How To Become A Counsellor: Practical Tips For Building A Counselling Career

Becoming a counsellor means embarking on a career unlike any other. Counsellors offer support services for people who need a little guidance, but it’s more than being a sympathetic ear.

In the Health and Community Services sector, counsellors work with people from diverse backgrounds to help them overcome challenges and find better ways of living. And the job prospects for counsellors look good, with around 4,500 openings available around the country.

Most people who want to become a counsellor have lived experience but aren’t sure how to take the next step.

How to become a counsellor

How to become a counsellor in Australia


Earn a Diploma of Counselling

Undergrad? Masters? Diploma? TAFE course? There are so many counselling courses in Perth, it’s hard to know where to start. A Diploma of Counselling (CHC51015) can get you fully equipped for a counselling career in 12 months (without needing to do an undergrad first).

We’re lucky enough to offer a face-to-face counselling course in Perth which includes workplace experience and practical workshops. Or you can choose to study online if you can’t make it to our Perth campus.

Tips to get started

TSA graduates enjoy a great reputation (and good employment stats) in the WA Health and Community Services sector. But we know it can be competitive, so here are a few ways to stand out from other graduates:

Be proactive

Set up a profile on job listing sites (like Seek, Indeed, and Jora), regularly check for new postings, and sign up for email alerts. Include the Mental Health Commission in your searches if you’re looking to start your career in government.

Find work experience

Local community centres might have a space where you can offer free counselling sessions.  Even half a day per week can help you build a name and client base. Some local counselling services might also let you sit in on sessions – it can’t hurt to ask!

Sit in on group sessions

Your search for jobs will likely dig up a list of group counselling providers in your area. Ask to sit in: because it’s not one-to-one the counsellor running the group might be more open to the idea.

Don’t oversell yourself

As a fresh graduate you will be looking for entry-level roles like Mental Health Support, Counselling Support, Case Manager and similar. Give yourself time to home in on your passion and build a network when you start out in Health and Community Services.

Now you know how to become a counsellor, it’s time to take the first step. Enquire about a nationally-accredited Diploma of Counselling with TrainSmart Australia to get started today.

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