How to Become a Licensed Counselor in New Hampshire

How Do I Become a Licensed Professional Counselor in New Hampshire?

As New Hampshire’s mental health care system is undergoing major changes the need for licensed professional counselors will only increase. Some counties in New Hampshire have begun mental health courts as a cheaper and more effective alternative to incarceration. The topic of mental health is a large part of the state dialogue in New Hampshire and a higher value is being placed on quality care throughout the state. Completing the necessary steps to be certified by the New Hampshire Office of Professional Licensure and Certification is a significant step for any future counselor interested in helping New Hampshire regain it’s status as a national leader in mental health care.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Counselor in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire has always been a leader. In January 1776, it was the first British North American colony to break ties with Great Britain and a few years later was the first state to enact a state constitution. As health care throughout the United States continues to evolve the State of New Hampshire is positioning itself to be a leader once again. With innovative programs and an emphasis on mental health care in Concord, mental health promises to be an exciting field for years to come. Counselors with the LCMHC license will have received the training, experience, and education necessary to help transform the face of mental health care in the state for the better.

New Hampshire’s board issues the LCMHC license to applicants who have met three primary requirements. Applicants must hold a 60 credit master's or doctoral degree in clinical mental health counseling from a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited institution or equivalent. They are also required to pass the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) National Counselor Exam (NCE). Lastly, they must complete 2 years of post-masters experience, including 3,000 hours of post-masters, supervised clinical experience.

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

The two years a future counselor will spend accumulating their 3,000 hours of supervised experience is perhaps the single most important aspect of their journey towards receiving licensure. There is simply no substitute for quality experience in the field, and they won’t be alone. Future counselors will be guided by a clinical supervisor through this critical time in their professional development. The clinical supervisor will also ultimately evaluate the future counselor before a license is issued. All of the specifics of this arrangement will be detailed in a Candidate for Licensure Supervisory Agreement. The future counselor and their supervisor will work together to set some goals for their time together so that they both get the most out of the experience.

A commitment on the part of the supervisor and the future counselor to keep good records throughout the supervised experience will make the final steps toward the board’s issuance of the LCMHC license move along without unnecessary delays.

What Are the Examination Requirements to Become a Counselor in New Hampshire?

The New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice requires a passing score on the National Counselor Exam (NCE) for the issuance of the LCMHC 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.

Note: For more information on how to become a counselor in the state of New Hampshire, please visit the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice.

Counseling Career Outlook In New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Mental Health Counselors’ Association lists the current number of LCMHCs at 700, the second largest discipline of the caring industry in the state. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, substance abuse, mental health, and behavioral disorder counselors in the state have a median annual salary of $50,860 as of May 2022. The top 10% earn around $74,190. Licensed professional counselors who work in a private practice or specialty field may experience higher pay than those working inside a local social service agency. Regardless of where an LCMHC licensed counselor decides to work, they will be part of a growing community of professionals dedicated to redefining what mental health care looks like in New Hampshire during what will undoubtedly be remembered as a significant time in the state’s history.

Schools with Degree Programs Accepting Students from New Hampshire

Additional Resources for New Hampshire Applicants:

2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics job market trends and salary figures for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors are based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed August 2023.