How to Become a Licensed Counselor in Utah

How Do I Become a Professional Counselor in Utah?

Whether you’ve always been a great listener, you have a knack for giving good advice or you simply feel the need to form a career around empowering and helping other people, counseling could be the answer. Utah’s substance abuse, mental health, and behavioral disorder counseling sector grows almost 4% each year, according to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, and with a blossoming counseling industry, it’s a great state to study and practice

What Are the Requirements to Become a Counselor in Utah?

To become a substance abuse counselor, you need only obtain an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in counseling. However, if your ultimate goal is to practice independently, you will want to obtain Clinical Mental Health Counselor education and training. This requires a master’s or doctorate degree in the field of counseling, and the program should be accredited by The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). This program will likely consist of 60 semester hours and will cover topics such as social and cultural diversity, human growth and development, various mental disorders, etc.

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

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

Utah law (Clinical Mental Health Counselor Licensing Act Rule) requires that you gain at least 1,000 hours of supervised experience, part of which can consist of an internship you participate in while earning your degree. At least 400 of those hours should consist of providing mental health therapy to actual clients.

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

After you have gained the necessary experience, it’s time to prove your knowledge and earn your license by taking the required examinations. To obtain your license, you will need a passing score on the National Counselor Examination (NCE) and the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE), both of which are administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors. The NCE is a general test that says you’re ready for counseling and you’ve gained the necessary knowledge while the NCMHCE measures your clinical mental health knowledge and verifies your experience on a more specialized level.

Note: To learn more about how to become a counselor in Utah, please visit the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.

Counseling Career Outlook In Utah

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that as of May 2022, there were 3,150 mental health, substance abuse, and behavioral disorder counselors occupied in the state of Utah. Those counselors earned an annual median salary of $61,520. This is higher than the national average, and individuals can gain a higher rate of pay depending on where in the state of Utah they live as well as how much experience they have gathered.

Schools with Degree Programs Accepting Students from Utah

Additional Resources for Utah Applicants:

2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics and Utah Department of Workforce Services 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.