How to Become a Counselor in Michigan

How Do I Become a Licensed Professional Counselor in Michigan?

As people in Michigan continue to struggle through some tough times the demand for quality counselors is most certainly on the rise. In recent months an executive order formed two new commissions to review mental health services throughout the state. With increased demand and a new focus on mental health in the state of Michigan, professional counseling promises to be much needed and rewarding field for years to come. In this interesting and ever changing environment, anyone with a desire to help the people of Michigan can become a Licensed Professional Counselor(LPC) once they’ve fulfilled all the necessary education, examination, experience, and supervision requirements.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Counselor in Michigan?

The requirements laid out by the Michigan Board of Counseling for the Licensed Professional Counselor(LPC) are designed to equip future counselors with the necessary skills and experience they’ll need to best care for the citizens of Michigan. The combination of a Masters Degree, successfully passing a nationally recognized exam, an internship, thousands of hours in the field, and 100 hours under the direct guidance of a certified supervisor ensures professional counselors in Michigan are ready to start work with the utmost confidence upon receiving their license.

Counseling Educational Track
Education Requirements Education Length Available Programs
Undergraduate Work Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Counseling 4 Years Online or Campus
Graduate Work Earn a Master's Degree in Counseling 5-6 Years Online or Campus
PHD or Doctoral Work Earn a Doctorate in Counseling 7-8 Years Online or Campus

Once a future counselor has completed a Masters Degree in Counseling, and an internship that consists of no less than 600 hours of supervised clinical experience in the practice of counseling, they must apply to become a Limited Licensed Professional Counselor(LLPC). During their time as an LLPC, they will meet additional requirements before applying to become a full Licensed Professional Counselor(LPC). All of these requirements are clearly detailed in Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Counselor-Full/Limited Application Packet.

What Are the Supervised Experience Requirements to Become a Counselor in Michigan?

Upon receiving their LLPC license future counselors must accrue an additional 3,000 hours of post-degree counseling experience in no less than a two-year period with 100 hours accrued in the presence of a certified supervisor. The State of Michigan requires this additional counseling experience under the supervision of a licensed professional counselor to better prepare future counselors with invaluable guidance and experience they would otherwise not receive. All supervised experience obtained in Michigan must be completed after the LLPC  license has been issued. It is important to keep in mind that supervised experience gained prior to obtaining the limited license cannot be counted toward full licensure.

What Are the Examination Requirements to Become a Counselor in Michigan?

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Board of Counseling requires applicants for Professional Counselor Licensure to pass one of the following two examinations:

1. The National Counselor Examination (NCE) given by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)

2. The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) Examination.

The Michigan Counseling Association provides some helpful resources for graduate students preparing to apply for their full license.

The NCE consists of 200 multiple choice questions designed to assess knowledge, skills, and abilities of licensure candidates. You will receive your score within 8 weeks of the examination. Study guides are available via the NBCC.

The Certification Examination administered by the CRCC consists of 175 multiple choice questions that determine skill and knowledge level across ten different categories of counseling. You should receive your test results within 5 weeks of the testing date.

Applicants must arrange for the examination agency to forward an official copy of their scores directly to Michigan’s Board of Counseling. Additional information can be found here.

Note: For more information on how to become a counselor in the state of Michigan, please visit the Michigan Board of Counseling.

Counseling Career Outlook In Michigan

On average, professional licensed counselor’s in Michigan can expect a salary between $49,000 - $55,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Counselors can expect a salary between $30,000 - $40,000 if they go to work inside a local social service agency. Those working in a private practice or specialty fields may experience pay up to twice that of a regular counselor. Depending on their area of focus, additional training, and location counselors may experience more or less than the average compensation. Agencies, employers, private practitioners, and current insurance reimbursement rates all influence specific salaries offered to individual counselors.

Schools with Degree Programs Accepting Students from Michigan

Additional Resources for Michigan Applicants: