How to Become a Counselor in Iowa

How to Become a Counselor in IowaWhen looking into how to become an LPC in Iowa, make sure to adhere to all of the standards and requirements to perform the job well.

School counselors and mental health counselors are licensed at the Master’s degree level in the state of Iowa.

For more information on the difference between a Psychologist and a Counselor, please click here.

Iowa LPC

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

Your First Step:

Choose an appropriate undergraduate major based on your interests and the later path of graduate school. Though not required, majoring in a subject such as Psychology or Social Work can be advantageous. Earn the best grades that you can possibly can.

Your Second Step:

Gain some useful work or volunteer experience working in the counseling field. Gain experience with many age groups and diverse clients. Clinics, schools and treatment centers are all possibilities.

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

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:

Begin to satisfy admission requirements well in advance of deadlines. One must write a professional statement. Admissions teams will evaluate your writing skills as well as your dedication to the counseling profession. Some school programs will require the GRE.

Second:

  • Those interested in becoming a school counselor in Iowa should select a Master’s program at either the elementary (K-8) or secondary (5 – 12) level.
  • One must achieve a practicum of a minimum of 500 hours and have coursework with approved content areas by the Iowa Board.
  • Those interested in mental health counseling must enter enroll in a counseling program with CACREP-accreditation or one that is the equivalent. The length of these programs is usually sixty semester hours.

Third:

After one completes the mental health counseling program, he or she is able to apply for a permit that is temporary, allowing one to work while gaining the proper hours of experience.

Fourth:

3,000 hours of supervised practice is required for appropriate licensing for “mental health counselor.” This process usually takes two years (at a minimum). Your clinical supervisor consults with you (hopefully on a regular basis) and carefully documents all hours worked.

Supervision should be approved by the board. You will submit a form providing the qualifications (and name) of your supervisor, as well as describing your duties.

Fifth:

A licensing exam will be required before licensure as a professional counselor.

Click here for more information on licensing requirements in Iowa.

Iowa Counselor Agencies:

Iowa Board of Educational Examiners

Iowa Board of Behavioral Science

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