College career-placement advisors help students ascertain the best careers for their skills. They review courses students have taken, study their interests and entrance exams, and select careers in which they feel students can succeed. They help students create resumes, prepare for interviews and even schedule on-campus interviews with specific companies. To become a college career-placement advisor, you'd need at least a bachelor's degree. In return, you can expect to earn a salary averaging nearly $70,000 annually.
Salary and Qualifications
The average annual salary for college career-placement advisors was $68,000 as of 2013, according to the jobsite Simply Hired. To work in this field, you need at least a bachelor's degree in school counseling or career development, and three years experience in career placement, counseling or recruiting. You'd also need to a state license in school counseling through the American School Counselor's Association. Other essential requirements include compassion, attention to detail, and verbal and written communication, time-management and computer skills. (See references 1 and 3 to 6)
Salary by Region
In 2013, average salaries for these advisors varied considerably within the four U.S. regions. In the Northeast, they earned the highest salaries, $82,000, in Massachusetts and lowest, $61,000, in Maine. Those in the Midwest earned between $53,000 and $72,000 per year, respectively, in South Dakota and Minnesota. If you worked in the West, you'd earn a high of $77,000 in California or a low of $54,000 in Montana. Your earnings in the South would range from $53,000 to $107,000, respectively, in Mississippi or Washington, D.C.
You may earn a higher salary when you reach five years of experience than when first starting out. Larger universities and colleges will likely pay more because they usually have bigger budgets to support higher salaries. Moreover, your income may also vary in certain industries. In 2012, educational, guidance and school counselors -- similar careers to college career placement advisors -- earned higher salaries at junior colleges than regular colleges and universities, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The BLS doesn't report job trends for college career-placement advisors. It does forecast jobs for school and career counselors at colleges and universities, which will increase 34 percent in the next decade. This growth-rate far exceeds the 14 percent average for all occupations. College enrollments are expected to increase over the next 10 years due to increases in the college-age population. You should find job opportunities for college career-placement advisors plentiful during this period.
2016 Salary Information for School and Career Counselors
School and career counselors earned a median annual salary of $54,560 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, school and career counselors earned a 25th percentile salary of $41,650, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $70,930, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 291,700 people were employed in the U.S. as school and career counselors.