£18,000 Starter - £35,000 Experienced
35 to 40 a week (evenings / weekends)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
a university coursean apprenticeshipworking towards this role
You can take either a postgraduate diploma or master’s degree in career guidance. These courses lead to the Qualification in Career Development.
Many people apply to do this course after working in teaching, youth and community work or social services.
These courses take 1 year full time or 2 years part time. You'll usually need a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course.
You may be able to do a Level 4 Employability practitioner apprenticeship or a Level 6 Career development professional apprenticeship.
There are no set entry requirements but it may help you to get in if you have 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths.
You could start by working as a careers support assistant or youth worker and take further training on the job.
Your employer may sponsor you to take work-based qualifications such as:
- Level 4 Diploma in Advice and Guidance
- Level 4 Diploma in Careers Information and Advice
- Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development
Experience of relevant paid or unpaid work, for example in support, advisory or mentoring could help you to gain work in this field.
Professional and industry bodies
Once you're qualified, you can apply to join the Career Development Institute’s UK register of career development professionals.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- knowledge of psychology
- knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
- sensitivity and understanding
- customer service skills
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to understand people’s reactions
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Restrictions and Requirements
You'll need to pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties will depend on the people you work with, for example school pupils, undergraduates or unemployed adults.
- work with people individually or in groups
- give advice face-to-face, online through email or webchat, or on the telephone
- explore clients' skills, abilities, interests and achievements and look at how they relate to potential careers
- identify and discuss work experience, learning, training and work opportunities
- help people make decisions, overcome barriers and to make plans of action
- promote equal opportunities and challenge discrimination
- develop relationships with employers, colleges, universities and training providers
- research occupational and labour market information and write careers information
- give talks, update records and meet targets
You could work in a contact centre, at a university, at a college, at a school, at an outreach centre or from home.
Career path and progression
You could specialise and work with adults, graduates or young people with special needs.
With experience, you could become a manager. You could also become self-employed and work as a consultant, researcher or writer.
Another option could be to move into industry and provide career management advice for employees of large companies.