How to Become a Counselor in Canada

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Canada has placed greater importance on mental health than any other country in North America. It’s no surprise given that mental health issues affect more than 6.7 million Canadians. Mental health is just as important as physical health, even more so during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Many people need counseling help just to get through the day.

The global pandemic has made everything stressful and challenging for everyone’s mental and emotional health so it’s no wonder that counselors are in high demand in Canada.

Also, certain aspects of life require help only a licenced counselor can provide. Some people might need help while trying to make important decisions involving marriage, family, career, or education.

Here is everything you must know about becoming a counselor in Canada.

Education Requirements

To practice as a counselor in Canada, aspirants must have a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, they must attend graduate school and get a master’s degree. Relevant doctoral degrees will also greatly aid aspirants.

Master’s Degree in Psychology

For the Master’s degree in psychology, they can either get a master of arts (M.A.) or a master of science (M. Sc.). Students will be required to take courses, one in research methods and another in statistics, and complete a major project such as a research thesis, a major literature review, or a critique.

They would also be required to write and defend the finished project in front of a committee or in a poster set. Once you have a Master’s degree, you are eligible for a doctorate degree.

Aside from having a Master’s degree, some provinces such as Quebec require aspiring counselors to be registered in a professional association. Once registered, they may use the title “counselor.”

Licenses and Other Professional Certifications

Counselors are required to get a professional license from a regulatory authority before applying for counseling jobs. It can be either voluntary or compulsory, depending on the circumstances.

Skills and Knowledge Required

Those who aspire to be counselors are required to have specific skills and knowledge for the job. They must be good at serving others, planning, and analyzing information. They must have fantastic communication skills as well, preferably above-average since they’ll be spending most of the time talking to different kinds of people.

Counselors should have knowledge of business, finance, and management. In addition, they must be good at therapy and counseling services if they are in the health services. Finally, educational counselors must have a teaching and instruction background before practicing.

Other Traits Helpful For This Job

Aside from the needed education requirements, licensing and professional requirements, skills, and knowledge, those who want to be counselors must have several traits and attitudes that can help them succeed in their workplaces.

Counselors are required to have a high level of patience, especially towards difficult people. They must also have active listening skills and be compassionate towards other people. Counselors should always honor the privacy of their employers and employees, so discretion is a necessary trait to have if you’ll be a competent counselor in Canada.

What does a Counselor Do?

Counselors can do a lot of things, depending on their field. For example, employment counselors usually provide assistance and information to those looking for employment in different areas. They are also tasked with providing advice and information to employers regarding employment and human resources issues.

On the other hand, marriage counselors are in charge of assisting couples planning to get married or couples having a hard time with their marriage. As mentioned above, counselors do many things, but most of the time, they are seen as advisers for their respective fields.

How Much Do Counselors Earn in Canada?

Employment counselors are under the NOC 4156 code, and they usually earn between $19 to $39 on average. Based on the recent records, this varies from province to province, with Kingston-Pembroke Region in Ontario having the best employment opportunities for counselors.

Immigrants who want to become licenced counselors in Canada can secure a Canadian Permanent Residency Visa with or without an existing job offer.

Job Opportunities For Counsellors

In Canada, like many parts of the world, counselors are employed by various businesses in different industries. They are used mainly by the human resource departments of their respective companies or corporations. They also work at consulting firms, correctional facilities, and employment service organizations.

Counselors are also hired by federal and provincial governments for specific tasks concerning labor and employment. Some counselors work in schools, colleges, and universities to provide guidance to the students.

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.