How to Become a Counselor in Montana
How Do I Become a Licensed Professional Counselor in Montana?
The Montana Board of Social Work Examiners and Professional Counselors established the credential for the Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in 1985. Like many other states, in order to qualify for your LCPC license in Montana, future counselors are required to have a masters degree or higher, pass an approved examination, and accrue a certain number of supervised practice hours. Whether a counselor is working in a private practice, independently, or for an agency in a rural area the education and experience they receive in pursuit of their LCPC license equips them to deliver the best possible care to the people of Montana.
What Are the Requirements to Become a Counselor in Montana?
The Montana Board of Social Work Examiners and Professional Counselors has made available a simple and effective LCPC license information page on their website. As America continues it’s progress through the 21st Century, revolutionary shifts in technology, culture, and global connection are impacting the once idyllic religious and rural setting of Montana. Relatively new issues, such as LGBT teenagers to the increased abuse of prescription drugs, are uncharted territory for many living in Montana. These are some of the many critical issues future counselors in Montana will be helping their patients navigate.
|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 education requirements for the LCPC license are met by most graduate programs. The specific requirements are 60 semester hours of graduate degree counseling work, including six semester hours of advanced counseling practicum, or 45 semester hours of graduate degree counseling work, including six semester hours of advanced counseling practicum. If necessary, some applicants may be required to return to school to acquire the requisite 60-semester credits. If needed, applicants are allowed no more than 5 years to complete the additional work. Like many other states, 3,000 supervised practice hours are required in addition to a passing score on the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) National Counselor Exam (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Exam (NCMHCE).
What Are the Supervised Experience Requirements to Become a Counselor in Montana?
Montana’s high standard for future counselors interested in receiving the LCPC license demand 3,000 hours of supervised experienced. Half of the hours may be accumulated while pursuing a degree as either practicums, internships, or work experience. The remaining 1,500 required hours must occur after completing a degree and 1,000 of those hours need to be accrued in a clinical setting in direct contact with clients. 100 hours must be spent in direct supervision, with 50 of those hours logged as face-to-face. In addition, Montana’s board requires 10 hours of direct observation. More specific information can be found at the Montana Board of Social Work Examiners and Professional Counselors FAQ.
Excellent record keeping on the part of both the supervisor and the licensee will help move the application process along uninhibited towards the LCPC license.
What Are the Examination Requirements to Become a Counselor in Montana?
A passing score on the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) National Counselor Exam (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Exam (NCMHCE) is required for Montana’s LCPC license to be awarded.
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 NCMHCE consists of 10 simulated clinical mental health counseling cases that are designed to sample a broad area of competencies. You will receive your score within 6 weeks of the examination. Study guides are also available via the NBCC.
Counseling Career Outlook In Montana
Professional counselors in Montana can expect a yearly salary between $39,860 - $55,130, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent data for the state. Once a counselor in Montana has received their license they can join a prestigious group of professional counselors, many of whom belong to the Montana Counseling Association, in helping the people of Montana lead healthy and productive lives as they discover together what the Montana of the 21st Century will ultimately become.
Schools with Degree Programs Accepting Students from Montana
Additional Resources for Montana Applicants:
- Montana Psychologist Licensing
- Montana Social Work Licensing
- Montana Marriage and Family Therapist Licensing
- Explore Additional Counseling Careers
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 August 2023.