Counselor Licensing Requirements in North Carolina
We want to make sure that you have helpful information to guide you on your path toward becoming a North Carolina Licensed Professional Counselor by accomplishing counseling licensing requirements in the state of North Carolina. If at any time you need additional information, feel free to contact the North Carolina Board of Professional Counselors.
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There are a few different levels of licensing that the state of North Carolina has to offer professional counselors. Once you have completed your academic and testing requirements and turned in the proper documents, you are going to be credentialed as a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPCA).
After you have finished your overseen practice requirement and the appropriate jurisprudence examination, you can move up to a Licensed Professional Counselor.
If it interests you, you are allowed to complete additional training later in your career to become a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor. Once you are a LPCS, you will be able to assist counselors who are in the early stages of their counseling career, among other things.
The information that follows offers a guideline for requirements for licensure as an LPC or LPAC in North Carolina. If needing to make sure that you are on the right path, or in case you have any questions, feel free to contact the North Carolina Board of Professional Counselors.
North Carolina Counselor Credential Titles
Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPCA)
Individuals who are pursuing the LPC license but still need to complete the supervised professional practice experience requirements.
Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (LPCS)
North Carolina Counselor Educational Requirements
For applicants after 03/01/16, a master’s degree in counseling or related field from an institution of higher education that is either regionally accredited or accredited by an organization both recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and accredited by CACREP.
Applicant must meet one of the following criteria:
a. If the applicant enrolled in the master’s program before July 1, 2009, a minimum of 48 semester hours or a minimum of 72 quarter credit hours.
b. If the applicant enrolled in the master’s program before July 1, 2013, but after June 30, 2009, a minimum of 54 semester hours or 81 quarter credit hours.
c. If the applicant enrolled in the master’s program after June 30, 2013, a minimum of 60 semester hours or 90 quarter credit hours.
*Applicants after 7/1/2022 must hold a master’s degree from a CACREP-accredited program.
North Carolina Counselor Experiential Requirements
3,000 hours of supervised professional practice; 2,000 hours must be direct counseling.
No hours can be applied from the practicum/internship.
Experience shall be gained at a rate of no more than 40 hours per week.
100 hours of clinical supervision required. 75 hours must be individual supervision.
Must have a minimum of 1 hour of individual or 2 hours of group clinical supervision for every 40 hours of professional practice.
Supervision shall be based on live observation, co-therapy, audio and video recordings, and live supervision.
Supervisor must be approved by the board.
North Carolina Counseling Exams Required
LPC/LPCA NCE, NCMHCE, or CRCE and NC jurisprudence exam LPCA NCE, NCMHCE, or CRCE
North Carolina Requirements for Clinical Supervisors
A “qualified clinical supervisor” is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) with the following:
a. an independent license that is not under supervision;
b. the equivalent of 3 semester graduate credits in clinical supervision from a regionally accredited institution of higher education as documented by an official transcript or 45 contact hours of continuing education in clinical supervision
c. and a minimum of five years of post-graduate counseling experience with a minimum of two years of post-licensure experience; or An equivalently and actively licensed mental health professional of this Rule.
As of July 1, 2017, all qualified clinical supervisors shall hold the credential of licensed professional counselor supervisor or be a licensed professional counselor or an equivalently and actively licensed mental health professional.
North Carolina Requirements for Out of State Applicants
The NCBLPC has no reciprocal agreement with any other state counseling board. If an applicant is licensed to practice counseling by a Board in another state, the applicant shall apply for licensure with the North Carolina Board and shall meet the following requirements:
(1) shall have a minimum of five years of full time counseling experience, or eight years of part time counseling experience, or a combination of full time and part time counseling experience equivalent to five years of full time counseling experience, within 10 years directly prior to application;
(2) shall have a minimum of 2500 hours of direct client contact;
(3) shall have an active independent license that does not require supervision, and be in good standing as a licensed professional counselor in another state for a minimum of two years directly prior to application; and
(4) shall comply with all other applicable rules for licensure as a licensed professional counselor.
North Carolina Scope of Practice
“PRACTICE OF COUNSELING” means holding oneself out to the public as a professional counselor offering counseling services that include, but are not limited to, the following:
a. Counseling. –Assisting individuals, groups, and families through the counseling relationship by evaluating and treating mental disorders and other conditions through the use of a combination of clinical mental health and human development principles, methods, diagnostic procedures, treatment plans, and other psychotherapeutic techniques, to develop an understanding of personal problems, to define goals, and to plan action reflecting the client’s interests, abilities, aptitudes, and mental health needs as these are related to personal-social-emotional concerns, educational progress, and occupations and careers.
b. Appraisal Activities. –Administering and interpreting tests for assessment of personal characteristics.
c. Consulting. –Interpreting scientific data and providing guidance and personnel services to individuals, groups, or organizations.
d. Referral Activities. –Identifying problems requiring referral to other specialists.
e. Research Activities. –Designing, conducting, and interpreting research with human subjects.
Salary Outlook for North Carolina Counselors
In the state of North Carolina, people believe that hard works pays off and that those who put in the hours to master their craft will ultimately be rewarded. The same can be said about the counselors in the state, as well. Every year, counselors in the state go to work to better their communities and those that inhabit them, and it really pays off. In North Carolina, a general counselor will earn anywhere between $35,340 and $57,790, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Now that you are familiar with the counselor licensing requirements in North Carolina, visit our How to Become a Counselor in North Carolina 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 North Carolina
Board decisions are sent by mail and cannot be shared over the telephone. You may contact the North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors by calling (844) 622-3572 or (336) 217-6007 or using any of the email addresses on the contact page. The Board recommends that you first attempt to find information needed on the website.
You may also want to explore joining a professional organization as a student or at any time during the licensure process. The North Carolina Counseling Association and the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of North Carolina are both worthwhile.
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