County of Alameda

Employment Counselor (#6784)

Bargaining Unit: SEIU 1021 - Social Workers (005)
$37.78-$45.06 Hourly / $2,833.50-$3,379.50 BiWeekly /
$6,139.25-$7,322.25 Monthly / $73,671.00-$87,867.00 Yearly

Under general direction, to manage and counsel clients and facilitate and monitor their progress toward self-sufficiency through employment programs that may include training activities; to conduct orientation and appraisals; to evaluate test results, determine eligibility, employment goals, appropriate components, and support services; to negotiate client employment plans and make appropriate referrals; to lead workshops; to provide supportive casework to help participants overcome barriers to program participation; to liaise with service providers; and to do related work as required.


This is a journey-level professional counseling classification that manages and counsels clients through a systematic program designed to assist them in becoming self-sufficient. Clients are public assistance applicants or recipients.  Positions of Employment Counselors are found in the Social Services Agency.  Employment Counselors are distinguished from Career Development Specialists in that Employment Counselors determine public assistance, make referrals, and manage clients’ progress through an employment program that may include training activities.  They perform duties independently, use online computer systems, and provide goal-directed counseling and casework.

NOTE: The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification.  However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level.  Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed.

  1. Interviews clients to obtain factual information on their ability to participate, supportive service needs, education, work, training, social histories, and eligibility factors.  From this information, conducts appraisals or assessments to identify client needs, determines available resources, evaluates test results, and provides services or make appropriate referrals for specialized assistance.
  2. Meets regularly with clients to provide goal-directed counseling, casework, and continuous motivation.
  3. Determines and maintains eligibility for public assistance, takes appropriate action, and manages and tracks client eligibility and employment activities using casework methods and online computer-based systems.
  4. Schedules appointments with clients and follows up with clients who do not appear.  Identifies noncompliance, makes cause determinations, negotiates conciliations, and determines eligibility in a timely manner if the client fails to meet program requirements.
  5. Explains client rights and responsibilities and generally explains the program; assists clients to set an employment goal; determines appropriate program components for clients, and explains, negotiates, and approves client employment plans; approves or disapproves deferrals or self-initiated training programs; authorizes appropriate supportive service payments.
  6. Writes and maintains chronological case dictation to support case activity.
  7. Discusses with and counsels clients in demonstrating work ethics, good work habits and attitudes, effective problem-solving, decision-making, communication, interpersonal skills, and proper employment attire.
  8. Develops and maintains a good working relationship with service providers, other professionals, and agencies to advocate for clients, making provider site visits when necessary.  Mediates between clients and service providers to resolve complaints and problems.
  9. Conducts group or individual sessions.
  10. Compiles data for statistical purposes.
  11. Compiles, maintains, and updates resources and referral lists of service providers in the community for the resource library and for individual use.
  12. Identifies operational problems or suggestions for improvements and reports them to management.


The equivalent of one (1) year of full-time experience in the classification of Eligibility Services Technician III or an equivalent or higher-level social service classification in the Alameda County classified service.  


The equivalent of three (3) years of full-time experience in employment-related case management, employment counseling, or in providing employment-related services in a recognized public or private agency.


Graduation from an accredited college or university with thirty (30) semester or forty-five (45) quarter units in sociology, social psychology, vocational counseling, or a closely related social science field may be substituted for one (1) year of experience in patterns I or II above.


Possession of a valid California Motor Vehicle Operator's License is required.

NOTE: The Civil Service Commission may modify the above minimum qualifications in the announcement of an examination.

NOTE: The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the “Examples of Duties” section of this specification.

Knowledge of:

  • Principles of counseling, motivation casework, and case management.
  • Education and employment requirements and labor market conditions.
  • County, State, and Federal laws governing employment, labor conditions, and public welfare.
  • Computer systems and applications.
  • Community service providers and resources.
  • Principles of eligibility determination.
Ability to:

  • Provide effective individual and group employment counseling.
  • Apply principles of counseling, motivation, casework, and case management.
  • Interview and maintain effective working relations with and foster a supportive environment for participants.
  • Input and maintain all case record data via online computer system.
  • Interpret and apply complex regulations and procedures.
  • Acquire and apply program specific technical knowledge and knowledge of community resources.
  • Communicate in a clear and understandable manner, orally and in writing.
  • Analyze and evaluate individual situations, make independent and sound decisions, and take appropriate action.
  • Conduct group meetings.
  • Plan and organize.

JH:dhb 2/98
Old document:  1080h
New document:  Jobspecs/6784
CSC Date:  4/29/98
DR:saa Revised 03/23/2023
CSC Date:07/12/2023


Alameda County offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that affords wide-ranging health care options to meet the different needs of a diverse workforce and their families. We also sponsor many different employee discount, fitness and health screening programs focused on overall well being.  These benefits include but are not limited to*:

For your Health & Well-Being

  • Medical – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Dental – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Vision or Vision Reimbursement
  • Share the Savings
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Supplemental Life Insurance (with optional dependent coverage for eligible employees) 
  • County Allowance Credit
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health FSA, Dependent Care and Adoption Assistance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Benefits - Accident Insurance, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Legal Services
  • Employee Assistance Program

For your Financial Future

  • Retirement Plan - (Defined Benefit Pension Plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan or Roth Plan)

For your Work/Life Balance

  • 12 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Catastrophic Sick Leave
  • Group Auto/Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Employee Wellness Program (e.g. At Work Fitness, Incentive Based Programs, Gym Membership Discounts)
  • Employee Discount Program (e.g. theme parks, cell phone, etc.)
  • Child Care Resources
  • 1st United Services Credit Union 

*Eligibility is determined by Alameda County and offerings may vary by collective bargaining agreement.  This provides a brief summary of the benefits offered and can be subject to change.


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