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Cultural Advisor Job Description, Career as a Cultural Advisor, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training: Postsecondary education

Salary Median: $70,000 per year

Employment Outlook: Good

Cultural advisors work with individuals from different cultural heritages and identities and facilitate the coexistence of people in a culturally diverse community.

Cultural advisors play various roles, and may work alongside professionals belonging to the fields of health services or education. Those in the health services sector are responsible for ensuring the welfare of children, young adults, and their families. They evaluate the cultural needs of such individuals and provide necessary support. On the other hand, those working with educational institutions offer academic and career guidance to students, thereby helping them choose a career path.

Education and Training Requirements

Candidates wishing to pursue this profession need to have at least a postsecondary education, coupled with excellent verbal and written communication skills. Students can opt for a postgraduate degree, certificate, or diploma program in subjects like education, human resources development, social work, and psychology. It is also helpful to have a basic knowledge of computers.

Cultural advisors need to have at least two years of experience in order to join a reputed organization. This experience can be gained by volunteering or interning under experienced professionals.

In addition to academic qualifications, cultural advisors need certain soft skills. They should have the ability to understand people, their cultures, and their concerns. Since the work involves constant interaction with others, it is extremely important for cultural advisors to be efficient, organized, and cooperative. Cultural advisors also need to act as positive role models, able to live and work successfully in their own multicultural communities.

Getting the Job

Openings for the position of cultural advisor are usually advertised in newspaper columns and on job sites on the Internet. Most employers prefer candidates with a few years of experience in the field. Internship programs may be a good idea for beginners, as they provide the opportunity of getting on-the-job training. Previous experience in human resources or a related discipline can also come in handy.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

In order to advance to positions of greater responsibility, cultural advisors need to possess a fair amount of expertise in working with people of different cultures. With seniority and experience, cultural advisors can take on supervisory roles or move to organizations with larger influence. Cultural advisors can pursue lateral careers as academic advisors or career development advisors.

Employment opportunities for cultural advisors are expected to be good in the next 10 years. The prospects are more favorable for professionals with relevant work experience.

Working Conditions

Cultural advisors work in a variety of settings. They may work in offices in a clean, comfortable, and private environment. Some may be required to work in boardrooms or classrooms, where group sessions are conducted. Cultural advisors’ work hours also depend largely on the place of employment. In certain cases, cultural advisors may be required to work in the evenings and during weekends.

Since the job calls for interaction with people from different backgrounds who are also in the middle of some dispute, it may prove stressful at times. However, there is also a lot of job satisfaction that comes from being able to successfully resolve issues and promote a feeling of communal harmony.

Where to Go for More Information

Cross Cultural Awareness and Social Justice in Counseling
Edited by Cyrus Marcellus Ellis and Jon Carlson

Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development

American Counseling Association
5999 Stevenson Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22304

Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development
Published by AMCD

National Institute for Multicultural Competence

National Academic Advising Association
Kansas State University
2323 Anderson Ave., Suite 225
Manhattan, KS 66502-2912

Salary, Earnings and Benefits

As of 2009, the median annual salary of cultural advisors in the United States is $70,000. Inexperienced candidates can expect to earn between $30,000 and $50,000 per year, while those with significant experience in advising enjoy an annual salary of around $110,000.

Cultural advisors employed full-time in an organization enjoy fringe benefits like sick leaves, paid vacations, and medical insurance.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesBusiness