How to Become a Counselor in Maryland

How to Become a Counselor in MarylandIf you are interested in how to become a Counselor in Maryland, make sure to comply with all standards and requirements.

The state of Maryland requires that you achieve a Master’s degree in order to gain certification as school counselor. A Master’s degree is required, as well, for gaining licensure as Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Make the best grades that you possibly can in order to remain competitive for graduate school programs.

For more information on Education Programs, please click here.

Future Counselor: For Student in Maryland High School or Maryland High School Graduate

Your First Step:

Though there is no particular major required as an undergraduate, it is in your best interest to choose a major in a highly relevant subject such as Psychology or Social Work.

Your Second Step:

Get the best grades that you possibly can in order to be a competitive candidate at the graduate school level.

Your Third Step:

Gain some valuable experience in the realm of paid or volunteer work.

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:

Remain a competitive candidate. Depending on the school program, it might be a requirement to take the GRE test, so prepare accordingly. It is not unusual to be required to submit three references.

Second:

You will ideally enroll in a graduate program that includes at least sixty semester hours when pursuing a professional counseling license.

The candidate should have several in-state options in Maryland, including the following:

  • traditional CACREP-accredited counseling programs
  • counseling psychology
  • pastoral counseling.

Interested in becoming a drug and addictions counselor? This program will require completion of a sixty unit program.

School counseling options will involve choosing a program that has CACREP-accreditation or has been specifically board-approved. One must have teaching or counseling experience for other options that are available.

Third:

Coursework and field work should be completed. You must complete a 500 hour practicum if you are attending a state-approved school and you happen not to have the expected teaching experience.

One must accomplish a minimum of 125 hours of direct client care as an integral part of their practicum/internship. Programs that are accredited by CACREP involve a minimum of a 100 hour practicum and 600 hour internship.

Field experience that you acquire while a student can apply toward the requirement for supervised practice.

Fourth:

Candidates will need to accomplish the appropriate licensing exams. Aspiring addictions counselors must take the Examination for Master Addictions Counselors. The National Counselor Examination is reserved for clinical counselors.

There is no mandate for school counselors to take any licensing exam.

Fifth:

Pursuing addictions counseling or professional counseling will require mandatory experience of a minimum of two years as a Graduate Counselor; also required are three years of supervised practice. You are able to apply up to a year of experience that was gained before you obtained your Master’s degree.

For more information on licensing requirements, please click here.

Maryland’s Relevant Counseling Agencies:

Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Maryland State Department of Education

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