Online Community Counseling Degree Programs

Find out what education is needed for a community counseling career and what the work involves. Learn how to get qualified, the classes offered, licensure and the career outlook. Schools offering Medical Social Work degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Degree Do I Need to Become a Community Counselor?

Community counselors assume a number of roles on the job, working with individuals and groups, helping patients work through personal or family problems, and providing counseling for individuals with substance abuse issues.

In order to become a community counselor, you'll need at least a master's degree from a Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP)-accredited program. Several schools offer online master's degree programs in community counseling. Online master's degrees in related areas, such as clinical mental health, are also available. Doctoral degrees in counselling psychology can also be found online.

The Work Involves helping individuals and groups with personal, family or substance abuse issues
Getting Qualified For community couselling, a master's degree accredited by Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) required
Online options available, including doctoral degrees in counselling psychology
Common Courses Legal and ethical issues, clinical assessment, psychopathology
Licensure Licensed Professional Counselor (LCP) designation needed before working as a community counselor
Master's degree, clinical hours and a state exam usually required
Voluntary national licensure also available through the National Board for Certified Counselors
Median Salary (2018) $44,630 (for all mental health counselors)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 23% growth (for all mental health counselors)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

Courses in a community counseling degree program prepare you to take on the role of a counselor by providing you with a solid understanding of counseling theories and best practices. In addition to taking online courses, you'll also need to complete in-person clinical experiences in order to fill graduation requirements. Some of the courses you can expect to take include:

  • Legal and ethical issues
  • Clinical assessment
  • Family development
  • Research analysis
  • Psychopathology

Do I Need a License to Work?

You will need to earn the Licensed Professional Counselor (LCP) designation before you can start working as a community counselor. Specific requirements for licensure vary by state, although most require the completion of a master's degree and a certain number of clinical hours, in addition to passing a state exam. Voluntary certification is also available through the National Board for Certified Counselors, which grants the National Certified Counselor designation.

What Is the Career Outlook for This Field?

As a licensed counselor, you may pursue a career in a number of different organizations in the public and private sectors, from hospitals to private clinics. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for counselors are expected to see an overall growth of 23% between 2016 and 2026 (www.bls.gov). Job openings for counselors are expected to be greater than the number of graduates leaving school to enter the field, especially in rural areas, according to the BLS. As of May 2018, median salary for mental health counselors is $44,630, per the BLS.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • The Chicago School

    The Chicago School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The Chicago School:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Davenport University

    Davenport University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Davenport University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

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