How to Start a Career Counseling BusinessConsulting Business Ideas, Home Business Ideas Saturday, February 12th, 2011
If you are a people’s person then you can become a career counselor and start a career counseling business. A career counselor provides guidance to students and working people about career options that match their education, skills, personality, interests, and work experience. A career counseling business will not only help you earn money but also the satisfaction of helping people find the best career for them.
The Need for a Career Counseling Service
People are often faced with thousands of career options to choose from. A career counselor works with these people to come up with the best career plan for them based on their attitude, aptitude and other individual aspects. Apart from students who need a career counselor in the beginning of their careers there are several other types of people that need a career counselor. These include people like working adults who wish to change careers, women who wish to return to work, unemployed individuals, seniors looking to work after retirement, etc.
Requirements for Starting a Career Counseling Business
- A computer with Internet
- Word processing software such as MS-Word
- A certification in counseling – Requirements differ from state to state
- An undergraduate degree in counseling, education or psychology is preferable
- Personality and aptitude tests
- Office space near educational institutions or offices is also preferable but not essential
The first step in running a career counseling business is to become a career counselor by obtaining necessary certifications from accredited institutions such as National Board of Certified Counselors. Some institutions also provide online training and certification for people who want to become counselors. Since different states have different requirements for becoming a counselor you should select a program that meets the requirements of the state where your business will be based.
Choosing the right location is also important for starting a career counseling business. Although a career counselor can work entirely on telephone or online, having a storefront at a location with lots of office or colleges will be a boost to the business.
A career counseling business matches people with the right jobs or businesses by understanding them in details. Career counselors use a variety of aptitude, skills and psychometric tests to identify individual traits and understand the personality. As a career counseling business you should have access to these tests and questionnaires or you can develop your own test.
In your normal work routine as a career counselor your job will be to talk to different types of people, on phone or in person, who need guidance for making critical career decisions. The people that you will work with may not always be students or people new to working; you will also be dealing with people who are frustrated with their current jobs or people who have lost their jobs. Depending on the individual, you will conduct various tests, evaluate results and share your observations, suggestions for career options and areas of improvement.
Apart from suggesting a career plan to an individual, a career counselor can also offer job search assistance, resume writing service, interview preparation and other similar services that help a person find the best job.
As a career counselor you need to be updated with the latest trends in the industry, the economy and education so that you are able to offer correct advice to people.
You can advertise your career counseling business in yellow pages, classifieds section of newspapers and job fairs. You can also advertise on websites that provide career tips and online job boards.
An important aspect in running a successful career counseling business is to establish yourself as an expert in the field. You can promote yourself and your business by participating in industry seminars and conferences as a speaker. Another method to establish your authority is to create a website that offers free tips related to jobs and careers. People who will visit your website can be offered a paid service that providers a personalized career recommendation from an expert career counselor.
Upfront Cost to Start
The primary cost to start a career counseling business includes the cost of office furniture and a computer if you don’t have one. You will also need to invest in obtaining access to various personality and psychometric tests if you choose not to developer your own.
If you are planning to operate your career counseling business virtually, you will have to spend on creating a website with the ability to take online payments.
Career counseling services are charged on a hourly basis. You can also offer standard packages at a fixed price for students or for those who are just beginning to work. Career counselors charge anywhere between $30 per hour to $300 per hour. While deciding on the hourly rate you need to consider factors such as the target audience, the career level of the individual and the locality where you will operate (career counselors in metropolitan areas charge a much higher rate as compared to their counterparts based in smaller cities).
Regulatory & Insurance Requirements
There are no insurance requirements for running a career counseling business. As mentioned earlier in this post, some states may require a certification to start a career counseling business.
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