How to Become a Licensed Counselor in Oklahoma
How Do I Become a Counselor in Oklahoma?
A career in counseling in the state of Oklahoma can be extremely rewarding and lucrative. The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reports that careers in social assistance will grow 53.27 percent through the year 2020 and you can be sure the effects will be felt in the counseling field. By taking the steps now to gain the correct education and experience, you can enjoy a long and rewarding career as a counselor in Oklahoma.
What Are the Requirements to Become a Counselor in Oklahoma?
The state of Oklahoma has a series of requirements that you must meet in order to become a licensed counselor. By meeting these requirements, you will also be building on your personal store of knowledge and experience that will serve you throughout your entire career.
The first step to gaining your counseling license is completing a master’s or doctoral program that is accredited by a regionally accredited agency or the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The program should consist of 60 semester hours and should cover the common counseling topics such as human behavior, abnormal development, counseling theories and methods, etc. These topics must be documented and placed on your application for licensing.
What Are the Supervised Education Requirements to Become a Counselor in Oklahoma?
You will need to accumulate at least 3 years of supervised, full-time experience in professional counseling. You may count 30 of your graduate semester hours as one of your required years, up to 2 years. SO, if you have completed 60 semester hours while gaining your degree, you will only need to accumulate one more year of supervised full time experience. It must be full time, or at least 20 hours each week. You can learn more about your supervised education requirements in the Oklahoma Acts and Regulations.
What Are the Examination Requirements to Become a Counselor in Oklahoma?
You will be required to complete 2 different examinations in the state of Oklahoma to become licensed. This includes the National Counselor Examination (NCE) administered by the Association for Social Work Boards and the Oklahoma Jurisprudence Examination. The first test is the standard counselor licensing examination, and you will answer 200 multiple choice questions covering the various topics of counseling. The second examination is Oklahoma-specific and gauges your knowledge of the laws and ethics within the state.
Note: For more information on how to become a counselor in the state of Oklahoma, please visit the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Counseling Career Outlook In Oklahoma
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were 1,320 mental health counselors in the state of Oklahoma in May of 2011. There were also 2,260 rehabilitation counselors and 900 substance abuse counselors. Their annual median salaries ranged from $27,540 to $43,580. This is better than the national average and pay will often be dependent upon where you practice within the state and how much experience you have.