We want to provide you a solid overview of how to become a counselor in Alabama so that you can be fully prepared and knowledgeable.
Gaining credentials in Alabama to work as Licensed Professional Counselor will require a minimum of a Master’s degree. Working properly as an Alabama school counselor will also require a substantial education at the graduate school level.
Choosing the correct counseling path involves some solid decision-making and some choices along the way for specialties. We have compiled some useful information here to empower you considerably on your path.
Future Counselor: For Student in Alabama High School or Alabama High School Graduate
Your First Step:
During your student years of high school, make sure that you have strong grades. Make sure that you also excel during your undergraduate years. You have the freedom to choose your undergraduate major, but majors that involve the helping professions are recommended and prove advantageous because they are directly related to the occupation and often experientially-based. Those interested in school counseling are advised to major in education. Find the area in which you would like to work and choose your counseling specialty accordingly.
Psychology and Social Work are two logical choices for students focused on graduate level counseling programs.
Your Second Step:
Experience with related work experience or volunteering will enhance your application to make it more competitive. Consider treatment centers, crisis centers, and shelters to provide you viable opportunities to perform counseling work as a volunteer.
Bachelor’s Degree College Graduates
(CACREP – The Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs). Rehabilitation counseling programs are usually accredited by CORE (The Council on Rehabilitation Education).
- Make sure that you learn about graduate counseling programs in a comprehensive manner and in advance of application due dates.
- When your interest is professional counseling, make sure that you select programs that are accredited through the CACREP or CORE (mentioned above) or something very comparable.
- School counseling programs will involve looking for Master’s programs with approval by the Alabama State Board of Education. These programs will involve a practicum of a minimum of 30 hours and an internship of a minimum 300 hours.
- Make sure that your program consists of at least a total of 48 semester hours. The approved program should encompass: a 100 hour practicum; 600 hour internship; and coursework in eight mandatory content areas.
Second: Adhere to all requirements for admission. This will likely involve completing the GRE or MAT tests. Sometimes you have the choice of pursuing elective courses via the counseling department prior to formal admission taking place.
Third: You must satisfy coursework requirements and all field experience requirements. Make sure that you earn the best grades possible and establish solid references.
Consider establishing student membership through the Alabama Counseling Association. Professional networking can truly benefit your later career.
Fourth: You will initially be licensed as a Licensed Associate Counselor. Procure your application materials (including two reference forms) through the Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling.
Fifth: In gaining licensure to work as LPC, you must satisfy 3,000 hours of supervised work. Those who have additional counseling coursework beyond the Master’s coursework are able to reduce their requirement for supervised work experience.
Make sure that your experience and supervision properly adhere to state rules. (Make sure that you become aware of these rules prior to pursuing licensing as an associate.)
Sixth: You must succeed at the National Counselor Examination prior to gaining licensure as an LPC. The National Board for Certified Counselors coordinates this test.
Alabama Agencies for Counselor Licensing:
We wish you the best of success in your pursuit of becoming a counselor in Alabama.