The Different Types of Counselling Jobs in Australia

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Counselling Jobs

So, you’re a good listener, you have empathy for days, and you love helping other people overcome problems they’re facing. A career in counselling could be the perfect match for you.

Here we’ll look at what types of counselling jobs are out there, which industries they fall under, and where in the country you’ll find them*.

*Spoiler alert: Counselling jobs in Australia don’t just exist in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and other big cities.

What types of counselling jobs are there?

There are several factors that are relevant across all counselling jobs.

For example, having a high emotional intelligence and capacity for empathy will serve you well in any counselling careers you might choose to pursue. Likewise, strong listening skills and intuitively knowing the right advice to give are both attributes that would help you thrive in all types of counselling jobs.

However, there’s also a wide range of specialties to consider.

Types of Counselling Jobs

For example, you could be interested in becoming:

  • A relationship/marriage counsellor
  • An occupational/career counsellor
  • A mental health counsellor
  • An alcohol/drugs/gambling addiction counsellor
  • A school counsellor
  • An art/music therapist
  • A rehabilitation counsellor.

These are only a few examples of how you might specialise in your counselling career. You may decide to focus on an even more niche area (e.g. helping people recover from a specific drug addiction or counselling people who are struggling with an eating disorder).

This variety of choice is one of the reasons we rank counselling jobs as one of the top mental health jobs in Australia.

What industries offer jobs in counselling?

Having qualifications and experience as a counsellor can be your ticket into several different industries.

There’s the obvious one: Healthcare and social assistance, which accounts for just over half (52.7%) of counselling roles at the moment.

But then there are also industries like education (25.7%), public administration and safety (6.9%) and administrative and support services (6.5%), which always require counselling professionals too. Let’s take a deeper look into the 3 big ones and explore the types of roles available in each.

Counselling Jobs in Healthcare

Healthcare Counsellor

Interested in working in the healthcare sector? Your counselling career could encompass a role as:

  • A general counsellor
  • A therapeutic specialist
  • A mental health caseworker
  • A rehabilitation consultant
  • A clinician.

With some extra study and qualifications, a counselling job in healthcare could even be an excellent step towards becoming a psychologist or psychiatrist.

To see the other types of counselling jobs available int he healthcare industry browse our job listings.

Counselling Jobs In Social Assistance

Group Therapy Counselling Job

Working in the social assistance field, you might find yourself in one of these counselling jobs:

  • Social worker/case manager
  • Alcohol/drug counsellor
  • Group counselling leader/facilitator
  • Marriage counsellor
  • Occupational therapist.

A counselling career in social assistance can be particularly rewarding for people who love helping others overcome difficulties and adversity in their lives. 

Counselling Jobs in Education

School Counselling Jobs

Love working with kids? Whether it’s as a school/student counsellor or a behavioural therapist who specialises in helping children, a counselling job can help you combine your passion for childcare with your empathy, listening skills, and thoughtful advice and insights.

You might choose to help kids and teens going through mental illness or specialise in working with children that have special needs (e.g. autism). Or perhaps you’d prefer to focus on career counselling by helping teenage school-leavers to identify their own strengths and potential prospects.

Where are the counselling jobs in Australia?

Counselling Jobs Australia

Firstly, there are plenty of counselling jobs in Australia – and there will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Statistics from Job Outlook show the number of counsellor jobs in Australia increased by 10,000 from 2011 to 2017, with another increase of 5,000 jobs projected to occur by 2022.

So, where are they all?

Well, when you think about counselling jobs, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and other state capitals probably come to mind first. But you don’t have to move to the big smoke to enjoy a counselling career in Australia.

Rural areas also require professionals in this field. In fact, according to the National Rural Health Alliance, people who live in remote parts of the country are just as likely to suffer from mental health conditions – yet they have significantly fewer support resources available to them compared to people living in cities.  

This means the need for counselling services is perhaps even more crucial in country towns than in cities. So, even if they don’t appear on job listings quite so frequently, there are jobs for counsellors who want to stay in or move to the country. Take a look for yourself.

Thanks to the ABS Labour Force Survey of 2017, we can also see how many of Australia’s counselling jobs sit in each state:

Counselling Jobs Australia, State by State

In proportion to their total populations, each state provides roughly the same level of opportunity for aspiring counsellors. Unfortunately, there’s no secret goldmine of vacant counselling jobs waiting for you in a particular state or territory.

But, as revealed above, there are plenty of opportunities in general for counselling jobs in Australia. If you’ve got the skills and passion to be a counsellor, you’ve chosen an intelligent and secure career path for yourself.


Suggested next step: Read our Counsellor Job Description to confirm if this is the kind of role you're interest in pursuing.


All statistics sourced from the Australian Government’s Job Outlook website.