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Education

Careers adviser

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

Annual Salary

£21,000 to £35,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

35 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends;

2.9%
Future employment

There will be 2.9% more Careers adviser jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

As a careers adviser, you could:

  • work with people individually or in groups
  • offer advice and guidance face-to-face, online, or by telephone
  • explore how skills, abilities and interests relate to potential careers
  • work with employers, schools, universities and training providers
  • research and provide careers and labour market information
  • give support to make decisions, overcome barriers and plan next steps

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 take one year full-time or 2 years part-time and lead to the Qualification in Career Development (QCD).

Many people apply to do a career guidance qualification after working in teaching, youth work or social services.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

You could do a Career Development Professional Level 6 Higher Apprenticeship.

This takes 2 years to complete.

You may be able to do an Employability Practitioner Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship, if you're working in careers or education, then go on to complete a career guidance qualification.

Entry requirements

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
For more information
Work

You could start by working as a careers co-ordinator or youth worker and do further training on the job.

Your employer may support you to take work-based qualifications such as:

  • Level 4 Diploma in Advice and Guidance
  • Level 4 Diploma in Career Information and Advice
  • Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development

Volunteering and work experience

Volunteering in support, advice or mentoring could help you to gain work in this field.

Find out about local opportunities for voluntary work through the National Council for Voluntary Organisations or Do IT.

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.

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With experience, you could:work with specific groups like adults, graduates or young people with special needs; become a careers leader in school or college; co-ordinate careers services and manage a team of advisers; go into careers coaching, resettlement or work-placement services; be self-employed as a consultant or freelance adviser

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
  • active listening 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
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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