Counselor Licensing Requirements in Illinois
We want to make it easier for you to figure out what it takes to accomplish all of the counselor licensing requirements in Illinois.
The state of Illinois has two separate levels of licensing, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). Initially, you are going to earn LPC status through education and examination. In order to become an LCPC, you must accumulate hours of work under supervision and pass a supplementary exam.
The information below for Counselor Licensing Requirements Illinois is a guide to the details of counseling licensure in Illinois. If you ever have any inquiries or would just like to ensure you are on the right track, give the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation a call at 1-800-560-6420.
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Illinois Counselor Credential Titles
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC)
Holds license authorizing independent practice of clinical professional counseling in private practice.
Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
Holds license authorizing the practice of professional counseling.
Illinois Counselor Educational Requirements
Master’s degree or higher in professional counseling or a related field from a regionally accredited college/university.
Hold a current Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) credential issued by NBCC (meets all requirements for licensure as an LCPC).
Note: Certain other certifications meet all or part of LPC or LCPC licensure requirements; please contact board for more information. LPC Master’s degree or higher in professional counseling or related field of at least 48 semester hours from a regionally accredited college/ university in a program approved bythe IL Dept. of Professional Regulation.
CACREP and CORE accredited programs in professional counseling are approved programs for both LPC and LCPC licensure.
Illinois Counselor Experiential Requirements
2 years/3,360 hours of full-time, satisfactory, supervised employment or experience working as a clinical professional counselor in a professional capacity under the direction of a qualified supervisor, subsequent to degree.
1,920 hours must be direct face-to-face service to clients.
One year = maximum of 1,680 hours, including 960 hours of direct face-to-face service to clients.
If applicant holds a doctoral degree, one year must be subsequent to the degree and internships may count towards professional experience.
Illinois Counselor Examinations
NCE and NCMHCE
ECCP or CRCE
NCE or CRCE
Illinois Requirements for Clinical Supervisors
Licensed as a clinical professional counselor, clinical social worker, clinical psychologist, or psychiatrist.
Illinois Requirements for Out of State Applicants
Beginning January 1, 2005, applicants applying for professional counselor licensure by endorsement must provide:
1.) Certification of education and an official transcript from a master’s or doctoral degree program in counseling, psychology, rehabilitation counseling, or similar degree program if approved OR certification of education and an official transcript from a baccalaureate program in human services or similar degree program approved by the Department and documentation of completion of 5 years of supervised professional experience;
2.) A complete work history since receipt of a qualifying degree for licensing;
3.) Successful completion of the professional counselor examination as required by Illinois;
4.) The required fee; and
5.) Certification, on forms provided by the Department, from the state or territory of the U.S. in which the applicant was originally licensed and the state in which the applicant is currently licensed, if applicable, stating: the time during which the applicant was licensed in that jurisdiction, including the date of the original issuance of the license, a description of the examination in that jurisdiction, and whether the file on the applicant contains any record of disciplinary actions taken or pending.
Scope of Practice
“CLINICAL PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING” means the provision of professional counseling and mental health services, which includes, but is not limited to, the application of clinical counseling theory and techniques to prevent and alleviate mental and emotional disorders and psychopathology and to promote optimal mental health, rehabilitation, treatment, testing, assessment, and evaluation. It also includes clinical counseling and psychotherapy in a professional relationship to assist individuals, couples, families, groups, and organizations to alleviate emotional disorders, to understand conscious and unconscious motivation, to resolve emotional, relationship, and attitudinal conflicts, and to modify behaviors that interfere with effective emotional, social, adaptive, and intellectual functioning.
“PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING” means the provision of services to individuals, couples, groups, families, and organizations in any one or more of the fields of professional counseling. Professional counseling includes, but is not limited to:
1.) Social, emotional, educational, and career testing and evaluation;
2.) a professional relationship between a counselor and a client in which the counselor provides assistance in coping with life issues that include relationships, conflicts, problem solving, decision making, and developmental concerns; and
3.) Research. Professional counseling may also include clinical professional counseling as long as it is not conducted in independent private practice as defined in this Act.
Illinois Counselor Salary Overview
In the state of Illinois, those who choose to pursue counseling find their career to be satisfying on multiple levels, and part of that has to do with their salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average counselor in Illinois earns a median salary between $37,270 and $82,310 per year.
Now that you are familiar with the counselor licensing requirements in Illinois, visit our How to Become a Counselor in Illinois page for a more detailed look into the steps you will need to take to make your dream of becoming a counselor a reality.
Additional Information about LPC Requirements in Illinois
IL Professional Counselor Licensing and Disciplinary Board
320 W. Washington Street,
Springfield, IL 62786
LCPC License: $150
LPC License: $150