Looking for Career Help?

Practitioners provide a variety of career development services. Based on their levels of education, training, years of experience, and professional credentials, they may be Career Counselors or Career Services Providers (Coaches, Advisors, Consultants). All practitioners listed in this directory hold a professional credential through NCDA, having passed a rigorous certification process to earn a national, portable credential.

Are you looking for career help? Depending on your unique needs, you may choose to contact one of these credentialed holders listed in this directory, based on their background, experience, and/or their geographic location. NCDA credentialed holders are independent practitioners and their prices for services vary. Please contact a practitioner of your choosing and view their websites for details. Keep in mind, if the geographic search below does not result in numerous providers in your area, you can look beyond geography because many providers work virtually.

The NCDA Credentials represented by practitioners in our directory include the following:

  • Certified Career Counselor (CCC)
  • Certified Master of Career Services (CMCS)
  • Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP)
  • Certified School Career Development Advisor (CSCDA)
  • Certified Clinical Supervisor of Career Counseling (CCSCC)

For a quick look at the similarities and differences, view the NCDA Career Services Practitioner Comparison Chart. To learn about NCDA Credentials, visit www.ncdacredentialing.org. [If you are a credential holder and wish to be included in this directory, please see your welcome email or maintenance email for details.]

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Why Seek Career Help?

You may be considering working with a career services professional, such as a counselor or coach, to learn more about yourself and how to carry out decisions and plans that relate to your career path such as:

  • job searching
  • personal branding (resume writing or Linkedin profile)
  • a career transition
  • additional education
  • professional training and industry certification
  • and work~life integration.

Whether you are thinking about seeking services at a private practice, school/college setting, government agency or community/non-profit organization, you have a choice in the type of career services practitioner you wish to work with (or wish to have your child work with) on action plans to explore, set and reach your goals. Please refer to the NCDA Career Services Practitioner Comparison Chart to assist you in understanding the person who may be helping you.


What is a Career Professional? What is a Career Counselor?

As defined in the NCDA Code of Ethics, the term Career Professional includes career counselors, career coaches, career consultants, career development facilitators, and anyone else who is a member of NCDA and provides career counseling, career advice/advising, career coaching, career planning, job search assistance, and/or related services. The Code of Ethics further defines a Career Counselor as a professional (or a student who is a career counselor-in-training) with an advanced degree (master’s or doctoral level) in counselor education, counseling psychology or closely related counseling degree, engaged in a career counseling practice or other career counseling-related services. Career counselors fulfill many roles and responsibilities such as career counselor educators, researchers, supervisors, practitioners, and consultants.

What Services Do Career Professionals Offer?

Services of career professionals differ, depending on the professional's level of training, competence, setting, client needs, and other factors. Career counselors, those professionals attaining at least a Master's degree in counseling or a related degree and who hold state or national license or credentials, advise, coach, and counsel individuals to develop and put into action decisions and plans related to lifestyles and career paths. Strategies, techniques, and assessments used by career counselors are tailored to the specific needs and cultural/diversity considerations of the individual seeking assistance. Depending upon the career counselor's role and services provided, it is likely one or more of the following services will be offered:

  • Conduct individual and group personal counseling sessions addressing the connection between personal and career issues as related to career/life goals and the importance of understanding the overlap between work and other life roles.
  • Create a supportive environment to promote self-advocacy and determination.
  • Administer and interpret assessments and inventories to evaluate interests, values, abilities, skills, personality traits, and other factors to increase self knowledge and identify career options.
  • Facilitate exploratory activities using customized approaches to gather information and increase level of knowledge.
  • Introduce, educate, and apply decision-making skills to promote making informed education and career decisions.
  • Demonstrate and advise on the use of computer-based systems and internet services as a tool to assist individuals in career planning and understanding the world of work.
  • Collaboratively develop short and/or long-term individualized career plans.
  • Teach job search strategies and skills to assist in areas such as networking, resume critiques, interview techniques, labor market trends, and salary negotiation.
  • Guide through exploration of graduate and professional school options, timeline, preparation, testing requirements and the application process.
  • Provide support for individuals experiencing job conflicts, job stress, job loss, and career transition.
  • Provide assistance in the selection of a graduate or professional school.
  • Make appropriate referrals to other professionals, organizations, and community resources based upon individual's unique needs or as a result of counselor's limitations.
  • Present and consult with the general public on career development information and resources.
  • Engage in local, state and/or national career development issues affecting social policies and legislation.
  • and more!

Are Self-Help Resources Available Online?

Yes. While career services professionals are recommended, individuals may access some limited self-help tools online. NCDA provides links to a variety of websites in the Resources section, specifically under "Internet Sites for Career Planning". Many professionals refer clients to these links as well.

Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities

You may ask a career professional for a detailed explanation of services including the fees they charge.  You should work with a professional who will permit you to select which services to use.  You may also ask for their credentials (including a copy of their diploma and licensure certificate) and a copy of their ethical guidelines.  Professional counselors are required to follow the ethical standards of professional bodies such as the National Board for Certified Counselors, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychological Association or the National Career Development Association.  You may terminate services at any time and pay only for the services rendered. 

You may discuss in advance with a career professional what outcomes you can expect as a result of your work together.  Career counseling requires the expertise of a trained professional.  Be skeptical of those who promise you more money, quick promotions, speedy or guaranteed results or an immediate solution to career problems.  Career counseling issues are usually complex and require the use of many types of tools and exercises which are best implemented by those who have extensive education, training and experience in that field.

The National Board of Certified Counselors and Chi Sigma Iota, an honorary counseling social fraternity have published the following statements:

Your Rights as a Consumer

  • Be informed of the qualifications of your counselor:  education, experience, professional counseling certifications, and license(s).
  • Receive an explanation of services offered, your time commitments, fee scales, and billing policies prior to receipt of services.
  • Be informed of the limitations of the counselor's practice to special areas of expertise (career development, ethnic groups, etc) or age group (adolescents, older adults, etc.).
  • Have all that you say treated confidentially and be informed of any state laws placing limitations on confidentiality in the counseling relationship.
  • Ask questions about the counseling techniques and strategies and be informed of your progress.
  • Participate in setting goals and evaluating progress toward meeting them.
  • Be informed of how to contact the counselor in an emergency situation.
  • Request referral for a second opinion at any time.
  • Request copies of records and reports to be used by other counseling professionals.
  • Receive a copy of the code of ethics to which your counselor adheres.
  • Contact the appropriate professional organization if you have doubts or complaints relative to the counselor's conduct.
  • Terminate the relationship at any time.

Your Responsibilities as a Client

  • Set and keep appointments with your counselor.  Let him or her know as soon as possible if you cannot keep an appointment.
  • Pay your fees in accordance with the schedule you pre-established with the counselor.
  • Help plan your goals.
  • Follow through with agreed upon goals.
  • Keep your counselor informed of your progress towards meeting your goals.
  • Terminate your counseling relationship before entering into arrangements with another counselor.

If you are Dissatisfied with the Services of a Counselor

Remember that a counselor who meets the needs of one person may be wrong for another.  If you are dissatisfied with the services of your counselor:

  • Express your concern directly to the counselor, if possible.
  • Seek the advice of the counselor's supervisor if the counselor is practicing in a setting where he or she receives direct supervision.
  • Terminate the counseling relationship, if the situation remains unresolved.
  • Contact the appropriate state licensing board, national certification organization, or professional association, if you believe the counselor's conduct to be unethical.

Ethical Practices

  • Career professionals adhere to professional ethical principles. Ethical standards are designed to serve the best interests of the clients. These standards govern topics such as professional practices, counselor-client relationships, the provision of services and the use of assessment and evaluation in counseling.
  • Your professional counselor will discuss his or her qualifications, training and areas of expertise.
  • You can expect that your counselor will provide information about the counseling services and fees, including the purposes, goals and benefits of the counseling services that you will receive.
  • Your career professional will discuss with you guidelines regarding confidentiality, privacy and disclosure of information for the counseling process.
  • Find out to which professional association guidelines your prospective career professional adheres. Review those ethical standards of the professional with whom you are considering working. You may find the guidelines on the web or ask the counselor for a copy. The following professional organizations provide information regarding their respective ethical codes and standards:

National Career Development Association: http://www.ncda.org

American Counseling Association http://www.counseling.org

American Psychological Association http://www.apa.org

Consumer FAQ

How much do career services cost?

  • NCDA credentialed holders are independent practitioners and their prices for services vary. Please contact individuals and view their websites for details.


What does career services mean?

  • While services vary depending on the provider, any activities delivered by career professionals to individuals, groups and organizations are considered career services. Services may include, but are not necessarily limited to, career counseling, career planning, assessment, job search assistance, skills practice, workshops and training, homework assignments, bibliographies, journaling, and overall career program development.


What are the qualifications of the person providing the help?

  • Career services practitioners may have different qualifications in terms of education, professional credentials, depth of experience, professional affiliations, and common work settings. View the comparison chart below to learn detailed information about various credentialed member's qualifications:

Comparison Chart

What websites are recommended that can help people with career plans and job search?