Counselor Licensing Requirements in Pennsylvania
Counselor Licensing Requirements in Pennsylvania have been outlined on this page in order for you to be adequately prepared as you pursue your Licensed Professional Counselor status. We want to make sure that you have valuable information about Counselor Licensing Requirements in Pennsylvania. The information that follows should offer you a helpful overview and contact information for facilitating you in gaining licensure.
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Master’s level counselors and therapists in multiple specialties are credentialed as Licensed Professional Counselors, or LPCs, by the Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers, Marriage & Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors.
Professional licensure in Pennsylvania requires good character, passing scores on a certification examination, and satisfactory supervised work experience.
The information below serves as a helpful guide to counseling licensure in PA. If you have any questions about LPC requirements in Pennsylvania along the way or just want to make sure you are remaining firmly on the right path, contact the Pennsylvania Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors by calling (717) 783-1389.
Pennsylvania Counselor Credential Titles
Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
Pennsylvania Counselor Educational Requirements
Successful completion of a planned program of 60 semester hours (or 90 quarter hours) of graduate coursework in counseling or a field closely related to the practice of professional counseling, including a 48 semester hour (or 72 quarter hour) master’s degree in professional counseling or in a field closely related to the practice of professional counseling.
Doctoral degree in counseling or in a field closely related to the practice of professional counseling.
AND for both:
Completion of coursework in 9 core areas including a supervised practicum (100 hours) and internship (600 hours). The supervised internship experience shall begin after completion of the supervised practicum experience.
Pennsylvania Counselor Experiential Requirements
3 years/3,600 hours of supervised clinical experience after completing 48 graduate-level credits (or 72 quarter hours). (Have to complete at least 600 hours a year and no more than 1,800 a year)
If obtained a doctoral degree in counseling: 2 years/2,400 hours of supervised clinical experience. 1 year/ 1,200 hours must be obtained post-degree.
Supervision must be provided by a qualified supervisor. At least 1,800 hours must be completed under an LPC that has 5 years of experience within the last 10 years as a professional counselor. There should be 2 hours of supervision for every 40 hours of client hours.
The remaining hours may be completed under an individual that holds a license and has at least a master’s degree in a related field and 5 years of experience within the last 10 years in that field.
Pennsylvania Counseling Exams Required
Any ONE of the following: NCE, CRCE, ATCB, CBMT, PEPK, AAODA, EMAC
Pennsylvania Requirements for Clinical Supervisors
Licensed as a professional counselor with 5 years of experience within the last 10 years as a professional counselor OR hold a license and have at least a master’s degree in a related field and 5 years of experience within the last 10 years in that field.
Pennsylvania Requirements for Out of State Applicants
The board shall have the power to grant a reciprocal license to an applicant who is licensed or certified as a social worker, clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist or professional counselor in another state and has demonstrated qualifications which equal or exceed those required pursuant to this act in the determination of the board, provided that no license shall be granted under this section to an applicant unless the state in which the applicant is licensed affords reciprocal treatment to persons who are residents of this Commonwealth and who are licensed pursuant to this act.
Pennsylvania Scope of Practice
“PRACTICE OF PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING” includes all of the following:
a. The application of principles and practices of counseling, mental health and human development to evaluate and facilitate human growth and adjustment throughout the life span and to prevent and treat mental, emotional or behavioral disorders and associated stresses which interfere with mental health and normal human growth and development.
b. The evaluation and assessment of normal and abnormal mental, emotional, social, educational, vocational, family and behavioral functioning throughout the life span; individual, group, family counseling and psychotherapy; crisis intervention, career counseling and educational and vocational counseling; functional assessment of persons with disabilities; and professional consulting.
c. Professional counselors’ utilization of verbal and nonverbal approaches and specialization in the use of arts-based therapeutic approaches, such as art, dance, music or drama, to accomplish treatment objectives.
Pennsylvania Counselor Salary Overview
In the state of Pennsylvania, counselors are rewarded well for their hard work and dedication to helping those in their communities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a general counselor in Pennsylvania takes home between $38,610 and $69,420 each year.
Now that you are familiar with the counselor licensing requirements in Pennsylvania, visit our How to Become a Counselor in Pennsylvania 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 Counselor Licensure in Pennsylvania
PA State Board of Social Workers, Marriage & Family Therapists and Professional Counselors
P.O Box 2649
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649
Application and Initial License fee: $45
You may contact the State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors by calling (717) 783-1389.
You may request a written copy of the rules and regulations from the Pennsylvania board.
Sources: https://govt.westlaw.com, http://www.dos.pa.gov/