What can you do with a Diploma of Counselling?

11th September 2019

The demand for skilled and qualified counsellors in Australia is increasing. In this article we’ll be looking at the counselling career path to help you decide if it’s right for you. The nationally recognised Diploma of Counselling is the perfect entry point into this rewarding career, and we’ll be highlighting 3 immediate career possibilities for graduating students.

CAREER QUICK FACTS: Annual salaries for counsellors in Australia range between $70,000-84,000.


Employed Counsellor

Counsellors are employed by schools, government-funded health clinics, correctional facilities, rehabilitation centres, telephone and online crisis centres. As an employed counsellor you will be helping assigned clients work through emotional, mental health, and lifestyle concerns. And often you’ll be working as part of a health management team — referring clients to other healthcare professionals as the need arises.

Many students are drawn to employment and support opportunities in areas where they have personally suffered grief, trauma or relationship challenges — while others are driven by a strong sense of empathy and social justice. There are a range of different career opportunities all over Australia as:

  • Drug and alcohol counsellors
  • Family and marriage counsellors
  • Student counsellors
  • Telephone counsellors
  • Youth counsellors
  • Refugee counsellors
  • Suicide and grief counsellors

CAREER TIPS: many organisations will require you to obtain a National Police Check and Working With Children clearance.


Independent Counsellor

Start your own counselling business. The Diploma of Counselling is the minimum requirement in Australia to own and operate a professional counselling practice. Through self-employment, many graduating students are able to bring dedicated counselling services and support groups to remote and regional Australia. Other independent counsellors operate part-time, supporting survivors of rape, domestic violence, discrimination, and alcohol abuse.

CAREER TIPS: for students wanting to operate their own counselling business, we also recommend undertaking complimentary studies in business administration.


Support a community service role

Many students who enrol in a Diploma of Counselling are already working as qualified nurses, community service case managers, youth workers, correctional services officers, and ministers of religion. As a Diploma graduate you’ll be better placed to recognise people in crisis, and be equipped to offer them immediate crisis support and counselling. You’ll also be developing advanced interpersonal and deep listening skills.

Specifically the Diploma of Counselling can assist services professionals:

  • Identify and respond to people in crisis
  • Action and process a brief intervention
  • Support people who are in stages of grief and bereavement

The qualification teaches students the latest in cognitive behaviour therapies, personality and development theories, and solution focused therapy.

CAREER TIPS: in addition to highly developed emotional intelligence, effective counsellors have solid writing skills and know how to prepare proper reports and paperwork.


Professional Membership

Graduating from your Diploma of Counselling qualifies you for Level 1 Membership of the Australian Counselling Association — a professional registration body for Counsellors and Psychotherapists with over 5,000 members.


Further Study

The Diploma of Counselling is also a gateway into further study and students can gain RPL in a number of units from the Bachelor of Counselling. You’ll also be on a direct pathway to obtain a Master of Counselling or other graduate studies in community services and social welfare.

Written by Melinda J. Irvine
Melinda J. Irvine
Melinda is a professional writer, blogger and musician. When she’s not writing she’s creating online resources that help disadvantaged kids develop English literacy and life skills.

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