There are several different professional certifications for counselors that will demonstrate that you have met certain standards that professionals in the field need to meet. If you are attending school to earn your degree so that you can later apply for a state license, you should be learning about the credentials that you can apply for in your specialty.
Learning about certifications and the criteria to get certified will help you avoid taking the wrong turns and the wrong courses while you are earning your degree. Read this guide to counseling credentials, and then decide which title you want to hold to further your career.
Popular National Certifications Professional Counselors Can Choose From
When you are a professional counselor, earning a national certification is a crucial step in your professional development. A national counselor certification is different from a state license in that it shows that you are a responsible and skilled professional, not that you have permission from the state to practice. While there is more than one type of certification, the flagship credentials are offered by the National Board for Certified Counselors. This board offers the most popular credential called the National Certified Counselor (NCC).
If you choose to earn your NCC credential through the NBCC, you can choose from three different specialties. The specialties are in addiction, school counseling. or mental health. The specialty that you choose will depend on the setting that you want to work in and the major that you choose while you are in school.
What is the Purpose of a National Certification?
Some do not fully understand why they need a certification when they are already licensed to practice in their state. While a certification is not a required credential, it is a professional credential that most employers in the healthcare setting are looking for. The reason that employers are looking for certified counselors is because certification is a process. It shows that professionals are committed to the discipline and meet the strict standards set by the board when a counselor receives their credential.
Not only is it something that can be celebrated, it is something that will help you get your foot in the door and climb the ladder quickly. Certification is also a platform for you to meet clients and to participate in webinars and conferences.
What are Certification Requirements?
Requirements to earn your license vary from state to state, but certification requirements are the same nationwide. To become an NCC, you will need to hold no less than a Master's degree majoring in Counseling. Out of the credits you have completed, you must have at least 48 semester hours completed in counseling related courses. All of your classes must be taken at an accredited school recognized by the NBCC. Applicants must also complete 100 hours of supervised clinical practice and pass a national exam before they will be certified in the specialty of choice.
It is best for you to learn about the pathway to becoming an National Certified Counselor while you are a student. As a student, you can get an early start on the application process and can take your certification exam on campus. Make sure that you research the student application process, and then you can enroll in the right classes to qualify for professional certifications for counselors.