How to Become a Counselor in Connecticut

State of Connecticut

As in many other states, counselors in Connecticut are known as Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs). Connecticut’s largest professional association for LPCs is the Connecticut Counseling Association, which traces its roots back to the first Guidance Conference in Connecticut in 1927.

LPC licensure in Connecticut is handled by the state Department of Public Health. Licensure details, including requirements for education, supervision, examination, and renewal, are examined further below, along with salary information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as scholarships available to aspiring LPCs in the state.

Counselor Education in Connecticut

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LPC licensure in Connecticut requires the completion of a master’s degree in counseling or a similar subject, such as social work, marriage and family therapy, or psychology or a doctorate degree in the same subjects. This program must be offered by a regionally accredited institution of higher education.

In order to qualify for Connecticut LPC licensure, the master’s or doctoral program must include at least 60 graduate semester hours in counseling, with coursework in each of the following content areas:

  1. Human Growth & Development
  2. Social & Cultural Foundations
  3. Counseling Theories & Techniques
  4. Group Dynamics, Processing, & Counseling
  5. Career & Lifestyles Development
  6. Appraisals/Tests & Measurements for Individuals and Groups
  7. Research & Evaluation
  8. Professional Orientation

Internship Requirements

Although the Connecticut Department of Public Health does not explicitly state a requirement of an internship experience, CACREP accredited counselor education programs in and out of Connecticut do require a practicum/internship experience for degree conferment.

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Supervision Hours

Aspiring LPCs in Connecticut must complete 3,000 hours of post-graduate supervised experience in professional counseling over a year or more. This must include 100 hours of direct supervision by one of the following:

  • Licensed physician certified in psychiatry
  • Licensed psychologist
  • Licensed advanced practice registered nurse certified in adult psychiatric and mental health nursing
  • Licensed marital and family therapist
  • Licensed clinical social worker
  • Licensed professional counselor

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Examination

Connecticut LPC licensure requires a passing score on either the National Counselor Examination for Licensure or the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Exam.

National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE)

The NCE is a 200-question multiple-choice examination administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). It assesses knowledge, skills, and abilities in effective counseling services.

The National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Exam (NCMHCE)

The NCMHCE tests knowledge of assessment, diagnosis, counseling, psychotherapy, administration, consultation, and supervision. It consists of 10 clinical mental health counseling cases and assesses clinical problem-solving ability by testing identification, analysis, and treatment. It is also administered by the NBCC.

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LPC Licensure Fees

LPCs in Connecticut can expect to pay the following fees for their application, renewal, examination, and other licensure expenses:

LPC Application: $315

LPC License Renewal: $195

LPC Reinstatement Application: $315

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LPC License Renewal

Connecticut LPC licenses expire in the first birth month following issuance and are renewable annually thereafter. Licenses have a grace period of 90 days following expiration, during which the LPC may continue to practice and renew the license. On the 91st day, the license becomes void and the LPC must apply for reinstatement.

License renewal involves submitting the appropriate fees (see above), application, and documentation regarding the completion of Continuing Education activities.

Continuing Education (CE)

LPC license renewal in Connecticut requires the completion of at least 15 hours of CE during the year. Qualifying CE activities include:

  • Courses offered or approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors, American Counseling Association, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, National Association of Social Workers, Association of Social Work Boards, American Psychological Association, the Connecticut Department of Education, the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services or any of their affiliates
  • Programs or graduate coursework in or related to counseling and offered by a regionally accredited academic institution

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Average Counselor Salary in Connecticut

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following types of counselors in Connecticut can expect to earn the corresponding average hourly wage and average annual wage:

Average Counselor Salary in Connecticut
Type of Counselor Average Hourly Wage Average Annual Wage
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor $23.39 $48,660
Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselor $30.13 $62,680
Marriage and Family Therapists $25.46 $52,960
Mental Health Counselor $24.61 $51,200
Rehabilitation Counselor $20.49 $42,630
All Other Counselors $23.51 $48,890

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Connecticut Counseling Scholarships

The following scholarships are available to aspiring LPCs in Connecticut:

Connecticut State Loan Repayment Program

  • Type: Loan Repayment
  • Amount: Between $15,000 and $50,000
  • Description: LPCs are eligible to apply for loan repayment assistance in exchange for working in a health professional shortage area (HPSA) at a site approved by the National Health Service Corps. Funding is tied to HPSA score and is in exchange for two years of full-time or half-time service.

Big Y Scholarships

  • Type: Scholarship
  • Amount: To Be Determined by Big Y
  • Description: Big Y scholarships are available to high school seniors, undergraduates, graduates, community college attendees, and non-traditional students. To be eligible, a student’s permanent residence or school must be located in Connecticut, Western or Central Massachusetts, or Norfolk County, Massachusetts. Special scholarships are available for law enforcement officers, firefighters, and military service members and their families.

Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students

  • Type: Scholarship
  • Amount: To Be Decided by School
  • Description: The Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program provides funds to schools, which in turn offer scholarships to full-time, financially needy students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are studying professional counseling (amongst other health professions).

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*Licensure information including requirements, salaries, renewals, and fees were retrieved as of May 2017. Information may have changed since, check with the state's board of licensing for more information.