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Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado

Higher Education Articles August 22, 2013

If you are interested in the career outlook of professional counseling in Colorado, then it is important to become acquainted with the state’s own standards as regards to licensure. This process requires education, examination and supervised hands-on training. Once this part of the career path is completed, it’s off to the Division of Professions and Occupations. Before you actually go in for testing, you will be working and gaining invaluable experience as a Professional Counselor Candidate.

What is the Minimum Education Required?

Colorado has strict requirements in this field, either a doctoral level degree or a master’s degree. Furthermore, the study program must be accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs or be the equivalent of such an achievement. The Board determines equivalency and the school’s program are considered on an individual basis. Specifics, such as a fulltime faculty, a group of students and an evaluation process are also required. Master degree programs should meet the state standard for semester hours and fieldwork.

One of the most important aspects of Colorado is that they require supervised training in order to give you a license. This is direct supervision and 1,000 hours in post master’s work. If you have a Ph.D., you need at least 2,000 hours. These can be spread over one year or two years, respectively. The supervisor can change and be anyone from a counselor to a social worker, psychologist or supervisors. You may have more than one throughout the time period. Note that not all 1,000 hours have to be directly supervised. Instead, only 50 out of 1,000 hours has to be supervised, with 35 hours face-to-face. Documentation is needed, which is the verification of all training experience. Lastly, an exam from the National Counselor Examination and the National Board for Certified Counselors must be taken.

What if You are Moving to Colorado?

If you are coming from out of state, then you must apply for Colorado licensure. You will need to have the equivalents or a master’s or doctorate degree from an accredited school. Experience requires at least two years of schooling beyond a master’s degree or one year beyond a doctorate degree. Another way to qualify would be presenting proof of your minimum working hours per week from your previous job, and preferably without large gaps.

Lastly, you must be in good standing legally and not be accused of any malpractice claims or pending cases. There is also an examination required to verify your competency as a working physician in accordance with Colorado state law. It’s easy to see that Colorado takes this profession extremely seriously, and even in comparison to other important professions that are still less centered on mental well-being. Colorado has a truly efficient social community and green-friendly approach to life. A counselor in Colorado must be ready to uphold the ideals of the community. For more on your options, look at the schools below to find an accredited course!

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