Not signed up?


Counsellor: Salary and conditions

So you think you want to be a


See how well you suit this job in Career Planner.

Try Career Planner

  • Starting salaries for counsellors can vary considerably but may be in the region of £20,000 to £26,000. Private practitioners charge around £30 to £50 per hour.
  • With experience and supervisory responsibilities, counsellors can earn £30,000 to £40,000.
  • The majority of counsellors are employed on a part-time basis. Many counsellors work as volunteers and so do not receive a salary.
  • There is a lot of scope for self-employment and freelance work. A lot of counsellors have a portfolio career combining part-time, voluntary and private work.
  • Working hours are mainly 9am to 5pm but some posts may require evening or weekend work to meet with clients. A maximum of 20 hours of client contact time per week is recommended by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) .
  • Counsellors are usually office based, but their work may involve travelling to other locations or working from home. Phone and internet counselling services are growing.
  • Counselling is often undertaken one-to-one, but it can involve work with couples, families or groups. Group counselling is becoming more common as services are under increased pressure due to the high demand for counselling.
  • Jobs are available in most areas but the concentration is heavier in cities. Some rural areas are poorly served.
  • The job is potentially stressful because of the painful and sometimes contentious nature of personal problems experienced by clients.
  • Professional supervision is essential to help counsellors work through any difficulties they experience and it is a requirement for all members of the BACP who are practising counsellors.
  • Travel within a working day, absence from home overnight and overseas work are not key features of the job, but may be required by some employers.

Salary figures are intended as a guide only.

There are 4 jobs available in healthcare

View jobs >

Written by AGCAS editors
August 2015

Search graduate jobs


Spotlight on...

Sponsored links


This website is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with CSS enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets if you are able to do so.