Careers Adviser

Job Description:

Careers advisers help people figure out what work or education pathway they would like to take.

Job Category:

What you will do:

You may work in schools, colleges and universities. You could be employed by a careers company that place advisers in different settings, or directly by an educational institution or charity. You could also work online or in a call centre, or as a consultant in the private sector.

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • talking to people about their abilities, interests and achievements
  • exploring learning and work opportunities
  • helping people make decisions and plans of action
  • giving support to overcome barriers
  • keeping to rules on equal opportunities
  • developing relationships with employers, colleges, universities and training providers
  • keeping up to date with occupational and labour market information
  • giving talks, updating records and meeting targets


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of psychology
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork)
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

You can qualify by taking a higher education qualification in careers guidance. You could also get in by gaining experience in an organisation that offers advice and guidance and then taking professional qualifications whilst working.

Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll usually work 37 hours a week, Monday to Friday. You may need to work occasional evenings and your job could include a lot of local travel.

In a call centre you may have to work weekends and late shifts.

Career Path & Progression:

You could specialise, for example in working with adults or people with special needs.

With experience, you could become a manager. You could also become self-employed and work as a consultant, researcher or writer.

Another option could be to move into industry and provide career management advice for employees of large companies.