Licensed Professional Counselor Requirements by State

licensed-professional-counselor-requirements

Becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor can be such a rewarding career. From helping people work through their mental health issues to assisting those with substance abuse issues get clean and stay clean, there is a lot to be proud of. With such a rewarding job, though, comes some major risks and responsibilities. You have to know what the license requirements are in your state before you can begin to treat patients and that can cost money and time to get done.

Being able to get up and running as a Licensed Professional Counselor means making sure you have everything in place ahead of time. That means ensuring you acquire the proper licenses, which also require you to hold a Master’s Degree, a certain number of on the job hours, and a period of time where you are supervised.

Additionally, you need to make sure that you have the proper insurance in place as counselors can face huge liability. From being accused to improper treatment, misdiagnosis, to someone tripping and falling in your office all of these things can result in a lawsuit against you. You can help protect yourself with the right insurance to include:

  • General Liability – An insurance policy that will provide coverage for you against claims of bodily injury and property damage to a third party (i.e. someone slips and falls in your office and is injured).
  • Professional Liability – Covers your errors and omissions associated with your specialized profession. This could include claims that you gave the wrong treatment or diagnosis.

The first step is to check with your state to see what their licensing guidelines are to be a counselor. Below we have outlined each state’s requirements, but be sure to always double check with the licensing authority in your state. Each state will require credentialing, but it does vary from state to state.

Alabama

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or ALC (Associate Licensed Counselor)

In the state of Alabama, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a CACREP or

CORE accredited program or equivalent, and a minimum of 48 graduate semester hours from an accredited school. You also need to have 3,000 hours of supervised experience. It is possible to reduce those hours if you have professional experience. You must pass the NCE exam.

Alaska

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor)

In the state of Alaska, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree and it must be in counseling or a related field (psychology, marital and family therapy, social work, and applied behavioral science) and must include coursework in 8 specific areas. You need 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised experience, which includes 1,000 hours of client facing contact and 100 hours of face-to-face supervision, with other requirements. You must pass the NCE exam.

Arizona

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or LAC (Licensed Associate Counselor)

In the state of Arizona, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a CACREP or CORE accredited program or equivalent, or a minimum of 60 semester hours of coursework in 14 specific areas. You must have 2 years or 3,200 hours of full-time supervised work in psychotherapy, 100 hours of clinicals, and 1,600 of face-to-face client contact. You must pass the NCE, NCMHCE, or CRCE exam.

Arkansas

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or LAC (Licensed Associate Counselor)

In the state of Arkansas, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a CACREP or CORE accredited program or equivalent, or a minimum of 60 semester hours of coursework from an accredited school. You must have 3 years or 3,000 hours of supervised counseling experience, and 1 year of experience can be earned by 30 semester hours you take after earning your Master’s up to 2 years. You must pass the NCE and an oral exam.

California

Credentialing Title(s): LPCC (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor) or Clinical Counselor Intern or Clinical Counselor Trainee

In the state of California, you must have a minimum of a Master’s degree from an accredited school in counseling or psychotherapy with 6 hours of field study and 3 in core content coursework. You must have 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised counseling experience with a minimum of 1,750 hours of actual counseling to individuals or groups. You must pass the NCE, NCMHCE, and a CA jurisprudence exam.

Colorado

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor

In the state of Colorado, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a CACREP accredited program or equivalent, and a minimum of 48 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in specific areas. You must have 2 years or 2,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 100 hours. You must pass the NCE and CO Jurisprudence exams.

Connecticut

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor)

In the state of Connecticut, you must have a minimum of a Master’s degree in counseling or mental health field from an accredited school and at least 60 semester hours. You must have 1 year or 3,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 100 hours. You must pass the NCE exam.

D.C.

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor)

In the District of Columbia, you must have a minimum of a Master’s degree with 10 core areas making up your coursework and at least 60 semester hours. You must have 2 years or 3,500 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 200 hours being supervised by an LPC. You must pass the NCE, NCMHCE, or CRCE exam.

Delaware

Credentialing Title(s): LPCMH (Licensed Professional Counselor of Mental Health) or LACMH (Licensed Associate Counselor of Mental Health)

In the state of Delaware, you must have a minimum of a Master’s degree with at least 48 semester hours. You also have to be certified by NBCC as a NCC, or by another national mental health certifying organization. You must have 2 years or 3,200 hours of supervised experience to be completed within a 4-year period. 1,600 of those hours has to be professional direct supervision with 100 of those being face-to-face. You must pass the NCE or NCMHCE exam.

Florida

Credentialing Title(s): LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor) or Provisional Mental Health Counselor or Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern

In the state of Florida, you must have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a CACREP accredited program with at least 60 semester hours with coursework in 12 specific areas and 1,000 of supervised experience. You also must complete an 8-hour laws and ruled course and 2-hour error prevention course. You must have 2 years and at least 1,500 hours of supervised experience. The supervisor must be an LMHC or equivalent. You must pass the NCMHCE exam.

Georgia

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or ALPC (Associate Professional Counselor)

In the state of Georgia, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree with the courses primarily consisting of counseling or psychology, and a minimum of 300 hours of supervised internship or practicum. You must have 4 years or 2,400 hours of experience with a minimum of 120 hours. You must pass the NCE exam.

Hawaii

Credentialing Title(s): LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor)

In the state of Hawaii, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s in a field related to counseling, and a minimum of 48 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in specific areas. You must have 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 100 hours of face-to-face clinicals. You must pass the NCE exam.

Idaho

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or LCPC (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor) or Registered Counselor Intern

In the state of Idaho, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s in a counseling field and a minimum of 60 semester hours and complete a 6 semester hour advanced counseling practicum. You must have 2 years or 2,000 hours of supervised client experience with a minimum of 1,000 hours supervised by an LCPC with some other hour minimums. You must pass the LCPC and NCMHCE exams.

Illinois

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or LCPC (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor)

In the state of Illinois, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree in a field related to counseling or have a current Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor credential, and a minimum of 48 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in specific areas. You must have 2 years or 3,600 hours of supervised experience with 1,920 being client facing. You must pass the NCE or CRCE exams.

Indiana

Credentialing Title(s): LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor)

In the state of Indiana, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a CACREP or CORE accredited program or equivalent, and a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in specific areas. You must have 3,000 hours of supervised experience within a 21-month period, with 100 hours of supervision under an LMHC supervisor. You must pass the NCMHCE exam.

Iowa

Credentialing Title(s): LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor)

In the state of Iowa, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a CACREP accredited program or equivalent, and a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in specific areas. You must have 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 1,500 hours client-facing and 200 hours of clinical supervision. You must pass the NCE, NCMHCE, or CRCE exam.

Kansas

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or LCPC (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor)

In the state of Kansas, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree in counseling, and a minimum of 45 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in 10 specific areas. You must have 2 years or 4,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 1,500 hours being client facing and 150 hours of clinical supervision. You must pass the NCE exam.

Kentucky

Credentialing Title(s): LPCC (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor) or LPCA (Licensed Professional Counselor Associate)

In the state of Kentucky, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree in a field related to counseling, and a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in 9 specific areas and a 400-hour internship or practicum. You must have 4,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 100 hours client facing and 1,600 of counseling direct. You must pass the NCE exam.

Louisiana

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or Counselor Intern

In the state of Louisiana, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree in a mental health field, and a minimum of 48 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in 8 specific areas or complete a CACREP program. You must have 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised experience within 7 years with some other hour requirements. You must pass the NCE exam.

Maine

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or LCPC (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor) or Conditional LCPC, LPC, or Registered Counselor

In the state of Maine, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a CACREP or CORE accredited program or equivalent, and a minimum of 48 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in specific areas. You must have 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 100 hours of clinical supervision. You must pass the NCE exam.

Maryland

Credentialing Title(s): LCPC (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor) or CPC (Certified Professional Counselor) or Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor

In the state of Maryland, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree in a field related to counseling, and a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours and completion of an alcohol and drug course for counselors. You must have 3 years or 3,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 100 hours of face-to-face clinical supervision. You must pass the NCE and Maryland Professional Counselors and Therapists Act exams.

Massachusetts

Credentialing Title(s): LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor)

In the state of Massachusetts, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree in a field related to counseling, and a minimum of 48 graduate semester hours including an internship of 600 hours and 100 hours of practicum along with 60 graduate semester hours. You must have 2 years or 3,600 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours. This includes 960 client facing hours and 130 individual supervised hours. You must pass the NCMHCE exam.

Michigan

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or LLPC (Limited Licensed Professional Counselor)

In the state of Michigan, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a CACREP accredited program or equivalent, and a minimum of 48 semester hours and an internship of 600 hours. You must have 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised counseling experience with a minimum of 100 hours of direct supervision. You must pass the NCE or CRCE exam.

Minnesota

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or LPCC (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor)

In the state of Minnesota, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a CACREP accredited program or equivalent, and a minimum of 48 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in 10 specific areas and 700 counseling hours. You must have 2,000 hours of supervised experience, alternatively an official plan for this supervision. You must pass the NCE or other approved national exam.

Mississippi

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor)

In the state of Mississippi, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from an accredited program or equivalent, and a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in 10 specific areas. You must have 2 years or 3,500 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 100 hours. You must pass the NCE or NCMHCE exam.

Missouri

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or PLPC (Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor)

In the state of Missouri, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a CACREP or CORE accredited program or equivalent, and a minimum of 48 semester hours and 6 in counseling practice. You must have 2 years or 3,000 hours of continuous counseling experience and some other hour requirements. You must pass the NCE exam.

Montana

Credentialing Title(s): LCPC (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor)

In the state of Montana, you are required to have a minimum of a graduate degree in counseling from an accredited school and a 6-semester hour practicum in advanced counseling. You must have 3,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 1,500 hours being after you have graduated. You must pass the NCE or NCMHCE exam.

Nebraska

Credentialing Title(s): LIMHP-CPC /LPC (Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner or Licensed Professional Counselor) or LMHP-CPC/LPC (Licensed Mental Health Practitioner-Certified Professional Counselor or Licensed Professional Counselor) or LMHP (Licensed Mental Health Practitioner) or PLMHP (Provisional Licensed Mental Health Practitioner)

In the state of Nebraska, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a CACREP accredited program or equivalent. You must have 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised experience with additional hour requirements. You must pass the NCE or NCMHCE exam.

Nevada

Credentialing Title(s): LCPC (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor) or Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Intern

In the state of Nevada, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a CACREP accredited program or equivalent, and a minimum of 48 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in specific areas. You must have 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised experience with 1,500 being client facing and 100 of direct supervision. You must pass the NCMHCE exam.

New Hampshire

Credentialing Title(s): LCMHC (Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor)

In the state of New Hampshire, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a CACREP accredited program or equivalent, and a minimum of 2 academic years related to counseling with 60 graduate semester courses in 9 specific areas. You must have 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 100 hours. You must pass the NCMHCE and an essay exam.

New Jersey

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or LAC (Licensed Associate Counselor)

In the state of New Jersey, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree in counseling from an accredited school, and a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in 8 specific areas. You must have 3 years or 4,500 hours of supervised experience. You must pass the NCE exam.

New Mexico

State Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or LPCC (Licensed Professional Clinical Mental Health Counselor) or LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor)

In the state of New Mexico, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree and a minimum of 48 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in specific areas. You must have 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 100 hours being face-to-face. You must pass the NCE and NCMHCE exams.

New York

Credentialing Title(s): LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor or Limited Permit)

In the state of New York, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree and a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in specific areas. You must have 3,000 hours of supervised experience. You must pass the NCMHCE exam.

North Carolina

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or LPCA (Licensed Professional Counselor Associate) or LPCS (Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor)

In the state of North Carolina, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from an accredited program or equivalent, and a minimum of 48 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in 9 specific areas. You must have 3,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 2,000 in direct counseling. You must pass the NCE, NCMHCE, or CRCE exams.

North Dakota

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or LPCC (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor) or LAPC (Licensed Associate Professional Counselor)

In the state of North Dakota, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree, a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in specific areas, and 800 supervised clinical training. You must have 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 100 hours direct. You must pass the NCE exam.

Ohio

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or LPCC (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor) or CR (Professional Counselor/Clinical Resident) or RCT (Registered Counselor Trainee)

In the state of Ohio, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree and a minimum of 60 semester hours from an accredited school. You must have 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised experience under an LPCC. You must pass the NCE exam.

Oklahoma

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor)

In the state of Oklahoma, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree and a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in 10 specific areas, as well as an internship of 300 hours. You must have 3 years or 3,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 350 hours being face-to-face per every 1,000. You must pass the NCE and OK Legal & Ethical Responsibilities exams.

Oregon

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or Registered Intern

In the state of Oregon, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a CACREP or CORE accredited program or equivalent, a minimum of 48 graduate semester hours, and a 600-hour internship or practicum. You must have 3 years or 2,400 hours of supervised experience. You must pass the NCE, NCMHCE, CRCE, or another approved exam as well as the Oregon Law and Rules exam.

Pennsylvania

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor)

In the state of Pennsylvania, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s in a field related to counseling and a minimum of 48 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in specific areas. You must have 3 years or 3,600 hours of supervised experience with minimum supervision requirements. You must pass the NCE, CRCE, ATCB, CBMT, PEPK, AAODA, or EMAC exam.

Rhode Island

Credentialing Title(s): LCMHC (Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor) or Limited Permit

In the state of Rhode Island, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree and have completed 60 semester hours from an accredited school with courses in 8 specific areas. You must have 2 years or 2,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 100 hours. You must pass the NCMHCE exam.

South Carolina

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or LPC/I (Professional Counselor Intern)

In the state of South Carolina, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree and a minimum of 48 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in 10 specific areas, as well as a practicum of 10 hours. You must have 2 years or 1,500 hours of supervised experience with 1,500 being client facing. You must pass the NCE or NCMHCE exam.

South Dakota

Credentialing Title(s): LPC-MH (Licensed Professional Counselor – Mental Health) or LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor)

In the state of South Dakota, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a CACREP accredited program or equivalent, and a minimum of 48 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in specific areas. You must have 2 years or 2,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 50 hours being client facing. You must pass the NCMHCE exam.

Tennessee

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or LPC/MHSP (Licensed Professional Counselor-Mental Health Service Provider)

In the state of Tennessee, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a CACREP accredited program or equivalent, and a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in specific areas. You must have 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised experience with weekly requirements. You must pass the NCE and TN Jurisprudence exams.

Texas

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or LPC/I (Professional Counselor Intern)

In the state of Texas, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree and a minimum of 48 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in specific areas. You must have 3 years or 3,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 1,500 hours being client facing. The supervisor must be an LPC. You must pass the NCE and TX Jurisprudence exams.

Utah

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or Certified Professional Counselor Intern or Certified Professional Counselor Extern

In the state of Utah, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a CACREP accredited program or equivalent, and a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in specific areas. You need 3 semester hours of a practicum and 6 as an internship. You must have 2 years or 4,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 100 hours being client facing. You must pass the NCE or NCMHCE and Utah Professional Counselor Law, Rules, and Ethics exam.

Vermont

Credentialing Title(s): LCMHC (Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor)

In the state of Vermont, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree and a minimum of 60 semester hours from an accredited school with courses in specific areas with 1,000 in an internship or practicum. You must have 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 2,000 hours being client facing. You must pass the NCE or NCMHCE exam.

Virginia

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor)

In the state of Virginia, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree and a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours from an accredited school with courses in specific areas with 600 hours supervised. You must have 4,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 2,000 client facing. You must pass the NCMHCE exam.

Washington

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor) or CC (Certified Counselor) or CA (Certified Advisor) or AAC (Agency Affiliated Counselor) or Registered Counselor

In the state of Washington, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree in a field related to counseling from an accredited school. You need 3 years or 3,000 hours of supervised experience with 1,200 being client facing. You must pass the NCE or NCMHCE exam.

West Virginia

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor)

In the state of West Virginia, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a CACREP or CORE accredited program or equivalent, and a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours from an internship or practicum. You must have 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of half of those hours being client facing. You must pass the NCE or CRCE exam.

Wisconsin

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or Licensed Professional Counselor Trainee

In the state of Wisconsin, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree and a minimum of 42 semester hours from an accredited school with courses in specific areas. You must have 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 1,000 hours being client facing. You must pass the NCE, NCMHCE, CRCE or equivalent exam as well as the Wisconsin Jurisprudence exam.

Wyoming

Credentialing Title(s): LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or PPC (Provisional Professional Counselor) In the state of Wyoming, you are required to have a minimum of a Master’s degree from a CACREP or CORE accredited program or equivalent, and a minimum of 48 semester hours from an accredited school with course in specific areas. You must have 3,000 hours of supervised experience with a minimum of 100 hours being client facing. You must pass the NCE exam. Please note that while many of the states above have multiple credential options, we focused on the requirements for the LPC or equivalent. As always, you should check with your state licensing offices and an attorney or legal representative. The information provided is for direction and educational purposes only and is not all-inclusive.

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