How to Become a Counselor in Washington, D.C.

For those interested in how to become a counselor in the District of Columbia, there are standards and requirements to be met in order to work the job with success.

We are here to help you with timely and important information to set you on the right path.

Click here for more information on the differences between a psychologist and a counselor.

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

Your First Step:

Gain information about school requirements for various programs that have your interest. Be aware of prerequisites.  We encourage such undergraduate academic choices as psychology, sociology, or counseling to help prepare you for graduate school.

Your Second Step:

Gain some actual practical experience (whether it’s 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:

Look into all the application process requirements.

  • You may need to submit an essay.
  • You may have to take the MAT or GRE.
  • Letters of recommendation are often required.

Second:

  • Make the effort to formally apply to a degree program at the Master’s level, or programs, with proper accreditation and that satisfy state requirements. The Board mandates at least sixty total graduate level semester hours. It is mandated that this work includes an internship or practicum, as well as coursework in 10 required content areas.
  • It is a great idea to enroll in a sixty semester hour program in mental health counseling.
  • Programs for school counselors are usually 48 semester hours long, though some may be longer.

Third:

  • Professional counselor licensure requires supervised work experience. One can start the supervised work once completing requirements for the Master’s degree.
  • One will usually acquire 3,500 hours (over a two-to-five year time period).
  • One will usually be required to adhere to Board supervision requirements; and you will need a satisfactory rating from your supervisor.

 

DC Counselor-related Agencies:

Board of Professional Counseling

Office of the State Superintendent of Education – School Service Personnel

We wish you the best of success in your pursuit of becoming a counselor in Washington, D.C.