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Careers adviser

Alternative titles for this job include Career consultant, career coach, career development practitioner

Careers advisers help people make decisions about their education, training and work options.

Average salary (a year)

£21,000 Starter


£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

35 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Careers adviser

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role


You can take either a postgraduate diploma or master's degree in career guidance.

These courses take one year full-time or 2 years part-time and lead to the Qualification in Career Development (QCD).

Many people apply to do a career guidance qualification after working in teaching, youth work or social services.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

More Information


You could do a Career Development Professional Level 6 Higher Apprenticeship.

This takes 2 years to complete.

You may be able to do an Employability Practitioner Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship, if you're working in careers or education, then go on to complete a career guidance qualification.

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements but it may help you to get in if you have:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths

More Information


You could start by working as a careers co-ordinator or youth worker and do further training on the job.

Your employer may support you to take work-based qualifications such as:

  • Level 4 Diploma in Advice and Guidance
  • Level 4 Diploma in Career Information and Advice
  • Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development


Volunteering in support, advice or mentoring could help you to gain work in this field.

Find out about local opportunities for voluntary work through the National Council for Voluntary Organisations or Do IT.

More Information

Professional and industry bodies

Once you're qualified, you can apply to join the Career Development Institute's UK register of career development professionals.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a careers adviser from the Career Development Institute.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • knowledge of psychology
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • active listening skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a careers adviser, you could:

  • work with people individually or in groups
  • offer advice and guidance face-to-face, online, or by telephone
  • explore how skills, abilities and interests relate to potential careers
  • work with employers, schools, universities and training providers
  • research and provide careers and labour market information
  • give support to make decisions, overcome barriers and plan next steps

Working environment

You could work in a contact centre, at a university, at a college, at a school, at an outreach centre or from home.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could:

  • work with specific groups like adults, graduates or young people with special needs
  • become a careers leader in school or college
  • co-ordinate careers services and manage a team of advisers
  • go into careers coaching, resettlement or work-placement services
  • be self-employed as a consultant or freelance adviser

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Level 6 Careers Advisor Apprentice

  • Wage: £16,101 a year Annually
  • Location: Guilsborough, Northampton

Courses In England

Certificate in Information, Advice or Guidance (RQF)

  • Start date: 01 August 2024
  • Location: Not known

Information, Advice and Guidance Certificate (Online)

  • Start date: 29 October 2024
  • Location: Not known

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