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average salary is for a counsellor, can I make a living in this career?

  • 23-06-2010 9:18am
    Registered Users Posts: 104 ✭✭ swanangel


    I am hoping to become a mature student.
    I want to become a counsellor and have been looking into PCI college, got some good info.
    However, I do not know and would like to find out how much the average salary is for a counsellor, can I make a living in this career?

    I plan to have a family and I want to be able to contribute, along with my partner to provide a nice comfortable life for our family, I don't need to be rich but I want to make sure I am making the right choice as going to college is not cheap along with paying all the bills, even with full-time work and I want to know that in the end I will be able to support my family.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,754 Odysseus

    Quick answer is anywhere from approx 45-70k approx a year if you working within the HSE. That would be without private work or teaching. I'll post more when I have a bit of time, however, there are also therapists with very good qualifications struggling to make any type of income out of just therapy, they often use therapy as a second income.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,861 ✭✭✭ JuliusCaesar

    The field may be oversubscribed. It seems to me sometimes that every middleaged woman is some sort of counsellor. Often working p/t or in a voluntary capacity. Many counsellors have other qualifications such as degrees in psychology, as there are many applicants for not a lot of paying jobs. That's just my opinion, and I'm NOT a counsellor!

  • Registered Users Posts: 345 ✭✭ Gibs

    It's important to bear in mind that statutory registration is coming soon to a couch near you. What this effectively means is that only certain kinds of qualifications will be deemed to be acceptable by organisations hiring people who work as therapists/counsellors/whatever you're having yourself.

    Private practice is always an option but if you go that route you should consider where you are going to get referrals from. A major source is GP referrals and as soon as statutory registration gets established, they are probably going to demand that you are on the register.

    If you want to make a reasonable living, you are probably looking at many years of study and an exploding number of people who have the same idea as yourself. It's definitely not an easy option, but if you are prepared to be very persistent, then it is possible to achieve a reasonable living out of it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,754 Odysseus

    Gibs wrote: »
    It's important to bear in mind that statutory registration is coming soon to a couch near you.

    Classic;). Ver nicely put.

  • Registered Users Posts: 104 ✭✭ swanangel

    Thanks for your time all, it's good to get some advice.
    I hoping to do a degree so that means to go to PCI I will need to do their foundation course, then 3years diploma & another for degree.

    I would hope that during studying I will take a particular interest in a certain field, such as addiction etc, right now I think I would like to work with children.....I imagine it's quite difficult to hear children in distress weather it be abuse etc.....but it doesn't turn me off the idea if anything it makes me more determined to study and be the best counsellor I can be.

    Yes, I hear alot about statutory registration (if someone would be so kind as to explain it to me, I would really appreciate it!) I worry that new regulations will be brought in and I may be in the middle of studying and then they change the 'rules' shall I say and I won't be able to continue for one reason or another!

    I keep hearing PCI don't meet IACP criteria but will do soon & when I spoke to them (PCI) they said no reason to worry, I don't hold a Leaving Certificate so could not go to DBS and I prefer a more practical way of learning, rather then exam based which I hear DBS have.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,327 ✭✭✭ hotspur

    Here's the deal with PCI and IACP accreditation. PCI's course is designed to meet the criteria of IACP. Historically they tended to only get their weekend and one of their day programmes accredited, this is because each day would require being accredited separately with all the costs and effort attached. Doing any day would always be sufficient to get accepted into IACP (assuming the other criteria were met). The only difference is instead of ticking the box about is your course on our list of recognised courses, you just filled out an extra page outlining the course.

    Now when it came to the routine matter of their accreditation being renewed someone in PCI actually missed the deadline in submitting the application which meant that they had to go back to square one in getting it accredited as opposed to just renewed due to IACP rules. This is why they are currently not registered as being a recognised course with IACP. But it will be accredited again, and it's not very important at the moment that it isn't.

    As for your question about statutory regulation. You are right to be concerned, the profession want to bring in regulation which would raise standards. But it has run out of steam at the moment, recession seems to have killed the momentum of it. So we have no clue about when it might happen, or even if it will, but most assume it will at some point.

    PCI sound suited to your needs atm in respect of not having the Leaving and not wanting to do exams.

  • Registered Users Posts: 104 ✭✭ swanangel

    Thanks hotspur, some great info there for me! :)
    It can be quite confusing choosing the right college etc & each person I speak to tells me something new I didn't know before.
    Such as I have to consider the extra cost of going to counselling myself, as this is a requirement of the course it's good to know as I was only thinking of how much I would need to save every year to pay the fees.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,754 Odysseus

    OP you got my short answer above and the lads had added some very important points. I know of some very good psychotherapists who are not really making any money and I know sh!t ones who sell themselves very well and charge high fees and make a lot of cash.

    Training costs a lot of money, for me it was cost of my degree and ma plus five years personal analysis plus supervision. There is money to be made, personally I rarely do private work I make a bit of extra cash teaching, when my life is a tad more stable and I'm too old to be running away to run across the desert or jumping out of planes I will focus a bit more on that.

    Contuined training is also a factor I have just signed up for another master and may consider yet another one before I take up my PhD all of this adds up and impacts on your life. A lot of people train to be psychoanalysts only to find its not the jobd for them.

    So take your time in what could be a life long training. I'm run off my feet at the moment, I have not been in my own bed since last Tuesday which meant I had limited access to the net; I will try respond to your PM tomorrow night when I finally get home.