Career Consultant Kaitohutohu Umanga

Career consultants help clients with career decision-making and development, job hunting, and returning to work after illness or accident. 

Membership of an organisation such as Career Development Association of New Zealand (CDANZ) or Careers and Transition Education Association (Aotearoa) (CATE) is recommended.

Career consultants may do some or all of the following:

  • help people make choices about education, training and work
  • help people use career planning tools and resources and labour market information, identify skills and career values, and develop goals and action plans
  • assist people to develop a curriculum vitae (CV) and advise them on interview and job search techniques
  • arrange work experience and job placements
  • develop and run training programmes and workshops on career development 
  • provide in-house coaching for people on career development.

Career consultants may also:

  • work as part of a team assisting people to return to work after accident or illness (vocational rehabilitation)
  • become accredited to administer psychometric and other assessment tools and interpret results.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for career consultants includes:

  • teaching
  • social work
  • an employment-related job, such as human resource management or recruitment
  • volunteer counselling work.

Personal Qualities

Career consultants need to be:

  • excellent communicators
  • able to relate to people from a range of cultures and backgrounds
  • non-judgemental and able to keep information private
  • positive, and able to appreciate people’s strengths
  • patient and persistent
  • good at research.


Career consultants need to have:

  • knowledge of various counselling and assessment techniques
  • the ability to evaluate their clients' needs
  • up-to-date knowledge of the education and training sectors, and local, national and global labour markets
  • understanding of social, economic and cultural issues
  • knowledge of how organisations are structured (organisational dynamics) and how they work best
  • understanding of employment matters, such as Equal Employment Opportunities and recruitment strategies.


Career consultants:

  • usually work regular business hours
  • work in offices and private clinics
  • may travel to visit prisons, schools, marae, and other community centres.

Career Consultants can earn around $47K-$77K per year.

Pay for career consultants varies depending on their experience and qualifications. 

Salaries for career consultants working in secondary schools as career advisers

  • Career advisers in secondary schools start on about $47,000 to $56,000 a year.
  • They can progress each year, to a maximum of $59,000 to $77,000.

Salaries for career consultants working for government agencies

Career consultants who work for the government usually earn between $61,000 and $75,000 a year. 

Part-time or self-employed career consultants

Twenty five percent of career consultants work part time. Fifteen percent are self-employed. Their income depends on the hours they work and/or the success of their business.

Sources: Careers New Zealand, ‘Remuneration Project’, 2016; Ministry of Education, 'Secondary Teachers' Collective Agreement 2015-2018', 2016.

Career consultants may progress to set up their own career consultancy business or move into management.

Career consultants may specialise in:

  • vocational rehabilitation
  • life coaching.

Years Of Training

2-5 years of training usually required

To become a career consultant you usually need to have a diploma, graduate diploma or Master's degree in career practice, career development or employment support.

However, degrees in fields such as psychology, human resource management, education or social work are also useful.

Membership of a relevant professional body is recommended.

Training recommended for life coach work

There are no specific entry requirements to become a life coach.

However, a diploma or other qualification from a professional coaching school is recommended. Courses should involve at least 60 hours of practical and theoretical training.

Career Consultant