Youth Correctional Counselor Job Description & Career Outlook

Youth correctional counselors work within law enforcement to counsel juvenile offenders and their families. They also act as a liaison between their clients and the courts, schools and prisons. They are typically employed by government correctional departments to work in juvenile detention centers or community programs.

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Youth Correctional Counselor Requirements and Common Tasks

Youth correctional counselors help rehabilitate young offenders. Often the counselors work in a juvenile correctional facility, such as a detention center, where their duties include supervision of the offenders. This may involve enforcing discipline, making and maintaining records, and implementing constructive activity programs. Additionally, they recommend to juvenile courts the right destination for young offenders such as detainment, care homes or treatment programs. They also counsel juvenile offenders and their families, as well as provide specialized courses such as addiction recovery and anger management.

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The minimum requirements for someone training as a youth correctional counselor typically include a relevant bachelor’s degree in justice, social work or counseling. A medical check, no past felonies, a driver’s license and the legal right to use firearms are also essential. Military experience, supervisory roles or other positions of authority are often considered beneficial. Correctional counselors’ personalities are important as well. The ideal candidate is able to empathize with a juvenile offender’s problems, while remaining calm, stable and mature.

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Youth Correctional Counselor Salary, Job Outlook and Employers

A correctional counselor’s annual salary during training is around $36,000 a year, which rises to around $48,000 after training. The most experienced and qualified correctional counselors can earn up to $70,000 annually. Further benefits may include health and dental coverage, sick and vacation pay and educational opportunities. Counselors can often specialize in a certain role, such as providing group therapy, and this requires further training. State or local governments are the main employers for youth correction counselors. The outlook for this field is stable with possible growth due to population increases and mandatory sentencing laws.

Youth Correctional Counselor Related Degrees, Programs & Schools

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University of Phoenix
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Family and Child Service Certificate
  • Addictions Certificate
  • Graduate Mediation Certificate

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Walden University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • M.S. in School Counseling - General Program
  • Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision - Consultation
  • Ph.D. in Psychology - Counseling Psychology

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Capella University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • MS - Counseling Psychology
  • PhD - Counselor Education and Supervision
  • MS - Mental Health Counseling

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Liberty University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • MA in Professional Counseling - 60 Hour
  • PhD in Counseling - Professional Counseling
  • MA in Professional Counseling(48 hr)

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Grand Canyon University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • M.S. in Christian Counseling
  • M.S. in Christian Counseling of Substance Abuse and Addictive Disorders
  • B.S. in Counseling with an Emphasis in Addiction, Chemical Dependency, and Substance Abuse

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California University of Pennsylvania
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Graduate Certificate in Sports Counseling

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The University of Liverpool
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • MSc in Mental Health Psychology
  • MSc in Organisational and Business Psychology
  • MSc in Psychology


Page Edited by Charles Sipe.