Job profile

Careers Adviser

Two people having a conversation about careers

Careers Adviser Job Profile

What is a Careers Adviser?

As a careers adviser, you will be responsible for providing information, advice and guidance to those who need assistance when making important decisions about their education, training and work.

You will need to be impartial when providing this type of counsel to your clients, based on training and study-related advice. As a careers adviser, it is important to prioritise the best interests of your clients and assist them in making decisions that help them reach their full potential.

You may address various topics related to career development, such as:

  • Identifying suitable career options
  • Crafting effective CVs and cover letters
  • Navigating the job application process
  • Staying informed about the current labour market
  • Identifying opportunities for skills development
  • Recommending suitable training courses
  • Providing information on funding options for courses and training.

You will be working with people of all ages, from school children over the age of 13 to adults who may be seeking a career change or help with further training. Your meetings will usually be carried out face-to-face, and these can be individual consultations or group work. However, you may also carry out meetings via an online platform, such as Zoom, or provide written help via email, social media or online chat. 


To excel as a careers adviser, you will be expected to:

  • Conduct one-on-one or small group interviews with people to discuss their career or education prospects
  • Pay attention to their career aspirations and ideas
  • Spot skills gaps and suggest solutions to fill them
  • Help clients consider the range of options available to them and plan their next steps
  • Assist clients in developing their career management skills
  • Create employment, education, and training action plans for clients, and offer support to achieve these objectives
  • Collaborate with clients to determine ways to overcome any obstacles they face in pursuing their goals, and refer them to other organisations for guidance as required.


Salaries will vary depending on a range of different factors, such as employer, location, experience and qualifications.

The average salary for a career adviser in the UK, according to Glassdoor, is £26,111. Self-employed or freelance career advisers can set their own fees.

  • As a newly qualified careers adviser, you can expect to earn around £25,000 to £28,000
  • As you become more experienced, your salary can increase from £30,000 to £40,000 
  • Salaries for those at management level will be approximately £40,000+

Working hours

You may work an average of 37 hours a week from Monday to Friday, but there may be opportunities for part-time, temporary, fixed-term, job-sharing, and flextime work. You might be able to take a career break depending on your business, clients, and ability to stay up-to-date with industry developments. You may work in various locations such as schools, colleges, community centres, job centres, libraries, and housing associations.


There are two ways to qualify as a careers adviser: taking a postgraduate qualification in career guidance or training on-the-job.

Anyone with a degree can apply for a postgraduate diploma or master’s in career development, which includes the Qualification in Career Development awarded by the CDI. Several universities offer these courses, which can take around one to two years to complete, depending on whether they are full-time or part-time.

Some providers may accept applicants with relevant professional qualifications or experience, even if they don’t have a degree. The courses usually involve a combination of academic study and work placements.


You will need to have:

must have skills:
  • Excellent communication and active listening skills
  • Ability to build positive relationships and motivate people from diverse backgrounds
  • Flexibility and adaptability to changing situations and clients’ needs
  • Empathy, non-judgmental attitude and respect for confidentiality
  • Efficient caseload management skills
  • Strong research abilities to gather information about various careers and training options
  • Organisational skills to keep track of client information and administrative tasks
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills to help clients make informed decisions
  • Ability to work under pressure while maintaining composure
  • Familiarity with technology and software used in the field.

Work experience

If you have experience working with young people or in an advisory role this will help your application stand out and will also provide you with the skills for success in the interview process.

Experience where you are able to demonstrate good communication and listening skills, such as in a customer service role, is also valued.


You can gain employment in a variety of settings as a career adviser, including schools, colleges, local authorities, job centres, training providers, libraries, community centres, probation offices, healthcare settings, charities, places of worship and housing associations.

One of the largest employers of careers advisers in England is the National Careers Service, which offers online and telephone advice services for individuals over the age of 13. They also have local offices where individuals over the age of 19 can book face-to-face appointments. The National Careers Service contracts work out to different careers organisations, and as a result, you could work in different locations.

Related Courses

BA(Hons) Community Education 

Train to become a professional qualified Community Educator with a BA(Hons) in Community Education. This degree is perfect for those already interested in working with young people, adults and communities, to facilitate their critical and social education. Teaching is underpinned by theories and practices relating to youth and community work, equality and social justice, well-being and community empowerment.

Post-graduate Certificate – Coaching and Mentoring

The programme is aimed at professionals from across the public, private and voluntary sectors (education, health, social work etc.) who have responsibility for training and supporting peer and colleague development.

Promoting cross-sector and inter-professional working, this programme explores the theory, practical implementation and management of coaching and mentoring in modern and varying workplace contexts.

To successfully complete this programme you’ll complete the following three core modules:

  • Critical self-evaluation and development
  • Situated Professional Learning
  • Contextualising Coaching and Mentoring
Other related courses

FAQ Summary

As a careers adviser, you will be responsible for providing information, advice and guidance to those who need assistance when making important decisions about their education, training and work.

Salaries will vary depending on a range of different factors, such as employer, location, experience and qualifications. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a career adviser in the UK is £26,111. However, if you are self-employed or work on a freelance basis, you will set your own fees.

There are two main ways to qualify as a careers adviser. These are to take a specialist postgraduate careers guidance qualification or
train on-the-job in the workplace.

This Profile Includes...

Application guide

Please see below some further information on how you can apply and make your university application as smooth as possible.

Enquire Now

We are here to help and to make your journey as smooth as possible. Please use the relevant button below to enquire about a course you would like to apply to. After you submit your enquiry, one of our advisers will get back to you as soon as possible.