Career Providers Comparison Chart

You may be aware of other occupations offering career help. They differ from professional Career Counselors in that they are not required to meet the certain requirements, and the focus of their work also differs. Use the following chart to compare the distinctions among career service providers.

Career Providers - Comparison Chart


Professional Counselor/ Career Counselor

Career Paraprofessional

Career Consultants

Career Coach


Master's Degree in Counseling or closely related area

Varies with amount of experience, from H.S. to AA to Master's in related areas

Varies; no standard state or national requirements

Varies; no standard state or national requirements


National Board for Certified Counselors Exam

California Career Paraprofessional Registry Exam


No standard state or national exam


Code of Ethics of ACA, NBCC, NCDA

Code of Ethics of CCE

No specific code

No specific code


2 Years+ Supervised Experience

Varies with Education

Varies with Education



National Certified Career Counselor; and/or Master Career Counselor

Global Career

Development Facilitator


Various organizations offer credentials; no uniform standards apply

Credentialing Board

 National Board for Certified Counselors or National Career Development Association

National Board of Certified Counselors/Center for Credentialing and Education


No single established and recognized board

Consumer Protection

Through credentialing Board

Through Credentialing Board

No known monitoring organization

No known monitoring organization

Work Settings

Private practice, business/industry, community agencies, Community colleges and Universities

Employed in agencies, schools, government, industry

Contract with hiring organizations or individuals

Hired by individuals and/or organizations

Focus of  Practice

Assists with making and implementing career/life decisions and plans. Trained in counseling, career development, assessment and interpretation, use of occupational information.

Provide career information and resources in settings in which they are employed. May coordinate career centers and related projects.

Consults regarding one or selected occupations and/or industries. May have expertise or unique information about career entry, or organizational culture.

Likely to specialize in motivational or strategizing aspects of career transition.