How to Become a Licensed Counselor in Oregon
How Do I Become a Counselor in Oregon?
If you love learning about different people and are often the one people come to for advice or help, a career in counseling would suit you well. This is one of the fastest growing social services fields in the state of Oregon; the Oregon Employment Department says the field of mental health counseling will grow 24.8% through the year 2020. Practicing counseling in Oregon is beneficial, with salaries higher than the national average and a wealth of opportunities.
What Are the Requirements to Become a Counselor in Oregon?
The state of Oregon wants their counselors to be as prepared as possible to handle the responsibility of assisting clients in any way they can. Therefore, they require a significant educational background as well as on the job training with supervised experience. Future counselors will also need to pass a board-approved examination.
|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|
When it comes to education, the state requires that you have a graduate degree in counseling or a closely related field. The program should be accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) or the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). It should include 48 semester hours spread out between topics such as counseling theory, human growth, and development, research and evaluation. The complete list of required topics can be found in section 833-060-0042 of the Oregon Administrative Rules.
What Are the Supervised Experience Requirements to Become a Counselor in Oregon?
Before starting to accumulate the supervised experience you need to become a counselor in Oregon, you will need to register as an intern with the Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists. As an intern, you must gain at least 2,400 “client contact” hours of experience. While 2,000 of those hours must be post-graduate, 400 of those hours can include an internship or practicum that you completed during your schooling.
What Are the Examination Requirements to Become a Counselor in Oregon?
You will be required to pass the National Counselor Examination (NCE) offered by the National Board for Certified Counselors, as well as an examination which measures your understanding of Oregon-specific rules and laws. The National Counselor Examination is a very widely-respected exam that consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. These questions cover the topics that you learned during your schooling, and you will have 4 hours to complete the exam.
Note: For more information on how to become a counselor in the state of Oregon, please visit the Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists.
Counseling Career Outlook In Oregon
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2,350 mental health counselors employed in the state of Oregon in May of 2011. There were 1,200 substance abuse counselors and 990 rehabilitation counselors. These professionals earned annual median salaries ranging from $41,730 to $49,880. This is well above the national average for counselors.