Youth Counselor

Last Updated:
April 27, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Youth Counselor job description refers to a healthcare professional who provides emotional and mental health support to young people facing challenges in their lives. Youth Counselors work with adolescents and teenagers, helping them deal with a range of issues, including bullying, abuse, depression, anxiety, addictions, and family problems. 

Youth Counselors typically work in schools, community centers or hospitals, providing one-on-one counseling, group therapy, and crisis intervention services. They assess the needs of their clients and develop individualized care plans that may include behavioral therapies, skill-building exercises, and education programs. 

To become a Youth Counselor, one needs a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, Social Work or a related field, as well as relevant certifications and licenses depending on the state. Youth Counselors must have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, a compassionate and non-judgmental demeanor, and the ability to work collaboratively with other healthcare providers. They must also exhibit a strong commitment to ethical practices and confidentiality.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Help children and teenagers cope with emotional and mental health problems
  • Provide support and guidance to young patients and their families
  • Conduct counseling sessions that address behavioral issues and concerns
  • Teach coping strategies, communication and problem-solving skills to enhance their ability to manage life's challenges
  • Create treatment plans and review progress regularly with clients and their families
  • Maintain patient confidentiality and ethical standards at all times
  • Work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care
  • Attend training and professional development sessions to remain up-to-date on the latest research and best practices in counseling
  • Provide crisis intervention services as needed to help youth in urgent situations
  • Advocate for the needs and rights of young patients and their families.

Experience and Education Requirements

To be a youth counselor in healthcare, you need a mix of education and experience. Typically, employers look for a bachelor's degree in social work, counseling, or psychology. You might also have taken courses in human development, crisis intervention, and family dynamics. Experience-wise, it's helpful to have worked with kids before, either as a camp counselor or in a school setting. You'll need strong communication skills to talk to kids and their families and be really patient when listening to them. Other useful skills might include conflict resolution, problem solving, and empathy. It's important to be able to follow procedures and work as part of a healthcare team as well.

Salary Range

As a Youth Counselor in the healthcare industry, you can expect to earn an annual salary within the range of $29,000 to $63,000 in the United States. However, the salary range may vary depending on your years of experience, education, and location. For instance, Youth Counselors in California earn an average salary of $44,127 per year, whereas those in Alabama earn an average of $36,753 per year. 

In Canada, the average annual salary for Youth Counselors is around CAD 45,500, while in the United Kingdom, the average salary is around £21,000 per year. 

It's important to note that salaries also differ depending on the specific healthcare setting you work in. For example, Youth Counselors in hospitals may earn more than those in community health centers or outpatient clinics.


  • US Bureau of Labor Statistics:
  • Payscale:
  • Glassdoor:,6IN3_KO7,22.htm

Career Outlook

The career outlook for a Youth Counselor in the Healthcare industry over the next 5 years looks promising. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of mental health counselors is projected to grow by 25% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. With the increased awareness and importance placed on mental health and emotional well-being, there is a growing need for qualified youth counselors to help young people navigate difficult life situations. This trend is expected to continue as more people seek mental health services.

Furthermore, the demand for youth counselors is also being fueled by a growing emphasis on early intervention and prevention. Schools, community centers and other organizations are recognizing the importance of providing counseling services to help young people build resiliency and develop effective coping skills. These factors all suggest that the career outlook for Youth counselors is growing and offers a secure pathway for the future.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a Youth Counselor and what do they do in the Healthcare industry? 

A: A Youth Counselor is a trained professional who works with young people facing behavioral or emotional struggles. They provide guidance, support, and interventions to help these individuals improve their mental and emotional health.

Q: What qualifications do you need to become a Youth Counselor?

A: To become a Youth Counselor, you typically need a bachelor's degree in psychology, social work, counseling, or a related field. You also need to complete specialized training in youth counseling techniques and acquire state licensure or certification.

Q: What kind of clients does a Youth Counselor work with?

A: Youth Counselors work with children, teenagers, and young adults. They help clients struggling with a range of issues including depression, anxiety, trauma, addiction, and behavioral disorders.

Q: What skills do you need to become a successful Youth Counselor?

A: To be a successful Youth Counselor, you need excellent communication skills, empathy, patience, and the ability to build trust with your clients. You should also be able to think critically, remain calm under pressure, and have the ability to manage challenging behaviors.

Q: What is the job outlook for Youth Counselors?

A: The job outlook for Youth Counselors is positive, with an expected growth rate of 8% between 2019 and 2029 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth is driven by the increasing need for mental health services for young people.

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