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, home to the historical cities of Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and a hot spot for Cajun and Creole cuisine. It’s also a great place to kickstart a career in counseling.

A career in counseling comes with fantastic personal satisfaction and plenty of professional rewards, as well as exciting opportunities to focus your practice on a wide array of specialties, including couples counseling, domestic violence counseling, pediatric counseling, geriatric counseling, grief counseling, and much more.

Learning how to become a counselor in Louisiana starts with understanding the education, experience, and licensing requirements set forth by the Louisiana Licensed Professional Counselor Board of Examiners.

Educational Requirements to Become a Licensed Professional Counselor in Louisiana

Your first step to becoming a licensed professional counselor in Louisiana begins with the completion of a master’s or doctoral degree in professional mental health counseling. The program must include at least 60 semester hours and must include a supervised mental health practicum, a supervised internship in mental health counseling, and study in the following eight content areas:

  • Counseling/psychotherapy theories of personality
  • Human growth and development
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Techniques of counseling/psychotherapy
  • Group dynamics, processes, and counseling/psychotherapy
  • Lifestyle and career development
  • Appraisal of individuals
  • Ethics and professional orientation

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

An increasing number of graduate programs in counseling are now offered in a hybrid and/or online format to accommodate students with busy, professional lives or those with geographical limitations. Offering both convenience and flexibility, an online master’s degree in counseling features the same, high-quality educational experience as an on-campus program but without the demands on in-person classes.

Find graduate counseling programs in Louisiana.

Once you complete an approved graduate program in counseling, you’ll apply with the Board to become a Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor (PLPC). Your time as a PLPC will be spent accruing the supervised experience hours necessary to earn licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

You’ll need to complete at least 3,000 hours of post-master’s experience in professional mental health counseling under the supervision under the clinical supervision of a Board-approved supervisor during a period of at least two years but no more than six years. Of the required experience hours, at least 1,900 of those hours must be in direct counseling/psychotherapeutic services involving individuals, couples, families, or groups, and at least 1,000 hours must be include indirect client contact. At least 100 hours must include face-to-face supervision hours.

You must also take and pass 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).

Apply to take the NCE or NCMHCE exam.

Once you have satisfied the supervised experience requirements and have passed either the NCE or NCMHCE exam, you can apply to become a Licensed Professional Counselor in Louisiana.

Which Type of Counselor Will You Become?

As you familiarize yourself with how to become a counselor in Louisiana, you’ll also find that this profession comes with plenty of options for specializing. A career in counseling may feature a focus on everything from vocational rehabilitation to suicide intervention to substance abuse to spirituality.

You may be interested in learning more about similar careers and their earning power in Louisiana:

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. Louisiana’s clinical, counseling, and school psychologists, who must hold a PhD or PsyD, earned a median salary of $87,300 as of May 2020. Learn how to become a psychologist in Louisiana.

Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors help students develop academic and social skills to succeed in life. In Louisiana, they earned a median salary of $56,570 as of May 2020 and a top salary (90thpercentile) of about $72,380.

Marriage & Family Therapists leverage cognitive behavioral therapy to help their clients and typically work in private practice. As of May 2020, Louisiana’s marriage and family therapists earned a median salary of $37,150, while the most experience and established pros (90th percentile) earned about $42,440 during this time. Learn how to become a marriage and family therapist in Louisiana.

Counseling Career Outlook and Licensed Counselor Salaries in Louisiana

As of May 2020, substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in Louisiana earned a median salary of $35,530. Those fairly new to the profession earn salaries that closely reflect the 25th percentile, which was $28,610, while established and highly experienced counselors here earn salaries that reflect the 90th percentile, which was $59,320.

Rehabilitation counselors in Louisiana, who help people with physical, mental, developmental, and emotional disabilities, earned a median salary of $45,160 as of May 2020, while those at the top of the pay scale (90thpercentile) earned about $69,610 during this time.

All other counselors in Louisiana earned a median salary of $37,130 as of May 2020 and a top (90th percentile) salary of $55,000.

Schools with Degree Programs Accepting Students from Louisiana

Additional Resources for Louisiana Applicants

May 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and job market trends for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors, rehabilitation counselors, counselors, all other, marriage and family therapists, educational, guidance and career counselors and advisors, and clinical, counseling and school psychologists. Figures represent state data, not school specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed May 2021.