests that the salaries for youth counselors in 2015 range between $20,880 to $40,275 per year. Indeed.com lists similar figures, with an estimated yearly average of $29,000 as of February 2015.