Average Salary with a Masters in School Counseling

While many states only require a bachelor’s degree to begin working in the school counseling field, getting your master’s degree is undoubtedly one of the best ways to boost your salary and make you a more attractive candidate if you’re currently looking for a job. Though you may need to spend money to pay for this advanced education, even without grants and scholarships, a master’s degree in school counseling will pay for itself easily over the course of your career as a counselor.

Annual Compensation

With a master’s degree in school counseling, you can expect to earn an average of $50,000 annually. A number of factors determine the exact salary you’ll receive with this type of education. Some of these factors include your location, the level of student you counsel, whether you work for a private school or public school, and your experience. You can generally make more money if you live in a city (rather than in a more rural area), work with special-needs or high school students, get a job with a private school, and, of course, gain experience by working in the field over the course of several years. According to the Princeton Review, however, the starting salary you can expect is around $33,000, while experienced school counselors can make salaries approaching six figures.

Benefits for School Counselors

As a school counselor with a master’s degree, don’t forget that you’ll also likely receive offers that include benefits packages. A lower salary might be a better overall deal, when you consider other things, such as paid vacation days, retirement plans, medical and dental benefits, transportation reimbursement, and more. Sometimes, a lucrative benefits package can make up for a lower salary!

Make More Money as a School Counselor

Getting a masters in school counseling is just one of the things you can do to earn more money in this field. Specialization can also give you the opportunity to demand a higher salary, as can a duel masters degree in education, since many smaller schools are looking for counselors who can also help with curriculum development. Go where demand is highest if you want to make a higher salary, and consider getting involved with school activities, as many school districts pay counselors more to organize events such as parent-teacher conferences and open houses.

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Top Online Master of School Counseling Degrees

School counselors work in elementary, middle, and high schools to provide academic, college, and personal guidance to students. Previously known as guidance counselors or educational counselors, this profession generally requires a master's degree in education, school counseling, or similar subject. Some states also require licensing or certification. The following schools offer accredited online degree programs in school counseling or closely related subjects.


An MS in K-12 Educational Leadership from Walden will help you gain the skills, knowledge, and experience to lead student, teachers, and parents to academic success. You will have the power to shape the lives of children that will lead the future. In this program you will be prepared with the leadership skills necessary to reach out to children you that you work with and challenge them to become the best that they can. You will come away from this program ready to enhance the learning opportunities for all students.
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The Master of Social Work offered by University of Southern California School of Social Work, the MSW@USC, is offered entirely online. This program features live online classes as well as online study groups and chat sessions. In addition to this, students will have opportunities to gain real-world training through local internships.
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At Grand Canyon University's MA in Christian Studies youth ministry specialization, students learn the art of preaching to a younger audience. This online program helps you obtain a future career in the church leadership. Courses include Youth Issues and Crisis, and Mentoring and Counseling Youth.
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