Have you ever thought of what career path you will seek once you complete your training as an LPC or Licensed Professional Counselor? Sometimes students stop visualizing their career after the label of counselor. However, there are actually many avenues to choose from within this subsection of psychology. There are areas opened in industrial or military counseling, school counseling, academic counseling, or one-on-one practice.
First, consider what LPC training involves. This is a type of licensure for individuals planning to work in the mental health career, with a view towards therapy, not clinical study or research. In contrast, therapy tends to be more open and more client-centric rather than predetermining diagnoses and treatment plans. Counseling by definition refers to the techniques meant to help patients recover, resolve or accept negative emotions and thoughts, while focusing on assets, strengths, interactions and education.
Licensing Information for LPC
Some of these technicalities are determined by the state. For example, in some states, only the highest “tier” counselors can practice on an independent basis. In other states though, all licensed counselors can practice independently. However, some requirements must be fulfilled before a license is given and work commences. LPCs must gain clinical experience working under an approved supervisor and must also take an exam. There are actually a few selections of exams available, such as the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification, and the National Certified Mental Health Counselor Examination.
The question is how much schooling is required for a counseling position? Make no mistake; a counselor’s job is every bit as important as a doctor’s. The discipline and technique involved is slightly different. However, a doctorate level degree is expected in most cases. Know, however, that in some states, a master’s degree will suffice. Other requirements might include academic course work in subjects of behavior, assessment, counseling techniques and family dealings, as well as supervised experiences of about 300 clock hours.
Organizations of Note for Licensed Professional Counselors
Remember that when seeking a school for your undergraduate beginning program, always look for accredited institutions. The American Psychological Association is the main organization that accredits psychology curriculums, while counseling programs are accredited through the Counsel for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. The total time spent in school may be around four to seven years, and possibly longer if your internship lasts one year, and 3,000 hours of experience are required for licensing.
Yes, it is quite a career path to follow and will require lots of hard work. Still, this is one of the most exciting and socially relevant jobs in the industry and one of the highest-paying positions, if you can choose a specialty appropriate to your area.
Why not search for a school that can help you start your career right, with accredited school and with job programs set up while you’re still learning in class? Working your way towards higher education is not just a smart career move—it’s your family legacy and it all can be yours with a commitment to education.