Becoming a Licensed Counselor in California: Requirements and Costs

If you're looking to become a licensed professional clinical counselor in California, you must first obtain a master's degree in counseling. This is the minimum requirement for licensure. For those wanting to work as a school counselor, a graduate program in school counseling is necessary. However, if you're looking to become a substance abuse counselor, certification can be obtained without a master's degree.

California rehabilitation counselors must first obtain an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor (APCC) certification. To become a licensed professional counselor in California, you must have graduated from a master's degree program in counseling with at least 60 semester hours of coursework. For more information about the licensing requirements and forms needed to apply, visit the website of the California Behavioral Science Board. After graduating and obtaining the supervised hours needed to become licensed, you must pass two exams: the National Mental Health Clinical Counseling Examination and the California Law and Ethics Exam. The Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California offers an online Master of Education in School Counseling for aspiring K-12 school counselors. Grief counselors are specially trained to help their clients deal with grief in a healthier way, allowing them to explore each stage in a safe and supportive environment. If you want to work as a licensed school counselor in California, you must enroll in a program that includes 48 semester hours and an internship with school-age children.

The PCCI must be supervised by an approved supervisor who has documented two years of licensed clinical experience such as a California LPCC, a licensed marriage and family therapist, a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed clinical psychologist, or a doctor certified in psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Career counselors can help others discover and achieve their career aspirations with their strong understanding of professional development and experience in counseling. Counselors licensed in other states who apply for the LPCC in California may have already met these requirements, so their process for obtaining a license will be accelerated. Once you have gained the required supervised professional experience, you will need to begin taking the accreditation exams. To be eligible for the LPSS license, you must pass the National Mental Health Clinical Counseling Examination, administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors.

Currently, there are no state certification or licensing requirements for applied behavior analysts in California.

Heath Teruel
Heath Teruel

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