How to Become a Licensed Counselor in Indiana

indianIndividuals pursuing a career in counseling, who have also met the education, supervised experience and exam requirements set forth by Indiana's Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board, will be joining a group of highly engaged professionals dedicated to improving the lives of others.  Members of the counseling profession in the State of Indiana display their passion for helping people on a daily basis, and are some of the most active in the country.  For example, the Indiana Counseling Association hosts a yearly conference, publishes a regular newsletter, offers exam prep courses, maintains regular participation with school campuses throughout the state, and boasts an active and growing membership.   Another prominent organization, Mental Health America of Indiana, has a stated mission of working toward improving the mental health of all citizens and for victory over mental illness and addictive disorders through public education, advocacy, and public health reform.  These organizations represent just a few of the options awaiting individuals as they embark on a career as a professional counselor.

What are the Requirements to Become a Counselor in Indiana?

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

The Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board of Indiana issues a single license to qualified individuals- the Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) .  To qualify, all individuals must hold a master’s degree from an accredited school, which includes 100 hours of practicum, 240 hours of internship hours, and 300 doctoral level internship hours. In addition, 3000 hours of post-graduate clinical experience under a qualified supervisor are also required.  After all degree and experience requirements are met, all individuals pursuing licensure must pass the National Clinical and Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE).

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What are the Supervised Experience Requirements to Become a Counselor in Indiana?

Supervised work experience plays a critical role in the development of aspiring counselors.  For this reason, the process of obtaining the minimum hours is rigorous and the reporting requirements are extremely strict.  To start, a total of 3,000 hours of supervised work experience must be completed within a 21 month to four year time frame to earn an LMHC license.  100 hours must be accumulated in face-to-face supervision, and Indiana’s requirements stipulate that all the supervised experience must be verified by the applicant’s supervisor and notarized. The applicant’s supervisor must be a licensed mental health counselor, a licensed or certified master’s or a doctoral level psychiatrist, psychologist, clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist, or clinical nurse specialist in psychiatric or mental health nursing.

What are the Examination Requirements to Become a Counselor in Indiana?

Indiana's Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board requires a passing score on the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE).  The NCMHCE consists of ten simulated clinical mental health counseling cases that are designed to sample a broad area of competencies. You will receive your score within six weeks of the examination.  Study guides are also available via the National Board of Certified Counselors.

 What is the Median Salary of a Counselor in Indiana?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the range of salaries for counselors in Indiana was between $48,180 and $63,360 in May of 2021. Specific salaries will vary based on specialty and whether a counselor is in a private practice, part of state program, agency, or practicing independently.

Research Additional Psychology Professional Licenses Granted by Indiana:

2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*NET (a website sponsored by the US Department of Labor) job market trends and salary figures for educational, guidance, and career counselors, marriage and family therapists, substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors, rehabilitation counselors, and counselors (all other) are based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed July 2023.

 Schools with Master's Programs Accepting Students in Indiana