Academic Advisor Job Description

Academic Advisor Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of an academic advisor. Feel free to use our job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as an academic advisor.


Who is an Academic Advisor? 

An academic advisor is a member of the faculty or staff who has been trained to assist students with their academic planning. He or she is a professional at an institution who can assist prospective and existing students with the admissions process, course registration and selection, program planning, degree completion, scholarships, and other matters. Advisors assist students in locating solutions to course or degree-specific needs, as well as connecting them to appropriate providers.

Working as an academic advisor comes with a variety of obstacles and rewards. Face-to-face engagement with students, job security, and, in many cases, somewhat flexible scheduling are some of the positive aspects of the profession. However, like with any employment, there are difficulties in becoming an academic adviser, including obtaining full-time hours in some institutions; second, students coming to them may be disillusioned and unhappy; and third, advisors may have limited capacity to assist students in need.

As an academic adviser, you can assist students in achieving their academic goals and locating relevant vocations in which they may flourish. Knowing what this job requires can help you decide whether or not you want to pursue it. In this article, we explain the role of an academic adviser, outline the procedures for becoming one, and provide general information about the field.


Academic Advisor Job Description

Below are the academic advisor job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write an academic advisor job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The following are some of the responsibilities of an academic advisor, whether they work for a high school or a university:

  • Meet with students to learn about their interests, skills, and future career or academic alternatives, as well as to assist them in evaluating their academic and career options and plans.
  • Establish and maintain professional connections with students in order to gain a deeper understanding of their interests, objectives, and academic requirements.
  • Discuss colleges with pupils and assist them in completing and submitting college or job applications.
  • Assist students in achieving their academic goals, and provide networking and mentorship opportunities.
  • Monitor a student’s academic progress and offer advice to make it easier for them to achieve their objectives.
  • Examine student standardized test scores, transcripts, and program prerequisites to see if they match the criteria for specific academic programs or classes.
  • Provide advice on which classes to take each academic term and how to make sure they meet the requirements for graduation.
  • Keep track of student appointments and meetings by creating a timetable.
  • Determine how credits are transferred from one school to another.
  • Keep accurate records of a student’s work and contacts with them.
  • Maintain positive working relationships with co-workers, including advisers, colleges, and academic departments.
  • Refer students to professional staff members for difficulties as counseling or financial support.
  • Assist students with registering for classes, completing college applications, and applying for jobs.
  • Hold career workshops to provide students with information, inspiration, and possibilities while they consider their future career options.
  • Assist students with academic prerequisites and course selection.
  • Understand how the institution interprets FERPA guidelines when it comes to disclosing student information to teachers, parents, and students.
  • Examine and determine the transferability of credits; look up course descriptions to see if they are transferable.
  • Examine  and interpret placement and other standardized test scores, unofficial transcripts, and prerequisites for courses
  • Conduct degree audits and analyze the results.
  • Understand the prerequisites for graduation.
  • Assist students in making career decisions.
  • Maintain regular and methodical communication with advisees.
  • Coordinate contacts with students about topics like registration and academic probation, which could entail maintaining a student listserv.
  • Keep precise records of interactions with students (including electronic records).
  • Act as a student advocate when it’s appropriate.
  • Assist other advisors, offices, colleges, and departments by acting as a conduit and cultivating intentional ties.
  • Participate in the creation, implementation, review, presentation, and updating of orientations for first-year and transfer students.
  • Stay current on admissions standards, new programs, course changes, deadlines, critical dates, costs, increasing facilities, college-wide initiatives, transfer requirements, and state and federal obligations.
  • Participate in professional development activities such as joining professional organizations, attending conferences, workshops, division, and department training sessions, and keeping up to date with information technology abilities.
  • Participate in the aims and objectives of the academic advisement program’s conception, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Participate in student development and retention activities at the university.



Every specialization has particular qualifications that you must meet to function in such a role, the qualifications to function as an academic advisor includes the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree is required to work as an academic advisor. Academic advisors with a master’s degree are more likely to get promoted and earn more money. A degree in a discipline that is directly related to employment, such as education or counseling, is very beneficial. Many organizations prefer to hire someone with a master’s degree in an area such as educational leadership.
  • Many academic advisor opportunities are available to those with degrees in psychology, counseling, social work, marketing, student development, higher education leadership, and career development. Many job ads do not specify a specific degree discipline, but they do demand that the individual has prior advising experience. While completing their school, prospective advisors are urged to seek jobs in their college’s admissions or advising offices. This can provide students with a crucial on-the-job experience that will help them land their first position as an academic advisor after graduation.


Essential Skills of an Academic Advisor

Not only do you need a degree to become an academic advisor, but you also need the necessary talents to help you execute your work well. The more relevant talents you have, the more you’ll meet the requirements for the job you’re applying for, and the more likely you’ll get hired. As an academic counselor, you should have the following abilities:

  1. Empathy: It’s critical as an academic counselor to understand your students’ perspectives. Understanding their thoughts and feelings might help you give them better guidance about their future and how they want to get there.
  2. Problem-solving abilities: It is beneficial for academic advisers to be able to negotiate unexpected scenarios when assisting students in planning their academic or professional futures. For example, if a student needs a necessary course that isn’t available one semester, academic advisors can design a plan to help them satisfy that requirement before graduation using their problem-solving skills.
  3. Resourcefulness: When academic advisers provide counsel to students, it helps if they not only know where to lead them but also how to use those resources. Being resourceful allows you to come up with quick and inventive ways to assist students in achieving their academic and career objectives.
  4. Organization: As an academic advisor, you meet with a number of students throughout the course of the year. As a result, it’s critical to maintain your papers and records structured so that you can remember each student’s specific condition. Keeping your desk organized might also help you work more efficiently by making it easier to locate files and other job-related materials.
  5. Pay attention to the details: Whether you’re assisting a kid with a college application or a job application, you must be aware of the numerous dates and requirements. Having a keen eye for detail guarantees that you can assist them in achieving their objectives with more ease.
  6. Computer skills: Because many jobs and college applications are submitted online, having current computer skills is essential. Your computer abilities also allow you to communicate via email with students, colleges, and coworkers.
  7. Communication skills: As an academic advisor, you must be able to communicate both orally and in writing. Because you interact with students and coworkers on a regular basis, understanding how to communicate effectively in writing and verbally ensures that both sides comprehend what the other is saying.


Steps to Becoming an Academic Advisor

Start thinking about your future career now that you know what an academic advisor does. Knowing how to go about pursuing this career might help you achieve more success in it. To become an academic advisor, follow these steps:

  1. Decide where you’d like to work.

Determine if you want to be a college academic adviser or a high school academic advisor before pursuing the schooling required to become an academic advisor. While the criteria for college and high school academic advisers are the same, knowing which type of advisor you want to be might help you focus your academics and work experience on the path you want to take. If you want to be a high school academic advisor, for example, you can choose to get relevant experience working at a high school rather than a college.

  1. Graduate with a bachelor’s degree

You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree to work as an academic advisor. A bachelor’s degree in a related subject, such as education or counseling, is required.

  1. Acquire useful experience

While many job advertisements do not mandate a specific discipline for a bachelor’s degree, students with advising experience are typically required to thrive in their work as academic advisors. Consider working in the advising or admissions offices of your university while you’re still in school. This enables you to receive on-the-job experience while completing your school, assisting you in obtaining your first job following graduation.

Many graduate programs offer on-the-job training through internships and appropriate field experience at local schools if you decide to pursue a master’s degree. With this background, you’ll be able to work alongside students and provide the same level of support that you would as a full-fledged academic advisor.

  1. Obtain a license

To work as an academic advisor, you may need a teaching license in some situations. Many roles additionally necessitate a state-issued counseling license. If you do need to be licensed, the National Board for Certified Counselors offers a credential test to assist you. Your state may additionally need you to pass a criminal and background check.

  1. Go back to school for a master’s degree

Consider acquiring a master’s degree if you want to boost your chances of getting a promotion or a raise. Although a master’s degree is not required by all colleges, some do. Consider whether an advanced degree would be beneficial to your career. Having this advanced degree can help you stand out from other job applicants, boost your talents, and keep your knowledge in this profession up to date.


Where to Work

Academic advisors are typically employed by a high school or university to assist students with academic planning.


Academic Advisor Salary Scale

So, now that you know how to become an academic advisor, how much do these experts earn? As of December 2020, the typical annual academic advisor pay was $42,983, according to Because not all academic advisors work full-time and many are academics who are seeking degrees while working as advisors, this college advisor compensation might vary greatly between individuals and institutions. Academic advisor salaries in the United Kingdom range from £23,000 to £28,000. With experience, your salary can range from £30,000 to £47,000 per year.

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