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How to become a Careers Adviser

careers adviser careers

What does a Careers Adviser do?

Careers advisers work with both young people and adults on an individual or group basis, helping them make informed and realistic decisions about education, training and job options.

Careers advisers work in a range of settings, including schools, further education colleges, sixth-form colleges, universities and adult guidance services. The work involves:

  • helping clients to assess their interests, skills and abilities - this may involve administering psychometric tests and assisting clients in using computer software
  • assisting clients in gathering careers and learning information from a range of sources such as the internet and printed materials
  • helping clients to evaluate the options available to them and to formulate and implement action plans
  • researching occupations and the labour market
  • group work - giving talks and leading discussions
  • liaising with employers, higher and further education institutions, training providers and other organisations
  • administrative tasks such as writing reports.
In England, careers advisers working with 13 to 19 year-olds within the Connexions Service are known as personal advisers. Their work may be broader than career information and guidance, and may include supporting young people with a range of personal development and welfare issues. For more information, see Personal Adviser (Connexions).

The Connexions Service is not available in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

What's the working environment like working as a Careers Adviser?

Most careers advisers work 37 hours a week, Monday to Friday, perhaps with some evening work. There are opportunities for part-time work and job-sharing.

Careers advisers are based in offices that are open to the public; some are based in schools, colleges, Connexions one-stop shops or universities. There is usually an element of local travel involved, and home visiting in some rural areas, so a driving licence is useful.

What does it take to become a Careers Adviser?

To be a careers adviser you should:

  • be able to establish relationships with a wide range of people
  • have good communication skills, both written and spoken
  • be able to research information and present it in a form that can be easily understood
  • be self-confident and persuasive, with a mature outlook
  • be flexible and adaptable in your approach to work
  • be well-organised and able to cope with a varied workload
  • be resilient and able to work under pressure
  • be able to work alone and as part of a team
  • have administrative and computer skills.

Careers Adviser Career Opportunities

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Careers Adviser that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Institute of Career Guidance
3rd Floor
Copthall House
1 New Road
Tel: 01384 376464



Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS)
Administration Office
Millenium House
30 Junction Road
S11 8XB
Tel: 0114 251 5750