Child and Adolescent Counselor Job Description [Updated for 2024]

child and adolescent counselor job description

In this complex and rapidly evolving world, the importance of child and adolescent counselors is more critical than ever.

As society continues to change, the need for skilled professionals who can guide, support, and empower our younger generations grows more urgent.

But what does it really mean to be a child and adolescent counselor?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker trying to understand the full depth of this role,
  • A hiring manager attempting to identify the perfect candidate,
  • Or simply curious about the field of child and adolescent counseling,

You’ve come to the right place.

Today, we present a customizable child and adolescent counselor job description template, crafted for straightforward posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive in without delay.

Child and Adolescent Counselor Duties and Responsibilities

Child and Adolescent Counselors play a vital role in helping young people navigate through social, developmental, and mental health issues.

They use therapeutic techniques to guide children and adolescents through a variety of challenges.

The duties and responsibilities of a Child and Adolescent Counselor may include:

  • Assessing a child or adolescent’s needs, abilities, or behavior using a variety of methods, including psychometric tests, observation, and direct interaction
  • Developing and implementing therapeutic treatment plans in accordance with clinical and ethical guidelines
  • Conducting individual, family, and group counseling sessions to facilitate communication, self-exploration, and problem-solving
  • Consulting with parents, teachers, and other professionals to discuss therapy goals, progress, and intervention strategies
  • Using play, art, or drama therapy techniques to help children express their feelings and thoughts
  • Teaching clients coping mechanisms for dealing with issues such as stress, anxiety, or depression
  • Maintaining confidential client records, including therapy notes, progress reports, and treatment plans
  • Staying updated with the latest research and best practices in child and adolescent counseling
  • Advocating for child and adolescent rights and welfare during interactions with other professionals and systems, such as the educational or judicial system


Child and Adolescent Counselor Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking a dedicated and empathetic Child and Adolescent Counselor to join our team.

The successful candidate will be responsible for providing therapeutic counseling services, developing effective treatment plans, and offering emotional support to children and adolescents experiencing various life challenges and mental health issues.

Our ideal candidate is someone with a deep understanding of child and adolescent psychology, excellent communication skills, and a genuine passion for helping young people navigate their world.



  • Assess the mental health and emotional needs of children and adolescents through interviews, observations, and tests.
  • Develop and implement individualized treatment plans, including therapeutic interventions and strategies.
  • Work collaboratively with family members, teachers, and other professionals to support the child’s overall well-being.
  • Maintain accurate and timely case notes, reports, and other documentation.
  • Provide crisis intervention as necessary.
  • Guide children and adolescents in developing skills and strategies for dealing with their problems.
  • Conduct group or individual counseling sessions as needed.
  • Refer clients to other services or specialists when necessary.
  • Stay updated with latest developments in the field through continuous education.



  • Proven work experience as a Child and Adolescent Counselor or similar role.
  • Master’s Degree in Counseling, Psychology, Social Work, or related field.
  • Valid state license to practice counseling.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Strong understanding of child and adolescent psychology and developmental issues.
  • Ability to handle sensitive situations with tact and professionalism.
  • Experience with various counseling techniques suitable for children and adolescents.
  • Knowledge of relevant laws and regulations related to child and adolescent counseling.
  • Critical thinker with problem-solving abilities.



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development assistance
  • Mental health resources


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Child and Adolescent Counselor
  • Work Environment: Office setting, schools, or community centers. Some travel may be required.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Director of Counseling Services.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $45,000 minimum to $70,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does a Child and Adolescent Counselor Do?

A Child and Adolescent Counselor specializes in providing therapeutic services to young people who are dealing with various emotional, behavioral, and developmental issues.

They work in a variety of settings such as schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, and private practice.

They can also provide services through online platforms.

Their primary role involves conducting assessments to understand the child’s or adolescent’s specific issues and needs.

They use different therapeutic techniques, such as play therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and family therapy, to help their clients cope with their problems.

They work closely with parents, teachers, and other relevant stakeholders, providing them with guidance on how to support the child or adolescent effectively.

Child and Adolescent Counselors often create treatment plans that are tailored to each individual, monitor their progress, and make necessary adjustments as needed.

They also provide crisis intervention when necessary and advocate for their clients’ rights and well-being within their community and the educational system.

These professionals are also tasked with documenting their clients’ progress and communicating these findings with their parents or guardians, and other professionals involved in the child’s care.

In all tasks, a Child and Adolescent Counselor is expected to maintain confidentiality and adhere to professional ethical guidelines.


Child and Adolescent Counselor Qualifications and Skills

A professional Child and Adolescent Counselor requires a range of skills and qualifications that can help them provide effective mental health services to children and adolescents, these include:

  • Strong understanding of child and adolescent psychology to assess their mental health needs effectively.
  • Interpersonal skills to build trust and rapport with young clients, allowing them to feel comfortable to openly express their thoughts and feelings.
  • Excellent listening and communication skills to understand the concerns of the young clients and to convey therapeutic advice effectively.
  • Crisis management skills to provide immediate aid in situations where the child or adolescent is in immediate danger or distress.
  • Problem-solving skills to develop strategic therapeutic interventions that address the specific needs of each child or adolescent.
  • Patience and empathy to understand the feelings and experiences of young clients, and to work with them at their own pace towards their emotional and mental health goals.
  • Knowledge of ethical guidelines and regulations related to counseling children and adolescents, to ensure that all counseling services are provided in a legal and ethical manner.
  • Cultural competence to effectively work with children and adolescents from diverse backgrounds and understand the influences of cultural and socioeconomic factors on their mental health.


Child and Adolescent Counselor Experience Requirements

Child and Adolescent Counselors typically require a Master’s degree in counseling, psychology, or a related field, often paired with post-graduate clinical experience with children or adolescents.

This post-graduate experience is usually gained through internships or supervised practice.

Entry-level candidates in this field may have 1 to 2 years of relevant experience, usually gained through internships, practicums, or supervised post-graduate work.

This experience often involves providing direct counseling services to children and adolescents, under the supervision of licensed professionals.

Candidates with more than 3 years of experience in child and adolescent counseling often have developed their counseling skills and knowledge through direct, unsupervised practice.

They typically have experience in conducting assessments, creating treatment plans, and providing individual and group therapy.

Those with more than 5 years of experience may be well-versed in the management of complex cases involving children and adolescents.

They may have some leadership experience in their background, such as supervising interns or leading therapy groups.

With this level of experience, they may be ready for a managerial or lead counselor position.

In addition, all Child and Adolescent Counselors need to have or be eligible for relevant professional licensure, which often requires a combination of education and supervised professional experience.


Child and Adolescent Counselor Education and Training Requirements

Child and Adolescent Counselors typically need a master’s degree in counseling or a related field, with a focus on working with children and adolescents.

In addition to their degree, they often need to complete an internship or supervised experience in a clinical setting to gain practical experience working with children and teens.

Most states require Child and Adolescent Counselors to obtain licensure, which usually involves passing a state-recognized exam.

The requirements for licensure vary by state but generally include a master’s degree and a certain amount of clinical experience.

Counselors often need to complete continuing education credits to maintain their licensure.

This allows them to stay up-to-date with the latest research and developments in the field.

In addition, it can be beneficial for Child and Adolescent Counselors to have certification from a professional organization, such as the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Such certifications can demonstrate a counselor’s expertise and commitment to the profession.

Many counselors also have training in specific therapeutic techniques that are effective with children and adolescents, such as play therapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy.

This training often involves additional coursework and supervised practice.

Finally, because working with children and adolescents often involves working closely with families and schools, Child and Adolescent Counselors may also benefit from training in family therapy and educational consulting.


Child and Adolescent Counselor Salary Expectations

A Child and Adolescent Counselor can expect to earn an average salary of $46,240 (USD) per year.

The actual earnings may vary depending on factors such as years of experience, level of education, the location of practice, and the nature of the employing organization.


Child and Adolescent Counselor Job Description FAQs

What skills does a Child and Adolescent Counselor need?

Child and Adolescent Counselors need strong interpersonal and communication skills to connect with children and teenagers.

They require patience, understanding, and empathy to address sensitive issues.

These counselors should have the capability to work in a team, as they often collaborate with parents, teachers, and other professionals.

They also need strong problem-solving skills to develop suitable treatment plans.


Do Child and Adolescent Counselors need a degree?

Yes, Child and Adolescent Counselors typically need a master’s degree in counseling or a related field.

This includes areas like psychology, social work, or mental health.

In addition to their degree, they should also have a state-issued license to practice counseling.

Some positions may require a doctorate or other specialized training or certification.


What should you look for in a Child and Adolescent Counselor’s resume?

First and foremost, verify that the candidate has a valid counseling license.

Look for a degree in counseling, psychology, or a related field.

It’s also important to check for experience working with children and adolescents, ideally in a counseling setting.

Additional certifications, such as those in play therapy or trauma-informed care, can be valuable.


What qualities make a good Child and Adolescent Counselor?

A good Child and Adolescent Counselor is compassionate, patient, and understanding.

They should be able to build trust and rapport with their young clients and be sensitive to their emotional and developmental needs.

Effective counselors are also adaptable, able to modify their approaches according to each child’s unique situation and needs.

They also need to be good listeners, respectful, and non-judgmental.


What are the challenges in hiring a Child and Adolescent Counselor?

Hiring a Child and Adolescent Counselor can be challenging because it requires finding someone with the right qualifications, experience, and above all, the appropriate demeanor for working with young clients.

Candidates must be capable of handling sensitive issues and creating a safe environment for children and adolescents to express their feelings and thoughts.

They must also be able to work with other professionals like teachers and parents, which requires excellent communication and collaboration skills.



So, there you have it.

Today, we’ve unveiled the true essence of being a Child and Adolescent Counselor.

And guess what?

It’s not just about giving advice.

It’s about nurturing the young minds, one counseling session at a time.

With our go-to Child and Adolescent Counselor job description template and real-world examples, you’re ready to take the next step.

But why limit yourself?

Dig deeper with our job description generator. It’s your pathway to creating precise job listings or perfecting your resume.


Every counseling session shapes a part of the bigger picture.

Let’s mold the future. Together.

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