How to Become a Licensed Counselor in Ohio

How Do I Become a Counselor in Ohio?

If you’re considering a career as a counselor in Ohio, then you probably already know that some of your greatest rewards will come as a result of helping people through trying times. It's a job that gives you a unique opportunity to improve the lives of people in your community.

Working closely with individuals and families to help them overcome the mental and emotional challenges in their lives makes counseling a career that comes with a lot of responsibility. It takes a unique level of dedication and caring, and it also takes proving yourself capable. That means meeting the requirements for a counseling license through the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Counselor in Ohio?

The foundation of any successful career is education, and in the state of Ohio, this is one of the requirements. Also required are some supervised experience which provides you with the confidence and knowledge you need to provide the best help. You will also need to pass a board-approved examination testing your knowledge of the industry.

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

You must first obtain at least a master’s degree in counseling or a closely related program. The program should be accredited by a highly recognized accreditation agency such as the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). It must include at least 60 semester hours and must include topics like clinical psychopathology, evaluation of mental and emotional disorders, diagnosis of mental and emotional disorders, etc. The full list of required topics can be found in section 4757.22 of the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board Laws and Rules.

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

The level of supervised experience you must accumulate depends upon your highest degree. If you have obtained a master’s degree, you will need to complete 2 full years of supervised experience with counseling in a healthcare or private practice setting. However, if you have obtained a doctor’s degree, you will need only 1 year of experience. This should take place under the supervision of a licensed professional counselor in Ohio.

What are the Examination Requirements to Become a Counselor in the State of Ohio?

The examinations accepted by the board include the National Counselor Examination (NCE) and the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) both administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). The NCE is a general counseling examination which is held in high esteem across the industry while the NCMHCE is for the purposes of licensing a professional clinical counselor.

Note: For more information on how to become a counselor in the state of Ohio, please visit the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board.

Counseling Career Outlook In Ohio

As of 2020, there were some 11,060 educational, guidance and career counselors working throughout Ohio, easily the largest group within the broader counseling category tracked by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries for these professionals ranged from $32,780 to more than $87,190 for the top ten percent.

Substance abuse, behavior disorder and mental health counselors represented the second largest sub-group, with more than 8,500 licensed and practicing in Ohio in 2020. That year, these professionals earned from $31,500 in entry-level positions on up to more than $77,870 for the top ten percent. The median salary for Ohio's substance abuse, behavior disorder and mental health counselors was $47,050 that year.

2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics job market trends and salary figures for 1) Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder and Mental Health Counselors and 2) Educational, Guidance and Career Counselors and Advisors are based on state data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed December 2021.

Schools with Degree Programs Accepting Students from Ohio

Additional Resources for Ohio Applicants: