The main organization for educational consultants in the United States is the Independent Educational Consultants Association. Their website offers a list of consultants. However there are many educational consultants not affiliated with this organization. Many Educational Consultants are members of other professional associations, such as the National Association for College Admission Counseling, National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs, and others.
According to Mark Sklarow, Executive Director of the Independent Educational Consultants Association, there are about 700 consultants in practice who are members, associate members, and student members of that organization as of July, 2007. A small number of educational consultants are based in Canada, Europe, Asia, Bermuda, and the Caribbean.
As shown on the website of the Educational Consultants Association, Educational consultants may be generalists, but most tend to specialize with particular kinds of students, or students with particular kinds of needs. For example some consultants work exclusively with College placement or planning, some with students seeking a private education at the secondary level, and yet others with students who are learning disabled or have behavioral/emotional difficulties. Consultants for graduate school provide advising services for college students seeking admission to graduate school. Traditionally educational consultants focused only on "school search" or helping students selecting and gaining admission to a specific school or college. However now some consultants help families develop a strategic plan to meet certain goals or resolve certain problems without necessarily involving a school search.
Educational consultants generally work on a fee for service basis, paid by the families they serve. In the United States, educational consultants are not bound by any particular statutory rules for practitioners. Those who belong to the Independent Educational Consultants Association are pledged not to accept remuneration from any institution when school or college admissions are involved, to insure that clients receive objective, as well as impartial, counsel. All members are required to pledge compliance with the Principles of Good Practice of the Independent Educational Consultants Association. Many unaffiliated consultants keep this standard, as well.
The Principles of Good Practice of the Independent Educational Consultants Association also requires that Consultants commit to a standard of continuing education and work to stay abreast of all changes in the marketplace, with particular awareness of new educational programs and their effect on the product they offer students and families. As member independent professionals, educational consultants are not bound to any institution and can provide objective, unbiased recommendations and advice based on their professional judgment of a student's needs and abilities.