How do I Become a Career Advisor?

Sheri Cyprus

If you want to become a career advisor, you're likely to need a graduate degree in a human services discipline and possibly even a post graduate certificate in career advising. Two years of supervised work experience plus passing an exam approved by an organization such as the National Board for Certified Career Counselors is usually required as a part of the licensing requirements for a career advisor. Since this is a helping profession, doing volunteer work is often considered a good way to start to prepare to become a career advisor.

Adults who want to change course, or who feel dissatisfied in their jobs, are free to take career orientation tests.
Adults who want to change course, or who feel dissatisfied in their jobs, are free to take career orientation tests.

Community nonprofit job search programs or job clubs may be good places to find volunteer positions such as those that involve assisting career advisors meet the needs of clients. Independent career coaches may also be a good source of volunteer work for a person aspiring to become a career advisor. Environments in which you can network and have access to resources are ideal ones in which to learn about the field and what clients' needs are.

Career advisors can suggest different volunteer programs which can improve a job seeker's resume.
Career advisors can suggest different volunteer programs which can improve a job seeker's resume.

For example, there are many aptitude and other tests that career advisors give to clients that help both the advisor and client understand careers that are likely to be a good match. The Meyers Briggs personality test is one type of tool used in career exploration and aptitude tests that reveal areas of strong skills. Another evaluation tests manual dexterity by requiring the person to do timed tasks such as drawing straight lines or joining dots with a pencil on paper, or on a computer, to form patterns. Intelligence tests may also be given to clients by a career advisor as the results can help career advisors and each client find out which skill area clients are the strongest in, such as mainly verbal or mostly numerical.

It's important to have a genuine passion for helping people discover their best possible careers if you want to become a career advisor. Most of your work hours will be spent consulting with clients to determine their best career direction. In addition to understanding personality, intelligence and aptitude testing, career advisors must be confident in working in areas such as advising clients on how to retrain and change careers. It’s important to keep up with statistics such as those from the United States Department of Labor in regard to which careers are expected to experience job growth faster than average, slower than average or remain stable in the next decade or more. If you want to become a career advisor, keep in mind that you’ll not only be advising clients but also tracking their progress with detailed files and reports.

A career advisor may assist job seekers in completing employment applications.
A career advisor may assist job seekers in completing employment applications.

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Sunny27-I think learning how to become a wedding planner might be fun. I know that there are schools that offer certifications and the average earnings for a wedding planner is anywhere from $2,500 to $4,500 per wedding.

The starts up costs are generally low too. Usually the start up costs average about $2,500. Once you get some experience on becoming a wedding planner, you can then join the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners.

This organization offers continuing education credits and requires all members to complete 4 hours of continuing classes each year in order to maintain your membership with the organization.


BrickBack-I think learning how to become a private investigator would be fascinating. Most private investigators were involved in law enforcement so they already have the necessary training with fingerprinting, using firearms, collecting evidence and writing reports on their findings.

This job also requires surveillance measures and long odd working hours; the pay however could be significant as most private investigators earn six figure salaries.

There was a show on Dr. Phil that actually featured stay at home moms that were private investigators at night when their husband got home.

It was an interesting account, but it also made me realize that this profession can also be dangerous. However, there is a high level of satisfaction when you solve a problem for a client and give them the answers that they have been searching for.


Crispety- I agree. You really have to love medicine and the idea of helping others because it is not an easy career choice, but it does offer a high amount of reward when you are successful in helping someone in pain.

This is the very reason many doctors join the profession because they want to be heroes.

I also think that becoming a certified personal trainer is also a rewarding field. Both ACE and the IDEA foundation offer training materials on becoming a personal trainer. They also offer additional classes on how to service your clients better.

The National Academy of Sports Medicine also offers certification exams along with test prep courses and continuing education classes. The rewarding thing about being a personal trainer is that you get to help people feel better about them and help them overcome an unhealthy lifestyle.


There are many great careers that offer rewarding job satisfaction along with great pay. Learning how to become a nurse or become a doctor takes a lot of dedication.

For a nurse, a LPN, or a licensed practical nurse requires a two year degree, while an RN or registered nurse requires a bachelor’s degree along with a passing grade on the nursing board’s exam.

A doctor on the other hand, requires four years of medical school along with about four years of residency and a passing score on the medical board’s exam to obtain a medical license.

A doctor makes substantially more than a nurse, but a doctor also has significantly more education and experience. The average RN salary is about $70,000, while the average salary for a doctor ranges from $140,000 to $500,000+.

The medical field is a great field with a lot of opportunity, but one has to be dedicated because this field is a calling and is not one that you do for the money.

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