How to Become a Licensed Counselor in Kansas
There are two types of professional counseling licenses issued by the State of Kansas: Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). The minimum requirements to earn a license are established by the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board which oversees the laws, rules and any disciplinary action needed to regulate psychologists and counselors. Given the importance of quality mental health care and the need for consumer protection, the State of Kansas demands a rigorous schedule of education, training and examination to practice counseling on a professional level. Continue reading below to learn about the specific requirements to become licensed.
What are the Education Requirements to Become a Counselor in Kansas?
In Kansas, like many other states, all individuals pursuing a counseling license must hold a master's degree from an accredited counseling program. Earning a master's degree allows candidates to sit for the National Counselor Examination (NCE), which is administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors. Candidates who have passed the NCE are qualified to receive the Licensed Professional Counselor designation (LPC), which opens the door to further training, including several thousand (4,000) hours of mandatory work experience under the supervision of a licensed counselor.
|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|
What are the Supervised Experience Requirements to Become a Counselor in Kansas?
The process of transitioning from a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) to a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) is facilitated by completing 4,000 hours of work experience in the field under the supervision of a LCPC. Candidates begin by submitting a supervisory plan to the State Regulatory Board for approval. Of the 4,000 experience hours mandated by the state, 1500 must be in direct client care. After accumulating all the required hours, qualified candidates may sit for the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination, administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors.
What are the Examination Requirements to Become a Counselor in Kansas?
The Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board requires a passing score on the National Counselor Exam (NCE) to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a passing score on the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination to become a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC).
The NCE consists of 200 multiple choice questions designed to assess knowledge, skills and abilities of licensure candidates. The NCMHCE consists of 10 simulated clinical mental health counseling cases that are designed to sample a broad area of competencies. Candidates who sit for either exam will receive their score within 8 weeks of the examination. The National Board of Certified Counselors makes study guides available for both exams here.
What is the Median Salary of a Counselor in Kansas?
Salaries for a broad category of licensed counseling professionals specialized in substance abuse, behavioral disorders and mental health working throughout Kansas in 2020 ranged from $31,560 for the lowest 10% to more than $64,000 for the top ten percent. The average came in at $45,780 with $44,580 representing the median salary. The specific salary a professional counselor in Kansas will ultimately earn depends on many factors such as whether the counselor is in a private practice, part of a state program, agency, or practicing independently.
2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics job market trends and salary figures for Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder and Mental Health Counselors are based on state data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed December 2021.
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