25 Rewarding Reasons Why You Should Become a Counselor

Why does anyone become a counselor? What keeps counselors loving their careers for years to come? We have asked 25 counseling professionals to identify the most valuable aspects of their careers. Their unique, firsthand responses offer essential insights informed by their day-to-day experience within a diverse range of careers and focus areas, including substance abuse counseling, children and families, pastoral care, career, college, school counseling, grief, rehabilitation counseling and general mental health.

Their answers are as candid as they are inspiring, and their variety reveals just how vast and nuanced the practice of counseling really is. However, amid the rich diversity of opinions, see if you can spot the few unmistakable trends that emerge in these quotes - common factors that motivate people to enter and remain in this field and that reward them in turn when they do.

Whether you’re thinking about going to a counselor or becoming one, this list will break down some great reasons why a career as a counselor is a rewarding one.

1. "...I revel in the student’s accomplishment, trusting that my partnering on the way has contributed to the success."

In the words of Langston Hughes, I believe my students should have the opportunity to ‘hold fast to dreams.’ Each time I learn that one of my students has realized a dream of going to college, I have a moment of renewal. I revel in the student’s accomplishment, trusting that my partnering on the way has contributed to the success.

Robin Abedon, Certified Educational Planner  - Taking the Next Step


2. "...the opportunity to be a part of a child's life in such a powerful way (as any educator does)."

The best thing about being a counselor is that you have the opportunity to be a part of a child's life in such a powerful way (as any educator does). I think with being a counselor, you can build such strong relationships. I think the most valuable aspect of being a counselor is having the opportunity to just be there for students and to listen. Sometimes that sounds so simple but can be so powerful for a student to be heard and feel valued.

Melanie Acker, School Counselor  - The Stylish School Counselor


3. "...seeing children utilize the skills I teach."

The most rewarding thing about being a school counselor is seeing children utilize the skills I teach. I love it when students report back to me and let me know that they do not need to talk with me anymore because they solved their own problem. It is a great feeling to know that I am equipping children with the skills to become their own self-advocates!

Kate Bailin, School Counselor - EduKate & Inspire

 

Take your next step to become a school counselor.


4. "...seeing a person walk away lighter, freer, and excited to live their own personal journey after healing from wounds, disorders, and obstacles in their path."

The experience of seeing a person walk away lighter, freer, and excited to live their own personal journey after healing from wounds, disorders, and obstacles in their path. There is nothing better than seeing a human being alleviated from emotional, psychological, spiritual or relational pain.

Kerstin Brueck, Associate Licensed Counselor  - Freedom Professional Counseling


5. "...significantly helping people improve their lives."

Being a counselor has meant significantly helping people improve their lives. I can't think of a better way to have lived mine.

Judy Kaplan Baron, Ph.D., Master Career Counselor - JudyKaplanBaron

Explore how to become a career counselor.


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6. "...an honor to be invited into the heart of one who is hurting so deeply..."

It is an honor to be invited into the heart of one who is hurting so deeply….It is a true blessing to know that you made a difference in his/her life.

Cathy Campbell, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor - Hospice of Washington County


7. "... knowing that you had a part in affecting the life of another human being."

The most rewarding part of being a counsellor is knowing that you had a part in affecting the life of another human being. Giving hope when people feel hopeless. Inspiring others to be all that they are capable of being, so that they can go out into the world and pay it forward by helping others.

Susan Spellman Cann, School Counselor - Counsellor Talk: Creative Collaborative Connections


8. "...participate and provide encouragement during life's challenges."

To participate and provide encouragement during life's challenges. Counseling offers the opportunity to reach out to someone and let them know they're not alone.

Kelly Carlson, Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor  - Healing Journeys Counseling


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9. "...I get to be a part of encouraging future generations to pursue, embrace and find a passion that not only changes the way they think, but the way the world thinks."

I have a heart for helping and love to see the spark that happens when kids find their place. I love that I get to be a part of encouraging future generations to pursue, embrace and find a passion that not only changes the way they think, but the way the world thinks.

Felicia Carter, School Counselor - School Counseling Smart

 

Discover how to become a school counselor.


10. "...watching a student succeed in school, especially a student who hasn't been successful in the past."

The most enjoyable thing about being a counselor is watching a student succeed in school, especially a student who hasn't been successful in the past. When a student comes to the career center and suddenly finds a reason for loving school and working hard, there is no greater enjoyment.

James Fisher, School Counselor - Vantage Career Center

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11. "Seeing lives changed/transformed as a result of those 'aha' moments."

Cheryl Francis, Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor - The Heart Matters Wellness Services LLC


12. "...being able to step into the stories of our superheroes, help them sharpen their skills to navigate through life's ups and downs, and then watch them take what they've learned..."

The most rewarding thing about being a counselor is being able to step into the stories of our superheroes, help them sharpen their skills to navigate through life's ups and downs, and then watch them take what they've learned to make good decisions based on the core values I've helped instill, nurture, stretch, and grow. I love learning with my students about laughter and love, about healing and hope. And I'm positively inspired by how compassionate, joyful, resilient, gracious, grateful, forgiving and kind children can be. They are my day makers and I thrive on those daily face-to-face interactions with them.

Barbara Gruener, School Counselor - The Corner on Character


13. "...joining them on their journey of self discovery."

The most rewarding thing about working with clients with eating disorders is joining them on their journey of self discovery. It's a powerful experience to witness someone learning to love and accept their self and their body. Self loathing and shame turns to understanding and compassion - it's an incredible transformation to be a part of.

Julia Harris, Licensed Associate Professional Counselor  - Summit Counseling Center


14. "...watch them walk in the door of that first intake session often times on the brink of divorce, and then to watch them walk out of our last session together with a better marriage than they ever had before."

The most rewarding thing to me about being a therapist is working with couples who present with some form of trauma in their relationship. To watch them walk in the door of that first intake session often times on the brink of divorce, and then to watch them walk out of our last session together with a better marriage than they ever had before.

Gregory Hasek, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor - Southwest Florida Christian Counseling


15. "...to help students and families get excited about the future and all of the great possibilities that life has to offer."

The most rewarding and valuable thing about being a school counselor is that you help to change lives. It's amazing to help students and families get excited about the future and all of the great possibilities that life has to offer.

Dr. Tracy Jackson, School Counselor, School Counseling Supervisor - The Extraordinary School Counselor


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16. "...help them know the question is not whether they can or can't, but how to."

Counseling individuals to figure out the 'how to' live life fully with purpose. To help them know the question is not whether they can or can't, but how to. Providing the tools, means to accommodate, and strategies to manage to live the life they desire is very humbling and rewarding as a counselor.

Edith Johnston, Ph.D., Licensed Professional Counselor - ”How To” Life Consultants, LLC


17. "...talking to students every single day about their problems and then helping them to find solutions."

I love being a counselor! I think the best part is talking to students every single day about their problems and then helping them to find solutions. There really is no other task more inspiring and motivating than helping kids to solve their problems.

Stephanie Lerner, School Counselor - Bilingual Learner


18. "...to help little voices feel heard loud and clear, and then I get to watch as those little voices grow bigger and more confident."

The most rewarding part of being a school counselor is that I get to listen to the important stuff. I get to help little voices feel heard loud and clear, and then I get to watch as those little voices grow bigger and more confident. Everyone deserves to feel heard!

Kayla Marston, School Counselor - The School Counselor Kind


19. "...to see the best in the client, and help the client to see and understand such strength."

Once a counselor establishes a trusting relationship with a client, the stories and responses of the client gift the counselor with insight into the goodness and strengths of the client. These glimpses offer the best, most valuable, and most rewarding experiences of counseling―to see the best in the client, and help the client to see and understand such strength. I cannot fail to see the good in others, and for that I am grateful and fulfilled each day.

Norman Meshriy, Master Career Counselor - Career Insights


20. "...knowing that you are a champion for students."

The most rewarding thing about being a counselor is knowing that you are a champion for students. You may not get daily accolades for helping, but one day, when you least expect it, someone will come to you and say "Thank you. You'll never know just how much you made a difference." It's priceless.

Carol Miller, School Counselor - The Middle School Counselor


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21. "...the rich experience of learning about what it means to be human."

For me at the core of being a counselor is the rich experience of learning about what it means to be human. Day in and day out I have the privilege of being with people in their suffering, in their love, in their hope and in the intricate depth of their stories. In this landscape I am constantly finding myself grateful and in awe of the human spirit and all it's ways. I can't think of a better way to spend my life.

Aaron Mitchum, Licensed Professional Counselor - Analog Counseling

 

Learn more on how to become a professional counselor.


22. "...the privilege of planting seeds that impact our students’ future."

The most rewarding part of my job as a school counselor is that I have the privilege of planting seeds that impact our students’ future. To me, students are like bamboo trees that contain a complex root system which may take years to mature; however, once those roots are developed the tree experiences rapid growth. Although I may never see this growth, I have the honor of providing the essential elements that nourish student development!

Cindy Morton, School Counselor - For High School Counselors


23. "...to watch the transformation happen from their first day coming into therapy... a year later, a completely new person."

I love to watch the transformation happen from their first day coming into therapy, unhappy with their current circumstances and unwilling to commit, to their graduation day in outpatient treatment a year later, a completely new person.

Terri Schaffner, Licensed Professional Counselor - Active Recovery


24. "....to be the person behind my clients who unflinchingly supports them to go for what they most want in their lives."

I absolutely love the work I do as a career and executive coach because I get to be the person behind my clients who unflinchingly supports them to go for what they most want in their lives. It’s so gratifying to see my clients make the internal shifts—sometimes suddenly, and other times more slowly—that enable them to step into new opportunities that provide them with challenges they seek, and achievements they long for. This work is very personal and our relationship is a meaningful one; I am always grateful to have this connection with my clients. Clients often return to me years later as their lives continue to evolve. We have a connection that can be rekindled, so we can see them onto the next leg of their journey.

Daisy Swan, Certified Professional Career Coach - Daisy Swan Coaching


25. "...being able to offer my clients the opportunity to express themselves openly in a safe environment that is free of judgment."

The most rewarding thing about being a counselor is being able to offer my clients the opportunity to express themselves openly in a safe environment that is free of judgment. In a world where we are constantly judged by others, it is nice to have someone who will just listen and understand.

Vel Williamson, Licensed Professional Counselor - Vel Williamson, LPC, LLC


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