How to Become a Licensed Counselor in Vermont

How Do I Become a Professional Counselor in Vermont?

People who have a strong desire to improve lives may want to consider a career in counseling. Counseling is one of the fastest-growing careers nationwide and is consistently rated as one of the most rewarding. The state of Vermont has an annual job growth rate of 1.5% in the field mental health counseling according to the Vermont Department of Labor meaning it shouldn’t be difficult to obtain a position and find competitive pay.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Counselor in Vermont?

Counselors will experience a wide variety of patients and situations throughout their career. Having a solid foundation in education and experience enables them to call on knowledge that will assist them in every situation. Candidates for licensure will be required to complete a minimum of 60 graduate hours and then receive their Master’s Degree or higher degree in counseling or a related field. The educational program should be accredited by an agency such as The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The program must also include a supervised practicum, internship or some other sort of field experience in a mental health counseling setting.

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

In a program like this, students will study human behavior, the effects of various situations on development and behavior, lifestyle development and more.

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

The best counselors are those that have gained knowledge and experience that only on the job training provides. Vermont law (Vermont Statutes – Title 26, Chapter 65) requires that licensure candidates complete at least 3,000 hours of supervised work in clinical mental health counseling. This should be completed over a two-year period after obtaining the master’s degree. At least 100 hours should be comprised of “face to face supervision” with a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist or mental health counselor.

Before beginning your supervised experience, you will need to register with the Vermont Office of Professional Regulation as a non-licensed, non-certified psychotherapist.

What are the Examination Requirements to Become a Counselor in Vermont?

The state of Vermont requires one more step before you can become licensed as a professional counselor, and this step consists of passing two examinations. This includes the National Counselor Examination (NCE), administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors, and the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) also administered by the NBCC.

The NCE is more of a general certification and the test consists of 200 multiple-choice questions which cover a general range of counseling topics. The NCMHCE is specifically for licensing clinical mental health counselors and focuses on a more specialized range of topics.

Note: For more information on how to become a counselor in Vermont, please visit the Vermont Office of Professional Regulation.

Counseling Career Outlook in Vermont

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were 600 mental health counselors employed in Vermont in May of 2011. They also counted 420 rehabilitation counselors and 360 substance abuse counselors. These professionals earned a median annual salary ranging from $39,990 to $41,770. The rate of pay for counselors in Vermont is dependent upon the location the counselor practices in as well as the amount of experience they have.

Schools with Degree Programs Accepting Students from Vermont

Additional Resources for Vermont Applicants: