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Education

Careers adviser

Careers advisers help people make decisions about their education, training and work options.

Annual Salary

£18,000 to £35,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

35 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends;

4%
Future employment

There will be 4% more Careers adviser jobs in 2025.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • talking to people about their abilities, interests and achievements
  • exploring learning and work opportunities
  • helping people make decisions and plans of action
  • giving support to overcome barriers
  • keeping to rules on equal opportunities
  • developing relationships with employers, colleges, universities and training providers
  • keeping up to date with occupational and labour market information
  • giving talks, updating records and meeting targets

Working environment

You could work in a contact centre, at a university, at a college, at a school, at an outreach centre or from home.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
University

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.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
For more information
Apprenticeship

You may be able to do a career development professional higher apprenticeship.

Training providers will set their own entry requirements.

For more information
Work

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 like the Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Professional and industry bodies

Once you're qualified, you can apply to join the Career Development Institute’s UK register of career development professionals.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a careers adviser from the Career Development Institute.

You could specialise and work with adults or 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.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • 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
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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