How to Become a Counselor in The US? Steps and Requirements
In order to become a counselor in the US, specific education, training and certification procedures are compulsory. This article provides in-depth view over these requirements and how to advance your career in this direction.
The typical activities of a counselor involve working with different types of people and areas of expertise; counselors can work in hospitals, schools, institutions or other facilities and provide support to patients, adults or adolescents looking for advice on their careers, opportunities or education options. Counselors can also work in private practice, they establish their own schedules, appointment hours with their clients and the job can be actually very rewarding.
Steps and requirements to become a counselor in the US
Prospective counselors are required to complete the studies for Master’s Degree in order to apply for a job. In the US they will also need a valid license in the state where they plan to work.
1. The first step is the Bachelor’s Degree in psychology, social work or education. However, if the student chooses and unrelated major he/she will need to have additional courses in psychology such as general psychology, child psychology, etc. Volunteering is also recommended for a better understanding of the future profession and also to prepare students for graduation.
2. The second step is the Master’s Degree. In order to earn a license, students are required this type of degree to prove their specialization in one or another field related to counseling such as a campus based or online Master’s in School Counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Mental Health Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Counselors, etc.
3. The third step is to apply for a Provisional Licensure. Prior to becoming fully licensed, in in the US, students are required to complete preliminary steps under the supervision of a qualified licensed counselor. This type of license is temporary and it expires when the counselor applies for full licensure.
4. The fourth step is the Supervised Work Experience. Following the graduation, a two-years of supervised work is required in the US but it varies from state to state. However, the students have to ascertain whether or not they can immediately apply for full licensure or have to accomplish the supervised work stage first.
5. The fifth step is to get the State Licensure Professionals must hold the current state licensure according to their specialization. In order to get the state licensure, they have to submit papers that prove the completion of the graduate program, work experience (as previously said it is not required by all states in the US) and pass an appropriate test or examination. There are several types of exams one has to pass according to the specialization such as: the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam or the Association of Social Work Boards Clinical Exam.
6. Sixth step is the Continuing Education Program. Once fully licensed, a counselor is required by the law to renew the license periodically. The documentation is state-specific so one must inform what courses and procedures must be followed in order to meet the requirements of the continuing education program.
The information in this article has been provided by http://howtobecomeacounselor.org/