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Counsellor: Salary and conditions

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  • Starting salaries for counsellors can be in the region of £19,000 - £26,000 but this can vary considerably. Private practitioners can charge £30 - £50 per hour.
  • With experience and supervisory responsibilities, counsellors can earn £30,000 - £40,000.
  • The majority of counsellors are employed on a part-time basis and 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. The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)  recommends a maximum of 20 hours of client contact time per week.
  • 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.

 
 
AGCAS
Written by AGCAS editors
Date: 
August 2013
 
 

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