How to Become a Licensed Counselor in Texas

How Do I Become a Professional Counselor in Texas?

The best career is one that is highly rewarding as well as lucrative, and in the state of Texas, a career in counseling fits the bill. According to the Texas Workforce Informer, the mental health counseling industry alone will grow more than 25% through the year 2020. Those who have a desire to improve the lives of other people will find competitive salaries and many opportunities in the state of Texas.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Counselor in Texas?

The state of Texas recognizes that counselors need a solid educational and training background in order to successfully help their patients. Therefore, in addition to a great education, supervised work experience will be required in addition to a passing score from a board-accepted examination.

Counseling Educational Track
Education RequirementsEducation LengthAvailable Programs
Undergraduate WorkEarn a Bachelor's Degree in Counseling4 YearsOnline or Campus
Graduate WorkEarn a Master's Degree in Counseling5-6 YearsOnline or Campus
PHD or Doctoral WorkEarn a Doctorate in Counseling7-8 YearsOnline or Campus

The first step to becoming a counselor in Texas is to complete a master’s or doctorate level program in counseling which has been accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The program should include no less than 48 graduate semester hours and 300 supervised practicum hours. At least 100 of those hours should be spent working directly with patients. The program will cover interesting topics like human development, counseling theories and social, cultural and family effects on human behavior.

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

As you’re earning your supervised experience, you will need to be licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern. To obtain this license, you will need to pass the examinations listed below before applying for the provisional license from the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. Once you have obtained the provisional license, you may begin accumulating your work experience.

Texas law requires that professionals obtain at least 3,000 clock hours of supervised experience, with half of those hours being what is called “direct client contact.” This means they must be working directly with patients. The 3,000 hours must be completed in a period of not less than 18 months and should be completed under the supervision of a board-approved supervisor.

What Are the Examination Requirements to Become a Counselor in Texas?

Passing scores from two tests are required; the first is The National Counselor Examination, administered by the NBCC, which includes 200 multiple choice questions and is designed to gauge the general knowledge of counselors. The second is the Texas Jurisprudence Examination, which measures the candidate’s knowledge of rules and laws specifically in Texas as well as ethics issues and laws. Individuals who receive a passing score on the exam, and complete the supervised experience requirements will be eligible to obtain a license as a professional counselor.

Note: To learn more about how to become a counselor in the state of Texas, please visit the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors.

Counseling Career Outlook In Texas

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 3,920 mental health counselors in the state of Texas in May 2011. There were 2,720 substance abuse counselors and 3,460 rehabilitation counselors. Those professionals earned an annual median salary ranging from $36,920 to $46,480. Many variables factor into the salary you can make, including location and experience.

Schools with Degree Programs Accepting Students from Texas

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Additional Resources for Texas Applicants: