How Do I Become a Licensed Professional Counselor? - Video
Professional Counselors, also known as therapists, give guidance to people who are experiencing problems in their personal lives or careers. To work as a Licensed Professional Counselor, you must meet specific education requirements and pass the necessary licensing examinations. Learn more about becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor here.
Education and Training
Education and training requirements for Licensed Professional Counselors can vary by state and specialty. However, a master's degree is typically considered the industry standard.
To earn a master's degree, you must first earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Most aspiring counselors choose to major in counseling, psychology, social work or a related discipline. The average bachelor's program should take approximately four years to complete.
After earning your bachelor's degree, you will be ready to enroll in a master's degree program. Most master's degree programs in counseling require at least 60 hours of study along with a period of supervised clinical work. The average program will take two years to complete.
Licensing and Certification
All states (with the exception of California) license professional counselors. The licensing requirements for each state can vary significantly depending on your specialization and the setting in which you work. Some states require you to complete an internship under a Licensed Professional Counselor; others simply require that you earn the appropriate degree and pass an examination.
In addition to state licensure, you may obtain voluntary certification from the National Board for Certified Counselors. To earn this credential, you'll need two years of supervised counseling experience and two professional endorsements from recent supervisors or other practicing professionals. You must also pass the board's written examination. After you complete these requirements, you'll be considered a National Certified Counselor.