Counselling - Social

What to expect from a career as a Counsellor

Helping people overcome addictions, fears, emotional and physical trauma, personal issues and other problems is truly rewarding. As a counsellor, you’ll help others by applying different techniques and treatments targeted to each client’s situation. Counselling programs at Ontario colleges provide you with the interpersonal skills and trauma and addictions knowledge needed to become a counsellor.

If you want to help better the lives of people who are struggling by providing counselling services, here’s what you need to know.

Counselling Courses

There are many Ontario college counselling programs, and they typically fall into one of two categories:

  • Drug and Alcohol / Addictions Counselling. In these programs, students learn about different types of addictions, approaches to treatment and techniques for screening, assessing and managing client cases. Courses in pharmacology provide students with a thorough understanding of pharmaceuticals and their effects on a person’s physical and mental state.
  • Assaulted Women and Child Counselling. These programs examine the issues of violence and abuse from the perspective of women and children. Course subjects will include child development, physical and sexual violence, feminist political action, advocacy of children, women’s rights and more. Students will learn specialized techniques for counselling women and children who have suffered abuse.

Whether you want to focus on addictions counselling or work mainly with abused women and children, all counselling programs have mandatory fieldwork placements, co-ops and / or training practicums that provide you with the practical experience you’ll need to start your career.

General Counselling Program Requirements

Counselling programs are offered at the diploma and graduate certificate level. Diploma programs require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, which includes a grade 12 English credit. Other senior level courses may be required but will vary by program.

Graduate certificate counselling programs require a diploma or degree in a related field, or significant related work experience. There may be other non-academic requirements, so check program admission details carefully.

Counselling Jobs and Salaries

Graduates of counselling programs at Ontario colleges will find counselling jobs in a variety of settings, including (but not limited to):

Counsellor salaries vary depending on the position, but the average starting salary for program grads is between $34,000 and $39,000 per year. With experience, salaries could be upwards of $50,000 per year.

Ontario Colleges Offering Counselling Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of counselling programs at Ontario colleges.

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