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What do School Counselors Need to Know about Licensing Requirements?

What do school counselors need to know about licensing requirements? With the influx of school counselors helping students with everything from dealing with their anxiety about success to helping them get into the college of their choice, it's no wonder that highly-qualified candidates are sought in this profession. But there are a few things professionals must know about licensing, the most important qualification they earn, before sitting for the examinations.

Graduate Education is Required for Licensing

School counseling requires extensive university education; most professionals in this career receive terminal education before heading out into the workforce. It is possible, however, to earn licensing after a graduate degree is obtained, which is also generally the level of education required by employers seeking qualified candidates. It is advised, then, that students interested in this career path allocate the necessary time to get a master's degree in school counseling. While it is possible to work as a school counselor in certain settings with only a bachelor's degree, most school districts and universities won't consider an application that does not include graduate education.

Some Settings Don't Require Licensing

Some settings will not require a professional to be licensed; this varies by state requirements and the school district or private school in question. In most cases, schools that hire an unlicensed school counselor do so with the understanding that the professional is earning supervised work hours for licensure; in other cases, the candidate's application is enough to secure them employment. Even in these settings, earning licensure will be a benefit for the school and the candidate because it demonstrates adherence to an association's or licensing board's standards.

Private Practice Require Licensing

Licensing requirements for school counselors, particularly those who work in private practice, can include dual licensure. This is when a professional earns both credentials as a certified counselor and a certified school counselor by the National Board for Certified Counselors. A professional who earns these qualifications is always highly sought after, both from schools who need consultation work and by parents who are looking for private school counselors to help their children with any issues they may be facing, such as learning disabilities or substance abuse.

State Licensing Has Different Requirements

State licensing requirements for school counselors vary; therefore, it is up for the professional to research the state's requirements on the American School Counselor Association website to ensure they meet these qualifications. There are a few similarities, including graduate education from a CACREP-accredited program, at least 1,000 hours of supervised work experience, and an internship. Because each state has standards for education and counseling within private and public schools, it is impossible to list them all here, so it will fall to the professional to do the due diligence of obtaining the proper requirements prior to sitting for licensure in the state.

School counselors are often the first professionals who spot serious issues with students. With their involvement in the everyday lives of students at school, it is no wonder that the licensing regulations for these professionals would be so strict. Now that the question of what do school counselors needs to know about licensing requirements has been answered, all that is left to do is to build the experience necessary to sit for licensure.

See also: Top 10 Online CACREP Accredited School Counseling Degrees 2017