An academic advisor is a type of counselor who works with students usually at the college level. They are the ones responsible for helping students choose a major and a minor and ensuring that they meet all the requirements to graduate with a major in that field. Colleges often hire professors to take on these jobs and require that professors continue teaching classes while meeting with students during office hours every semester. You may want to look at what they do, where they work, the salary range and requirements of the job before leaving school.
What Does an Advisor Do?
A common question that students have when looking into academic advising is what an academic advisor actually does on the job. This type of counselor must remain up to date with the requirements of the programs offered on campus and keep detailed records about each student they counsel. Students will make appointments to speak with their counselors prior to enrolling in classes for the next semester. Advisors must know what classes students still need to take, which classes count towards their majors and minors and whether the students maintain grades high enough to remain within the program. They may also help students apply for graduate school and enroll in semester abroad programs.
Where Do Advisors Work?
Academic counselors or advisors generally work in colleges. Those working in community colleges may help students apply for a more traditional college or help them learn more about the job opportunities available to them. They can also work in vocational schools and help students better understand the requirements for graduating from one of the training programs available and with applying for their first jobs after finishing one of those programs. Some high schools also hire academic advisors to assist students planning on attending college.
What are the Requirements of the Job?
Colleges that use professors as counselors require that those professors have a terminal degree in their fields. Many fields require a PhD but other fields use a master’s as a terminal degree. If you work in a community college, vocational school or high school, you may need a teaching license. Most positions require a counseling license, which is available from the state. The National Board for Certified Counselors offers a credential test that helps you get your license. You may also need to pass your state’s criminal background check too.
How Much Can You Make?
Academic advising shares much in common with school counseling, which is why the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) combines academic advising with other types of career and school counseling. According to the BLS, an academic advisor or school counselor makes a median salary of $53,660 a year. Private colleges often pay more. Professors who work as advisors may earn a higher salary and be on the tenure track. Once a teacher gets tenure, that teacher can spend more time writing, conducting research and doing other types of work than teaching or advising.
Related Resource: Educational Consultant
Students often need help remaining on track and meeting all the requirements necessary for graduating. That is why many colleges use professors as counselors and hire advisors to work with students. An academic advisor may meet with dozens of students every semester and help them pick classes for the upcoming semester, but they can also work in vocational schools and high schools.