How to Become a Licensed Professional Counselor in Connecticut
The state of Connecticut is a wonderful place to learn and practice counseling. The Connecticut Department of Labor estimates that the counseling industry will grow more than 17 percent through the year 2020, which is higher than average for all other occupations. Counseling is a great career choice for compassionate and caring individuals with the desire to help others, and with 15 accredited counseling schools, Connecticut offers up several great options.
Education Requirements to Become a Counselor in Connecticut
State laws in Connecticut require individuals to earn at least a Master’s degree in counseling or a closely related field from a regionally accredited institution. Those programs that are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP) are considered excellent choices. The program must be composed of at least 60 graduate semester hours and must fully comply with Connecticut laws.
|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|
Supervised Professional Practice Requirements
After you have obtained your Master’s degree in counseling, you must accumulate at least 3,000 hours of post-graduate supervised experience. This experience must be completed over a period of not less than one year and should include 100 hours of direct supervision. The supervisor must be a licensed physician certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, a licensed psychologist, a licensed registered nurse certified as a clinical specialist in adult psychiatric and mental health nursing, a licensed professional counselor or a licensed marital and family therapist. This experience will serve you throughout your career and will prepare you for a variety of scenarios with patients.
Examination Requirements to Become a Counselor in Connecticut
Before obtaining a counseling license in Connecticut, candidates must obtain a passing score on the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) – both of which are administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). Both of these examinations are multiple-choice tests designed to measure your knowledge of counseling practices, theories, and implementations as well as some ethics topics.
Becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor in Connecticut
After you have completed the previous requirements as outlined in Connecticut’s laws and statutes, you must submit an application for licensure to the Connecticut Department of Public Health. You should include the $315 application fee and may need to meet other qualifications, such as submitting to a background check. Upon approval, the DPH will issue a license which must be renewed on a regular basis in order to maintain validity.
Note: To learn more about the process for obtaining licensure, please visit the Department of Public Health website.
Salary and Occupation Information for Counselors in Connecticut
Data is collected regularly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on various jobs, including counseling jobs in the state of Connecticut. As of May 2012, there were 1,700 substance abuse counselors, 3,440 educational counselors, 1,620 mental health counselors and 2,860 rehabilitation counselors employed within the state. These professionals earned annual median salaries of between $40,230 and $56,720. There are many variables that affect the actual salary a counselor will earn, including their location within the state, their experience and more.