Laurenummy
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Hi,

I will be starting my final year of my Psychology degree in September.
As far as my career goals, being a counsellor really appeals to me.

But is this career good and stable? Is the salary good?

I ask only because it will take another additional 4-5 years of college to become qualified by BACP and I want to know if it is worth it

Thanks
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Minerva
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(Original post by Laurenummy)
Hi,

I will be starting my final year of my Psychology degree in September.
As far as my career goals, being a counsellor really appeals to me.

But is this career good and stable? Is the salary good?

I ask only because it will take another additional 4-5 years of college to become qualified by BACP and I want to know if it is worth it

Thanks
Depends what you mean by 'worth it' - do you mean earning a good salary, or high levels of job satisfaction?

I've known a few people who've successfully taken up counselling as a career after doing other things - so you don't have to decide now. Some of those people did the extra studying while working - not an easy option, but perhaps reducing the financial risks?

PS - I've moved this into the careers forum, as there may be more people around there who can help.
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username927016
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Glad I found this thread, I certainly hope so as I'm currently studying an adult part-time counselling course at a local college. It's mainly whether after all that studying I can actually get a career in it with a decent pay, is what I'm mainly worried about...
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Eden.
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Hello everyone, here are my thoughts on embarking on a career in Counselling.

The salary is good, especially if you get into the NHS, basic starting salary is around £21K, however the job market for counsellors is highly saturated and there are lots of counsellors who are fully qualified who are in 'voluntary' work which makes me somewhat nervous. Why are there so many voluntary counsellors?

I finished my Level 3 in counselling two years ago and put off going to University or studying further due to the fact I was told by my tutor and various counsellors that there is an over saturation of qualified counsellors who cant find paid work and that most work voluntarily. At first it made me wonder why anyone would pay a counsellor when they can get a fully qualified voluntary one. That being said over the last two years I have kept an eye on the sector and it is on the rise and there are paid jobs out there, you just need to be determined and proactive when it comes to getting the job you want.

Two years later at 28, I have decided to embark on a degree in counselling regardless of the negativity from other people regarding the profession. I personally want to get into the NHS, I worked for them for over 5 years before taking two years out to travel and I loved working within the NHS!

I have spent the last two years soul searching and keep coming back to counselling. I believe I will excel in this field and it really lights my fire and I am really passionate about succeeding, so I thought what the heck!!!

My advice to you is that if its what you want to do and you have genuine passion go for it. Remember there are many roles within the health and social care sector.

Its a tough market from what I have researched. I have also spoken to an NHS nurse and an IAPT consultant who have told me the government is giving alot of funding for the development and implementation of counsellors and mental health practitioners, especially for the elderly and for the 'Dementia' patients.

Also, I would not advise doing a college diploma as its harder to obtain counselling employment as most jobs now require a degree, which is why I have choose to go down the degree route

I hope I helped in some way xoxox
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Lord Asriel
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(Original post by Eden.)
Hello everyone, here are my thoughts on embarking on a career in Counselling.

The salary is good, especially if you get into the NHS, basic starting salary is around £21K, however the job market for counsellors is highly saturated and there are lots of counsellors who are fully qualified who are in 'voluntary' work which makes me somewhat nervous. Why are there so many voluntary counsellors?
Some of this is a historical hangup. For a long time counselling prided itself on its lack of professionalisation/ standardisation and didn't play the game like other professions such as medicine, nursing, etc.

As its standst, a huge problem is that lots of people want to be counsellors and the barriers for entry are really low. Practically anyone can get accepted onto a course and do the necessary contact hours, which means that hundreds of people chase after a few jobs. Entry to professions like medicine/ clinical psychology/ social work are strictly limited by workforce planning and only provide a carefully matched number of funded training places, which means supply and demand are well calibrated.
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Zestylemons
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Hiya, I know this is an old thread but I wanted to give my 2 cents on the subject.. I'm about to embark on my level 3 and I absolutely love it! Like you, I am also nervous about finding (paid) work. However, although there are many volunteer counsellors it doesn't mean that everyone can access them.

Volunteer counsellors often work within a charity organisation which means they are often swamped with people that need help so a waiting list happens, and they have a limited time frame to see them. Furthermore, volunteering is often used by counsellor to gain more experience or because they want to supplement their actual work, so it isn't a "be all end all".

In the NHS the counselling is provided for free by counsellors who are paid, however yet again the sessions are cut short unless it is for a "major serious" reason.

I personally look forward to going self employed one day because I know there are people out there that desperately want longer than the 6 sessions often provided, and there are many people willing to pay for counselling. My current counsellor and many others I know are swamped with clients! So don't worry x
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jenny07
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Hi,

I know this is an old thread, but I just wanted to ask what routes there are to get into counselling? Are these courses offered at universities and what level are they in comparison to degrees?

Although I have an English Literature degree, I'm looking into counselling as a career option but I have no idea where to start.

Any help/advice will be much appreciated!
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Chloefaye9
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[QUOTE=jenny07;75769244]Hi,

Hi, just seen your post but I think I can offer some advice! To become certified by counselling organisations like the BACP you more often than not need to have completed an accredited postgraduate degree. In my case I’ve applied for the undergraduate counselling and psychotherapy degree at UCLAN (in Preston) with the intent to then progress onto their integrative postgraduate degree and become certified. This is the least convoluted way I could find and although time consuming it should be worth the time. Hope this helps!
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jenny07
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(Original post by jenny07)

Hope this helps!
Hi,

Thank you so much for the reply! I was seriously getting confused with all the diploma levels/degree route-ways since there doesn't seem to be one specific way into this discipline. Think I'll have to do more reading and research around this.

All the best for your undergraduate degree - hope you enjoy it!
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davrosblue
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Hi, Just to put in another view - I stupidly took a three year degree course and totally regret it! - Unless of course you fancy working for free for the rest of your life. There is little hope of gaining any employment in this industry. Everything is unpaid, I did not realise this until a year into the course, so decided to stick it out anyway. Its 100% the worst career choice I have made, in fact the worst choice FULL STOP.Put it this way - In the last six months not one job advertised in the area. I'm still stuck doing minimum wage jobs while doing small amounts of voluntary work. I've now resided in knowing i will have to use my gained degree to bolster a trainee application of another career and start over. I would look down a different route if I was you.There are many snake oil course providers, the only ones really benefiting out of this are them - by pocketing your £21,000 of course fees. I'm in the southwest Exeter, you may have better luck of employment in big cities but its a big gamble.

D
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Em395
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Hey,

I would say that this job is very meaningful to many in society as you will be changing and help change people's lives. If this is worth it for you, you'll probably enjoy this job.
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DoctorMo
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(Original post by Laurenummy)
Hi,

I will be starting my final year of my Psychology degree in September.
As far as my career goals, being a counsellor really appeals to me.

But is this career good and stable? Is the salary good?

I ask only because it will take another additional 4-5 years of college to become qualified by BACP and I want to know if it is worth it

Thanks
Stable career, decent salary, good demand, its worth is. Lots of scope for private and NHS work.
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Maya77
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Very hard to get a paid job. Most counsellors volunteer and there are long waiting list to see them, so there is demand, but it's volunteering, so why should anyone pay counsellors as you can go to a charity and get it for free. As long as counsellors are volunteering they won't get paid work. NHS employs cbt practitioners, as CBT is seen as evidence-based therapy. So, all in all, it's not impossible to get paid work, but mostly after a few years of volunteering and getting BACP accreditation. Until then it's just money out of your pocket as you have to have monthly supervision, which you pay yourself, as well as annual BACP membership, CPD etc. Pretty sad really.
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Lara F
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HelloI am a BACP Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist I began my training at 40 years old as a postgraduate. I am almost 54 and still working in that role. In all honesty job success depends upon your location. The big cities have a higher demand for employing qualified Counsellors, however in the Devon where I live , there are hundreds of Counsellors and few jobs. Many are in private practice and the competition is high. I worked within education as a school counsellor for 9 years, i was made redundant last year and I am struggling financially via private practice. My experience has been a financial struggle; if you are employed you are underpaid (my rate at school was £12/per hour) in private practice it is so unpredictable and not secure and hard to obtain a good secure salary. However if I was young and starting out I would pursue via the NHS e.g CAMHS this pays well and your work is in demand. All the best I wanted to be honest, I would not recommend counselling as a career in order to meet basic financial needs unless via NHS.
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Gingerdog
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Wow what a variety of views! I qualified in 2000 after studying for 5 years part time via the diploma route. I immediately started a one day week private practice and could have taken more. It depends how self-employed minded you are. If you are willing to travel to take up employment recent legislation means there is a growing demand for counselling and psychotherapy. If you put enough effort into finding the work and do a brilliant job then word of mouth referral grows fast. This has been some of the most satisfying work of my 30 year career and I would have no hesitation in recommending it as a career choice. Money need not be the main motivation, lots of counselors and therapist have a portfolio careers with part time work along side their practice. There is paid work in the NHS, but the career ladder is not brilliant.
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Richard4796
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Hi ginger dog,Thank you for posting. I currently work as an employment adviser in higher education. I am a qualified youth worker and have worked with vulnerable people such as students, young and adult offenders etc. I'm successful if my job and it pays well. I have always wanted to get into counselling but in my own practice. I think I'm quite realistic about all of this and would like your view point of possible. I currently live in Bedfordshire and there is a provider not too far who offer the courses needed to become bacp. My concerns in about actually getting clients. I see this as a job I will enjoy a lot. I spend most of my working day giving advice and guidance to people and believe the transition into counselling, though hard, very possible. But are there clients out there willing to pay for a private practice. On the bacp website there are quite a qualified counsellors charging 45£ an hour. Do they actually see anyone ? Are there enough clients out there? I see this as a supplement to my current full time role. We are soon to expand /extend our house and will be converting our garage into a room. This could quite easily be a room for my practice therefore lowering costs / overheads. Overall the training will cost £7500, and that's without paying for personal therapy etc. But I do see this as a second job that might pay well and be a nice supplement to my current salary, and one that I could in elderly age too. Plus I think I will truly love it. Financially though I'm worried.
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H.HMunro
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hi where about are you practicing may I ask?
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Freudianslip73
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Job satisfaction is amazing, know that you have helped in individual through crisis can be very rewarding, that said, rewards stop there.Unfortunately counselling and psychotherapy is not a career you enter for financial gain. It actually cost me more to be a therapist that I was actually earning. Liability insurance, professional membership and renting space can soon mount up, and that's without advertising. I love the work but it is so undervalued by other professionals and I have bills to pay. The alternative is train to be a CBT therapist or do clinical psychology.
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