Careers advisers aid people in making career decisions by providing impartial advice, information and guidance. They mainly work with school leavers, although they may also work with adults.
Employers seek trainee careers advisers with a high standard of general education, experience of working with young people and a clear Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check. Trainee careers advisers must also be able to relate well to the ambitions of young adults and demonstrate excellent interpersonal, communication, organisational, time-management and research skills. Once in employment, trainee careers advisers are encouraged to study for an NVQ Level 4 in Advice and Guidance, which is achieved through successful completion of on and off-the-job training. Graduates and those with significant work experience may be expected to study for a postgraduate Qualification in Career Guidance (QCG).
Trained careers advisers are employed by job centres, schools, colleges, recruitment agencies and universities. Employment opportunities exist for full-time, part-time, flexible and contract working. Work may involve local travel, rendering a driving licence desirable.
The starting salary for a trainee careers adviser is around £17,000 a year. Experienced careers advisers with career guidance qualifications are in high demand and may therefore be able to benefit from higher salaries.