We want to provide you a solid overview of how to become a counselor in Alaska so that you are fully prepared and can be successful.
In the state of Alaska, you are able to work in a counseling-related capacity without a complete graduateschool education, but in order to gain licensure as a professional counselor with full credentials, you must have at least a Master’s degree.
Throughout Alaska, most counselors are licensed by the Alaska Board of Professional Counselors. School counselors gain certification through the Department of Education and Early Development.
Future Counselor: For Student in Alaska High School or Alaska High School Graduate
Your First Step:
Make sure that you make the best grades you can as a high school student. When applying to colleges, some majors will carry more clout than others. When choosing an undergraduate major, it is wise to choose something very relevant in the helping fields, such as one of the following:
- Human Services
For students pursuing certification for working as a behavioral health counselor or chemical dependency counselor, they will eventually complete applications to the Alaska Board for Behavioral Health Certification. We recommend that while this pursuing this goal, one focus on earning a degree in a behavioral health/human services field such as addictions, human services, or sociology.
Your Second Step:
Volunteering can be a great way to gain essential counseling-related experience prior to applying to a professional counseling program. Look into viable programs in your area.
Bachelor’s Degree College Graduates
When preparing to apply through professional graduate programs, it will make you a very competitive candidate if you have in your profile the most solid resume, personal statement, and references. Directly relevant work, or significant experience with volunteering, will greatly enhance your candidacy. Volunteer at a crisis center, residential treatment center, social service agency, or a school.
- Make sure to enroll in a graduate program that is a minimum of 60 semester hours long if your goal is to gain licensure as a professional counselor (in mental health or a related field). For Master’s programs that are shorter, one is able to accomplish additional coursework to fill the gap.
- The school program must have accreditation through CACREP or be based within a school that has proper accreditation. If the graduate program is not properly accredited, or if the program is not in counseling, you should properly document that the program successfully adheres to coursework requirements.
To gain licensure as a professional counselor, one must successfully pass the National Counselor Examination, implemented through the National Board for Certified Counselors.
Professional counselor licensure will require supervised practice of at least two years.
The licensing process for LPC will also involve a criminal background check, as well as submission of appropriate letters of recommendation. You will need to state your professional experience (for the last five years) on the licensing form. If you have achieved licensure elsewhere, you will need to demonstrate license verification.
Professional Counselor Agencies in Alaska
We wish you the best of success in your pursuit of becoming a counselor in Alaska.