How to Become a Licensed Professional Counselor in Louisiana

How Do I Become a Licensed Professional Counselor in Louisiana?

The Deep South State of Louisiana is the birthplace of jazz music and is home to the historical cities of Baton Rouge and New Orleans, as well as the home of Cajun and Creole cuisine. If you are interested in becoming a licensed professional counselor in Louisiana, you’ll have to contend with lower salaries for professionals in the counseling sector, but a great opportunity for cultural experiences in the state with such a rich history.

People who enjoy helping others and want to pursue studies in counseling and psychiatry in Louisiana will have several career paths open to them, such as a mental health counselor, marriage and family therapist, counseling or school psychologist, rehabilitation counselor or educational and career counselor. Keep reading for more information on how to become a licensed professional counselor in the state of Louisiana.

Educational Requirements to Become a Licensed Professional Counselor in Louisiana

Licensed professional counselors in Louisiana must complete a master’s degree program comprising at least 48 semester credit hours as well as 100 practicum hours and a 300-hour internship. Candidates also must seek certification from the Louisiana Licensed Professional Counselor Board of Examiners.

The counselor designations in Louisiana include Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor (PLPC), Provisional Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (PLMFT), Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT).

See the table below for more detailed information on educational requirements for a degree in counseling in Louisiana.

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

Working as a counselor will require around six years of education – four years for a bachelor’s degree in a field such as psychology or counseling. Then, you’ll want to apply to get a master’s degree in counseling, human services, mental health and wellness, or a similar degree program. Before you apply, make sure the school you want to attend is accredited through the CACREP, which accredits U.S. master’s and doctorate degree programs in counseling. There are several factors beyond accreditation to consider when you’re choosing a school, such as a school’s tuition rates and proximity to where you live, which can affect the value of your education.

In the state of Louisiana, you are required to take the National Certified Counselor (NCC) Exam prior to becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor. There is a downloadable version of the form registration. You will need to send your application the NBCC. When you send in the application, you must include by original transcripts. A $195 fee must be attached when you send this in. When you receive approval, you may start to schedule your exam.

Aspiring counselors also will need hours of professional practice in a clinical or healthcare setting working with patients under the supervision of a professional counselor – at least 2,000 hours for those seeking a master’s degree.

Which Type of Counselor Will You Become?

A professional counselor typically chooses a specialty, such as a school/academics, rehabilitation, substance abuse, mental health or marriage and family therapy.

Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists apply psychological principles and techniques to education disorders and developmental disorders to address student learning and behavioral problems; design and implement performance plans and evaluate performances; and counsel students and families.

Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors help students develop academic and social skills to succeed in life. Counselors typically have master’s degrees, and the average annual U.S. salary was $57,040 in 2019.

Marriage & Family leverage cognitive behavioral therapy to help their clients and typically work in private practice. The median annual salary for marriage and family therapists in the U.S. is $49,610 per year, but those who work for state government agencies can earn more at $72,230 per year.

Rehabilitation Counselors help people who have physical, mental, developmental and emotional disabilities. Demand for rehab counselors is expected to grow 10% from 2019 to 2029, and the median annual salary in the U.S. was $35,950 in 2019.

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors provide treatment and help patients who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction or behavioral disorders and typically are required to have a master’s degree.

Counseling Career Outlook and Licensed Counselor Salaries in Louisiana

The median household income in Louisiana for 2015-19 was $49,469, which is significantly lower than the national median household income of $62,843 for the same period. But keep in mind that the projected growth for counselors in the U.S. is 10% from the 10-year period ending in 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. And the job outlook for Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder and Mental Health Counselors and Marriage & Family Therapists nationally is more than 20% projected growth from 2019-29.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provided data for the annual salaries for Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists; Educational, Guidance and Career Counselors and Advisors; Marriage & Family Therapists; Rehabilitation Counselors; Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder and Mental Health Counselors; and Counselors, All Others in Louisiana, according to 2019 data. Counselors who are new to the practice are likely to start out at in the lowest 10% in each sector, and experienced counselors can hope to eventually rank in the top 10th percentile.

Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists:

Bottom 10%: $42,320

Annual Mean Salary: $96,040

Top 75%: $101,780

Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors:

Bottom 10%: $41,600

Annual Mean Salary: $55,500

Top 10%: $72,420

Marriage & Family Therapists:

Bottom 10%: $31,300

Annual Mean Salary: $45,260

Top 10%: $54,680

Rehabilitation Counselors:

Bottom 10%: $27,950

Annual Mean Salary: $48,460

Top 10%: $70,110

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors:

Bottom 10%: $23,120

Annual Mean Salary: $40,410

Top 10%: $61,540

Counselors, All Other:

Bottom 10%: $24,040

Annual Mean Salary: $38,300

Top 10%: $54,920

(Salary and job growth data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2019 for Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists; Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors; Marriage and Family Therapists; Rehabilitation Counselors; Substance Abuse, behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors; and Counselors, All Others. Figures represent national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Information accessed March 2021.)

Schools with Degree Programs Accepting Students from Louisiana

Additional Resources for Louisiana Applicants: