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Education and training requirements for counselors are often very detailed and vary by State and specialty. Prospective counselors should check with State and local governments, employers, and national voluntary certification organizations to determine which requirements apply. Education and training. Education requirements vary based on occupational specialty and State licensure and certification requirements. A master's degree is usually required to be licensed as a counselor. Some States require counselors in public employment to have a master's degree; others accept a bachelor's degree with appropriate counseling courses. Counselor education programs in colleges and universities are often found in departments of education or psychology. Fields of study include college student affairs, elementary or secondary school counseling, education, gerontological counseling, marriage and family therapy, substance abuse counseling, rehabilitation counseling, agency or community counseling, clinical mental health counseling, career counseling, and related fields. Courses are often grouped into eight core areas: human growth and development, social and cultural diversity, relationships, group work, career development, assessment, research and program evaluation, and professional identity. In an accredited master's degree program, 48 to 60 semester hours of graduate study, including a period of supervised clinical experience in counseling, are required. Some employers provide training for newly hired counselors. Others may offer time off or tuition assistance to complete a graduate degree. Often counselors must participate in graduate studies, workshops, and personal studies to maintain their certificates and licenses. Licensure. Licensure requirements differ greatly by State, occupational specialty, and work setting. Many States require school counselors to hold a State school counseling certification and to have completed at least some graduate course work; most require the completion of a master's degree. Some States require school counselors to be licensed, which generally requires continuing education credits. Some States require public school counselors to have both counseling and teaching certificates and to have had some teaching experience. For counselors based outside of schools, 49 States and the District of Columbia have some form of counselor licensure that governs the practice of counseling. Requirements typically include the completion of a master's degree in counseling, the accumulation of 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience beyond the master's degree level, the passage of a State-recognized exam, adherence to ethical codes and standards, and the completion of annual continuing education requirements. However, counselors working in certain settings or in a particular specialty may face different licensure requirements. For example, a career counselor working in private practice may need a license, but a counselor working for a college career center may not. In addition, substance abuse and behavior disorder counselors are generally governed by a different State agency or board than other counselors. The criteria for their licensure vary greatly and in some cases, these counselors may only need a high school diploma and certification. Those interested in entering the field must research State and specialty requirements to determine what qualifications they must have. Other qualifications. People interested in counseling should have a strong desire to help others and should be able to inspire respect, trust, and confidence. They should be able to work independently or as part of a team. Counselors must follow the code of ethics associated with their respective certifications and licenses. Counselors must possess high physical and emotional energy to handle the array of problems that they address. Dealing daily with these problems can cause stress. Certification and advancement. Some counselors elect to be certified by the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc., which grants a general practice credential of National Certified Counselor. To be certified, a counselor must hold a master's degree with a concentration in counseling from a regionally accredited college or university; have at least 2 years of supervised field experience in a counseling setting (graduates from counselor education programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs are exempted); provide two professional endorsements, one of which must be from a recent supervisor; and must have a passing score on the board's examination. This national certification is voluntary and is distinct from State licensing. However, in some States, those who pass the national exam are exempted from taking a State certification exam. The board also offers specialty certifications in school, clinical mental health, and addiction counseling. These specialty certifications require passage of a supplemental exam. To maintain their certifications, counselors retake and pass the exam or complete 100 credit hours of acceptable continuing education every 5 years. The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification offers voluntary national certification for rehabilitation counselors. Many State and local governments and other employers require rehabilitation counselors to have this certification. To become certified, rehabilitation counselors usually must graduate from an accredited educational program, complete an internship, and pass a written examination. Certification requirements vary, however, according to an applicant's educational history. Employment experience, for example, is required for those with a counseling degree in a specialty other than rehabilitation. To maintain their certification, counselors must successfully retake the certification exam or complete 100 credit hours of acceptable continuing education every 5 years. Other counseling organizations also offer certification in particular counseling specialties. Usually, becoming certified is voluntary, but having certification may enhance job prospects. Prospects for advancement vary by counseling field. School counselors can become directors or supervisors of counseling, guidance, or pupil personnel services; or, usually with further graduate education, become counselor educators, counseling psychologists, or school administrators. (psychologists and education administrators are covered elsewhere in the Handbook.) Some counselors choose to work for a State's department of education. Some marriage and family therapists, especially those with doctorates in family therapy, become supervisors, teachers, researchers, or advanced clinicians in the discipline. Counselors may also become supervisors or administrators in their agencies. Some counselors move into research, consulting, or college teaching or go into private or group practice. Some may choose to pursue a doctoral degree to improve their chances for advancement. For the source and more detailed information concerning your request, click on the related links section (U.S. Department of Labor) indicated below.

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The associates can lead to the bachelors degree, and the bachelors to the masters which would be the minimum requirement for a variety of counseling positions. However, for some a doctorate would be necessary. Read the following carefully and follow through on the link provided below this answer box. You should meet with the career counselor at the college you attend for appropriate direction particular to your intended counseling specialty.

Education and training requirements for counselors are often very detailed and vary by State and specialty. Prospective counselors should check with State and local governments, employers, and national voluntary certification organizations to determine which requirements apply. Education and training. Education requirements vary based on occupational specialty and State licensure and certification requirements. A master's degree is usually required to be licensed as a counselor. Some States require counselors in public employment to have a master's degree; others accept a bachelor's degree with appropriate counseling courses. Counselor education programs in colleges and universities are often found in departments of education or psychology. Fields of study include college student affairs, elementary or secondary school counseling, education, gerontological counseling, marriage and family therapy, substance abuse counseling, rehabilitation counseling, agency or community counseling, clinical mental health counseling, career counseling, and related fields. Courses are often grouped into eight core areas: human growth and development, social and cultural diversity, relationships, group work, career development, assessment, research and program evaluation, and professional identity. In an accredited master's degree program, 48 to 60 semester hours of graduate study, including a period of supervised clinical experience in counseling, are required. Some employers provide training for newly hired counselors. Others may offer time off or tuition assistance to complete a graduate degree. Often counselors must participate in graduate studies, workshops, and personal studies to maintain their certificates and licenses. Licensure. Licensure requirements differ greatly by State, occupational specialty, and work setting. Many States require school counselors to hold a State school counseling certification and to have completed at least some graduate course work; most require the completion of a master's degree. Some States require school counselors to be licensed, which generally requires continuing education credits. Some States require public school counselors to have both counseling and teaching certificates and to have had some teaching experience. For counselors based outside of schools, 49 States and the District of Columbia have some form of counselor licensure that governs the practice of counseling. Requirements typically include the completion of a master's degree in counseling, the accumulation of 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience beyond the master's degree level, the passage of a State-recognized exam, adherence to ethical codes and standards, and the completion of annual continuing education requirements. However, counselors working in certain settings or in a particular specialty may face different licensure requirements. For example, a career counselor working in private practice may need a license, but a counselor working for a college career center may not. In addition, substance abuse and behavior disorder counselors are generally governed by a different State agency or board than other counselors. The criteria for their licensure vary greatly and in some cases, these counselors may only need a high school diploma and certification. Those interested in entering the field must research State and specialty requirements to determine what qualifications they must have. Other qualifications. People interested in counseling should have a strong desire to help others and should be able to inspire respect, trust, and confidence. They should be able to work independently or as part of a team. Counselors must follow the code of ethics associated with their respective certifications and licenses. Counselors must possess high physical and emotional energy to handle the array of problems that they address. Dealing daily with these problems can cause stress. Certification and advancement. Some counselors elect to be certified by the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc., which grants a general practice credential of National Certified Counselor. To be certified, a counselor must hold a master's degree with a concentration in counseling from a regionally accredited college or university; have at least 2 years of supervised field experience in a counseling setting (graduates from counselor education programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs are exempted); provide two professional endorsements, one of which must be from a recent supervisor; and must have a passing score on the board's examination. This national certification is voluntary and is distinct from State licensing. However, in some States, those who pass the national exam are exempted from taking a State certification exam. The board also offers specialty certifications in school, clinical mental health, and addiction counseling. These specialty certifications require passage of a supplemental exam. To maintain their certifications, counselors retake and pass the exam or complete 100 credit hours of acceptable continuing education every 5 years. The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification offers voluntary national certification for rehabilitation counselors. Many State and local governments and other employers require rehabilitation counselors to have this certification. To become certified, rehabilitation counselors usually must graduate from an accredited educational program, complete an internship, and pass a written examination. Certification requirements vary, however, according to an applicant's educational history. Employment experience, for example, is required for those with a counseling degree in a specialty other than rehabilitation. To maintain their certification, counselors must successfully retake the certification exam or complete 100 credit hours of acceptable continuing education every 5 years. Other counseling organizations also offer certification in particular counseling specialties. Usually, becoming certified is voluntary, but having certification may enhance job prospects. Prospects for advancement vary by counseling field. School counselors can become directors or supervisors of counseling, guidance, or pupil personnel services; or, usually with further graduate education, become counselor educators, counseling psychologists, or school administrators. (psychologists and education administrators are covered elsewhere in the Handbook.) Some counselors choose to work for a State's department of education. Some marriage and family therapists, especially those with doctorates in family therapy, become supervisors, teachers, researchers, or advanced clinicians in the discipline. Counselors may also become supervisors or administrators in their agencies. Some counselors move into research, consulting, or college teaching or go into private or group practice. Some may choose to pursue a doctoral degree to improve their chances for advancement.

For the source and more detailed information concerning this request, click on the related links section (U.S. Department of Labor) indicated below this answer box.

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