In Australia's mental health world, counsellors play a significant role. As an accredited counsellor, you will be helping young people and old overcome life’s challenges, and with the sector expected to grow by around 15% over the coming years, the job outlook is bright!
So, how do you train to join this particular healthcare sector? We look at that in this article, examining the qualifications needed and why they’re important to the role.
Why Counselling Qualifications Are Essential
While some people are naturally empathetic, the work done by part-time and full-time counsellors in Australia is highly skilled. Even though you may have a high degree of aptitude for helping others work through their issues, a science behind the practice must be learnt.
As we’ll see as we move through this blog, there’s more than one way to get the training you need - some offer practical experience, and others do not. The entry requirements for your training will depend on the option you go for.
What Kinds of Roles Are Available in Counselling?
There’s no doubt that counselling represents a rewarding career for many, but being a qualified counsellor doesn’t always mean the same thing to everyone. As such, there are countless possibilities for you to pursue, and the more qualifications you have, the more they will open to you.
You could choose to be a:
Psychotherapist (working through people’s mental health issues)
Social worker (engaged in social work in community services)
Cognitive behavioural therapy practitioner
Relationship counselling professional
Psychologist in case management
Family support worker
General counselling services represent one of many directions your counselling career could take. As such, after you’ve completed your entry-level training, you can choose to specialise in any area that interests you. You’ve also got the opportunity to start your professional practice, offering counselling sessions to the public.
What Qualifications Are Needed to Work as a Counsellor?
You have university degree courses at the top end of the scale, such as a Bachelor of Counselling or Master of Counselling training accredited by the Australian Counselling Association (ACA). This will allow you to become a psychotherapist or professional in various fields, from criminal psychology to mental health.
When you complete the Master’s course, you can register with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA), which offers you a range of benefits, from knowledge sharing to client referrals.
Enrolling in a postgraduate degree in counselling takes some time, meaning you might be studying for 3, 4 or even 5 years. Also, you must add work experience, as while a bachelor’s degree or undergraduate degree from uni is great, it doesn’t offer any practical on-the-job training.
...Or You Could Take the TAFE Route
Another popular route for professionals is to take the Technical & Further Education (TAFE) path and get a Certificate IV or Diploma of Counselling (CHC51015). Generally speaking, the course takes 2 years of full-time study, including around 100 hours of work placements, so you can get the hands-on experience you need.
...And There’s Also Micro-Learning
Of course, if you can dedicate yourself part-time or even full-time to your professional development, that’s great. However, it’s not possible for everyone, particularly if you still have to work while studying or have young children. This is where micro-learning, like our Aged Care, Counselling & Community Courses, is one of the best study options.
This type of learning is modular and delivered entirely online, meaning you can learn as and when you want to rather than being held to a strict timetable. Micro-learning can help you develop, too, with our Counselling Skills Micro-Credential able to be taken similarly.
The Benefits of Counselling Qualifications
Whether you’re employed as one of many healthcare professionals for a large organisation or running your counselling practice, the benefits of higher education are obvious. To begin with, you’ll enjoy increased job opportunities, as a graduate certificate will look good on your resume, and the more you develop, the broader your skillset will become.
Then there’s increased pay, as an entry-level counsellor in Australia can earn around $94k per year - which is not to be sniffed at. However, the more experience and knowledge you gain, you could choose to specialise in psychology and earn $120k+ a year, so there’s lots of scope for progression!
Lastly, and by no means least, you get improved counselling skills and techniques that allow you to provide clients with the best possible help you can. For many in the field, this is enough on its own!
Enjoy a Rewarding Career in Counselling With OCA Short Courses Online
At OCA, we offer a wide range of online CPD-endorsed, video-based short courses that can help you realise your counselling career. Able to be taken at a pace that suits you, our learning is industry-led, being created in collaboration with top experts from the sector. That means what you learn is needed and relevant in the industry.
Ours is a next-level learning experience that is so much more stimulating than traditional text-based courses. Watch our short Student Study Demo; you’ll see details about our powerful AI-driven platform that encourages lifelong learning. Alternatively, to see our full course library, visit us today at www.onlinecoursesaustralia.edu.au, where you’ll also find details of our flexible payment plans.
If you have any questions you’d like answered before enrolling, no problem! Call 1300 611 404 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll do our utmost to give you the information you need!