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Careers adviser Career consultant

Careers advisers help people make decisions about their education, training and work options.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £18,000 to £35,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You can qualify by taking a higher education qualification in careers guidance. You could also get in by gaining experience in an organisation that offers advice and guidance and then taking professional qualifications whilst working.

The Career Development Institute (CDI) has more information.

You'll need a background check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent listening and questioning skills
  • the ability to research information and explain it clearly
  • IT skills for administration, report-writing and record-keeping
  • the ability to manage your own work

In some roles you may need presentation skills.

3. What you'll do

You may work in schools, colleges and universities. You could be employed by a careers company that place advisers in different settings, or directly by an educational institution or charity. You could also work online or in a call centre, or as a consultant in the private sector.

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • talking to people about their abilities, interests and achievements
  • exploring learning and work opportunities
  • helping people make decisions and plans of action
  • giving support to overcome barriers
  • keeping to rules on equal opportunities
  • developing relationships with employers, colleges, universities and training providers
  • keeping up to date with occupational and labour market information
  • giving talks, updating records and meeting targets

4. Salary

Starter: £18,000

Experienced: £23,000 to £27,000

Highly Experienced: £35,000 or more

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 37 hours a week, Monday to Friday. You may need to work occasional evenings and your job could include a lot of local travel.

In a call centre you may have to work weekends and late shifts.

6. Career path and progression

You could specialise, for example in working with adults or people with special needs.

With experience, you could become a manager. You could also become self-employed and work as a consultant, researcher or writer.

Another option could be to move into industry and provide career management advice for employees of large companies.

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Last updated: 14 September 2017