How to Become a Counselor in Colorado

How to Become a Counselor in ColoradoIf you are interested in how to become a Colorado counselor, make sure that you meet all requirements as formally set forth in order to practice effectively.

Colorado offers licenses for counselors at the Master’s level in multiple areas. If one is seeking a school counselor license, one should become familiar with the Colorado Department of Education. For those who seek licensing as a professional counselor, the State Board of Licensed Professional Counselors is your source of information. The State Board of Addiction Counselors Examiners is in the business of granting the appropriate licenses and certifications for counselors working in the field of addictions.

For more information on Mental Health Counseling Organizations, please click here.

Future Counselor: For Colorado High School Student or Graduate:

Your First Step:

When deciding on an undergraduate major, we recommend choosing something highly relevant in the helping fields such as Psychology, Social Work, or Counseling. This will often give you a competitive advantage in terms of internships and/or employment.

If your interest is counseling in the field of addictions, you will want to strongly consider a degree that is oriented toward the science of behavioral health. One should always strongly consider gaining the most advanced degrees possible to give yourself the most opportunities now and in the future.

Your Second Step:

Make sure that you maintain the strongest GPA possible for the competitive nature of graduate programs.

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).

First:

Look into school requirements in advance. Find out about specific programs and what they require. Find out if you need to get some solid experience in the form of work and volunteering.

Second:

Strongly consider programs that hold CACREP-accreditation or something that is directly comparable. Requirements in Colorado state that programs meet the minimum of forty-eight semester hours. The length of the program can vary depending on your chosen discipline. You will find that CACREP has designated minimum of sixty hours standard for certain programs, as other programs establish accreditation at forty-eight hours.

Third:

After completing all academic requirements, keep an eye out for exams that need to be passed. School counselors typically must take the PLACE School Counselor exam.

The National Counselor Examination is for those who pursue licensure as Professional Counselor. The jurisprudence exam in Colorado is also required.

Fourth:

Candidates who are close to completing educational requirements for their LPC are required to work at the capacity of “under supervision” at a certain amount of time prior to being able to attain their professional counselor licensure. Keep in mind the general standards of 2,000 hours post-Master’s experience; or 1,000 hours experience at post-doctoral.

School counselor licensing requires no further experience past the practicum.

It is a mandate that school counselors have their fingerprints processed.

Click here for more detailed information on licensing requirements in Colorado.

Colorado Counselor Agencies

Colorado Department of Education Special Service Provider Requirements

State Board of Addiction Counselors Examiners (Opens a PDF Document)

We wish you the best of success in your pursuit of becoming a counselor in Colorado.