How to Become a Licensed Professional Counselor in Illinois

How Do I Become a Licensed Professional Counselor in Illinois?

The state of Illinois had two different levels of licensing; Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, also known as LCPC and Licensed Professional Counselor, also known as LPC. To become an LCPC, you will need to gradually work yourself up and complete any extra exams. You will need to make sure you reach the right credentials and pass all of your exams. You also must meet the minimum degree level. For the state of the Illinois, the minimum degree is a Master’s Degree. Doctoral Degrees are accepted as well.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Counselor in Illinois?

You will need to hold a Master’s Degree or a Doctoral level Degree in counseling or a related field to be considered in the state of Illinois. In the state of Illinois, it is a little different from most states, you will not need to have graduated from an accredited program to be considered, but it will make things simpler if you did. If you were enrolled in a program that was CORE and CACREP accredited, you have met the requirements. It is required to ensure you have reached the minimum hours of supervised experience.

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

You must have studied each of the course content:

  • Counseling Technique
  • Counseling Theories
  • Research/Evaluation
  • Human Growth/Development
  • Group Dynamics, counseling, and processing
  • Professional, legal responsibilities, and ethical
  • Social/cultural foundations
  • Maladaptive behavior/Psychiatric Illness
  • Substance Abuse
  • Family Dynamics

It is required to have an internship or practicum. Correspondence or individual study might not be used follow the core requirements. If an individual had any academic deficiencies, they can meet them by attending further education classes/programs.

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

You will need to be supervised for two years in order to earn advanced licensing. There must be a minimum of 960 hours of direct, face-to-face counseling with different clients. This type of experience must be finished in a minimum of 48 weeks.

If you hold a Master’s degree, you must complete all degree requirements prior to earning supervised experience credit. If you hold a Doctoral degree, you may count a maximum of one year of experience earned while completing an internship towards the supervised experience requirement.

If the supervised experience was completed in Illinois, the professional supervisor has to be licensed as one of the following: Psychiatrist, Clinical Social Worker, or Clinical Psychologist. If you completed your supervised experience somewhere outside of Illinois, the experience may be transferable.

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

When you are about to go through the examination to be an LCPC, it will be a similar process as it was for the LPC examination.

When you go to apply for the LCPC, you will need to fill out the application on paper or even via the internet. The following documentation is required:

  • Transcripts, including the school seal
  • Proof of certification
  • Verification of experience/employment

The following information may also be required:

  • License Verification
  • Academic Criteria Document
  • Certification of Education

Counselor Career Outlook In Illinois

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for a counselor in Illinois as of 2022 was $54,840, which works out to $26.36 an hour.

With some 12,260 substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors working throughout Illinois that year, you can be sure that jobs and opportunities for specialization are diverse in the field. This means that salaries for counselors in Illinois can differ according to area of practice, and location.

Schools with Degree Programs Accepting Students from Illinois

Additional Resources for Illinois Applicants:

2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics 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 July 2023.