Demand for counsellors in Australia
The growing demand for counsellors is reflected in a 14.2% job growth prediction leading into 2026. Being qualified means you can benefit from the many counselling jobs in Australia. Likewise, a high income is possible, with the counselling salary in Australia averaging between $80,000 to $95,000 a year.
Beyond being an in-demand profession, a career as a counsellor allows individuals to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Other key advantages to becoming a counsellor is the flexibility of how, where and when you work, as well as being a field that welcomes individuals at any stage in life, recognising the value of life experience in becoming an effective counsellor.
Considering this career? See where postgraduate counselling courses can take you. Select from the courses below to enquire and speak to a GlobalHealth Education Student Enrolment Advisor who can assist you with course options and work with you to choose the best postgraduate counselling course for you.
The benefits of postgraduate counselling courses
Postgraduate counselling courses are a common pathway to becoming a registered counsellor. Those considering this level of study can expect:
- New career opportunities. Postgraduate counselling courses allow students to progress vertically or horizontally in their careers. The University of Canberra’s Graduate Certificate of Counselling only requires an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification in any field to apply, with no experience in healthcare required.
- Flexible online study options. Online study fits flexibly into your life. Furthermore, adults of all ages and levels of life experience can benefit from a postgraduate counselling course. A work-life balance is more accessible through learning online.
- Better income. Postgraduate qualifications can boost your counselling salary in Australia. A study by QILT found students with a master’s degree earned 35% more than a bachelor’s degree graduate.
- Elevate your skills. Pursuing a postgraduate counselling course offers a significant advantage in terms of professional development. By enroling in advanced studies, you gain access to a wealth of specialised knowledge and advanced research techniques. Completing a counselling postgraduate course also allows you to be equipped to address diverse client needs, handle challenging cases with confidence and provide comprehensive, evidence-based therapeutic approaches.
Counselling courses and levels of postgraduate study
Postgraduate counselling courses are offered at different levels, covering both advanced and foundational knowledge. Depending on your professional goals as a counsellor and the services you wish to provide, these are the possible postgraduate qualifications, as well as the outcomes.
- Graduate Certificate in Counselling. A graduate certificate in counselling typically covers four units of foundational counselling knowledge and takes six months of full-time study to complete. However, part-time accelerated online options are available, including from the University of Canberra and Edith Cowan University. With a graduate certificate, students can add to their existing skill set or work as a counsellor.
- Graduate Diploma in Counselling. A graduate diploma typically comprises eight units, with graduates able to gain membership to one of the counselling industry associations once complete. With the University of Canberra’s Graduate Diploma in Counselling, students undertake a placement to gain real-world experience before becoming a counsellor.
- Master of Counselling. Completing a counselling master's online takes around 24 months of part-time study or less if you decide to study full-time. Master of counselling programs — like those offered by the University of Canberra and Edith Cowan University — enable graduates to work with clients with moderate to complex needs. This includes working with children, older people and the wider community.
Skills gained and learning outcomes for online postgraduate counselling courses
Postgraduate counselling qualifications help you develop skills you can use right away. Your studies will be focused on practical and experience-based learning and you’ll be able to put your skills to work in real-world settings through supervised placements. Build the skills you need to become a counsellor in your area of choice.
You’ll cover topics including:
- Counselling theory and approaches: Research the key concepts and frameworks of modern counselling and analyse how they’re used in different social and cultural contexts.
- Mental health: Learn about mental health and the symptoms of mental illness, along with appropriate guidance for people experiencing these symptoms.
- Ethical conduct: Build your skills in ethical decision-making. Understand the dynamics of power and privilege in counselling relationships and how to navigate them.
- Diversity and cultural awareness: Build your understanding of diversity in a counselling context. Learn to promote a strong sense of identity and culture, for example within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
- Creative practices: Explore forms of expression that go beyond traditional talk-based approaches.
You’ll undertake both theoretical and practical learning to build the skills you need to help people as a counsellor. Key skills include:
- Core counselling skills: Learn how to conduct a helping relationship and get to know the theory behind the practice.
- Self-awareness and reflective practice: Build your ability to evaluate yourself and think critically about your own practice. Understand how your self-awareness contributes to the therapeutic process, personal growth and continuing development.
- Person-centred approaches to counselling: Develop an approach to counselling that promotes self-discovery, embraces difference, builds strengths and helps people connect with themselves and their communities.
- Digital literacy: Learn how technology can be incorporated into counselling and how it can help you support people in unique and far-reaching ways.
- Practical applications: Build your practical counselling skills through supervised placements in clinical settings.
Careers in counselling
Support people who are navigating personal, professional and social challenges with a career in counselling.
Counsellors use a range of therapeutic techniques to help people work through their problems. You’ll provide a friendly ear for your clients, give them a safe space to tell their story and share the challenges they’re facing, and help them develop effective strategies to manage their issues.
Counsellors are needed in many different sectors, including health, education and the corporate sector. A postgraduate counselling qualification can help you progress in your current career or to make a change. For example, if you’re a teacher wanting to transition into a school counsellor role, a counselling qualification may facilitate the change.
The type of counselling role you work towards will be shaped by your experience, existing qualifications and professional goals. Some of the options include career counsellor, academic counsellor, relationships counsellor and grief and loss counsellor.
Career outcomes for postgraduate counselling courses
A postgraduate counselling qualification prepares you to help people manage their issues in a range of different settings. Whether you want to work in health care, business or education, a career in counselling can help you achieve your goals.
The following roles have strong future growth prospects.
- The average salary ranges from $75,000 to $95,000 per year.
- Relationship counsellors help couples and families work through personal difficulties.
- Nearly 50 per cent of relationship counsellors have postgraduate qualifications.
- The average salary ranges from $95,000 to $155,000 per year.
- School counsellors help students manage personal problems and learning difficulties, so they can get the most out of their education.
- School counsellors help teachers and parents develop strategies to support students better.
- Nearly 50 per cent of school counsellors have postgraduate qualifications.
Drug and alcohol counsellor
- Average salary range is $105,000 per year.
- Drug and alcohol counsellors support people experiencing drug and/or alcohol dependency.
- Clients may be adults, young people, individuals or couples/families.
- Many roles require formal qualifications in drug and alcohol counselling.
- Postgraduate study may not be required for some roles, but can equip you with specialised skills that support better outcomes for clients.
Other possible career paths, depending on your previous study and experience, include:
- career counsellor
- rehabilitation counsellor
- mental health clinician
- social work counsellor
GlobalHealth Education is your postgraduate counselling study partner
GlobalHealth Education partners with Australian universities to offer students a more straightforward, supportive way to enrol and study postgraduate counselling courses. As a prospective counselling student, these are some benefits you’ll experience when you plan your online education with us.
- Tailored enrolment process. GlobalHealth Education’s Student Enrolment Advisors takes a personalised approach to understand your goals, interests and career aspirations in the field of counselling. They’ll be with you from your very first enquiry, guiding you towards the most suitable counselling course that aligns with your individual preferences. Select a course to get in touch with a Student Enrolment Advisor.
- Ongoing support as you study. From the moment you enrol in one of our partnered counselling courses, our experienced Student Success Advisors are here to provide you with guidance, encouragement and assistance with study-related questions and support. GlobalHealth Education are here to support your success, empowering you to achieve your goals with confidence.
- Helpful comparison tool. Deciding which online counselling course to study is easier with GlobalHealth Education. With just a few clicks, you can easily evaluate our partner universities counselling courses so you can make an informed decision. And if you need a bit more guidance, our Student Enrolment Advisors are here to step you through.
Helping you navigate postgraduate education
A career as a counsellor is achievable, with online study giving you big advantages to fast-track your career in mental health. Choose a course to speak with one of GlobalHealth Education’s Student Enrolment Advisors to discuss possible counselling courses you can study online and gain support to achieve your professional goals.