How to Become a Counselor in Hawaii

How to Become a Counselor in HawaiiIf you are looking for information on how to become an LPC in Hawaii, please read further for important details that will help.

Professional counselors (school and mental health focuses) are licensed in Hawaii. These professional roles require education in the form of a Master’s degree.

Though state licensing is not an inherent requirement for rehabilitation counselors, many of these counselors have seen the benefits of procuring a state license when eligible for the license.

For more information on a Counselor Master’s degree, please click here.

Future LPC: For Hawaii High School Student or High School Graduate

Your First Step:

When choosing an undergraduate major, it can benefit you greatly to have a major in a relevant field such as Psychology or Social Work. Excel with you academic performance in order to make yourself truly competitive as a candidate.

Your Second Step:

Get some volunteering experience. Either paid work, or volunteer work, within the field of counseling will better position you for graduate school.

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:

Start conducting research on schools that have graduate programs in the areas of counseling that specifically interest you most. Make sure that your application adequately reflects your relevant professional experience. Prepare to submit professional references.

Second:

Those interested in school counseling should enroll in a SATEP (state approved teaching program). Programs that effectively adhere (to the standards of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification) are considered legitimate.

Students aspiring to mental health counseling should enter a graduate program that encompasses a minimum of forty-eight semester hours of coursework and adheres to all content requirements for the state of Hawaii.

Third:

Mental health counselors require 3,000 hours post-graduate experience, with proper supervision, to effectively earn the title of Licensed Mental Health Counselor. This experience must satisfy supervision guidelines set by the state of Hawaii and be completed over a two to four year period.

School counselors are exempt from the supervision requirement.

Fourth:

Plan ahead for getting your paperwork done on time. For a candidate to gain licensure as an LMHC, he or she must successfully pass the National Counselor Examination, implemented through by the National Board for Certified Counselors. Candidates must apply to the Hawaii Board.

For school counselors, there are specific exams that must be taken. School counselors should successfully pass the Praxis I exam (the pre-professional skills test) and the School Guidance and Counseling exam.

Not having completed a SATEP program, certain school counselors will need to pass the Principles of Learning and Teaching exam.

Click here for more information on licensing in Hawaii.

Hawaii Counselor Agencies:

Hawaii Professional and Vocational Licensing — Mental Health Counselor

Hawaii Teachers Standards Board

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