We want to provide you a solid overview of how to become a counselor in Arizona so that you are fully prepared and can be successful.
Working as a counselor in professional independent practice in Arizona will require the appropriate graduate school education. Several levels of licensure exist. Start thinking about areas of counseling that would appeal to you.
Future Counselor: For Student in Arizona High School Student or Arizona High School Graduate
Your First Step:
Choose the degree emphasis of counseling that that makes the most sense for you and earn the highest grades possible. Many graduate schools will require a minimum GPA. Do the best you can as an undergraduate, as the counseling field is extremely competitive.
Choosing a psychology or social work, or something similar, as an undergraduate, is a logical path for students focused on pursuing a counseling graduate degree.
If your interest is in the realm of counseling for substance abuse, you could pursue a behavioral science oriented program as an undergraduate. Arizona will provide licenses to Associates and Bachelor’s degree workers to work in the capacity of associate counselor or substance abuse technician.
Your Second Step:
Gaining admission to a graduate program will be easier with related professional experiences in your background. Dive into viable volunteer opportunities or paid work projects that are in the field of counseling or something closely related.
Bachelor’s Degree College Graduates
- Start your research on graduate programs in line with your interests. Varying counseling specialties have diverging requirements, and some students may choose to accomplish dual licensing. Look into your options and decide what is best for you.
- Becoming licensed as an Independent Substance Abuse Counselor will require that you pursue a graduate program that encompasses at least 24 semester hours of counseling. (Up to three of the semester hours of the requirement can be aside from the formal Master’s program.)
- To work the role of school guidance counselor (Pre-K – 12), a student should properly pursue education through a counseling graduate program. Usually the program will involve a practicum.
- Becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor requires a school program that encompasses a minimum of sixty coursework hours (total). Degree programs that have accreditation through CORE, or CACREP, will be considered formally approved.
Those in pursuit of school counseling credentials do not have the exam requirement.
Rehabilitation counselors are able to take a certification test via CORE. Professional counselors usually must complete the National Counselor Examination, implemented through the NBCC.
- Those with a focus on working as an independent substance abuse counselor (at an independent level) must work while being supervised for a minimum of 24 months while accruing a minimum of 3,200 experience hours.
Professional counselor full licensure will require what amounts to full-time related work of two complete years in the field. Those pursuing a doctoral counseling program are allowed to parlay their clinical internship toward counting for a full year’s worth of experience. While licensed at the capacity of associate counselor, your supervisor determine the quality of your performance for licensing.
Successful completion of the entire admissions paperwork. The Arizona Department of Education will certify school counselors. You must send in a card for fingerprint clearance (in addition to verifying experience and submitting transcripts).
Arizona Counseling Agencies
We wish you the best of success in your pursuit of becoming a counselor in Arizona.