Licensure requirements for counselors in Idaho, including those relating to education, supervision, examination, fees, and renewal, are examined in further detail below, along with salary information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as public and private scholarships available to aspiring counselors in the state.
Counselor Education in Idaho
LPC licensure in Idaho requires the completion of a 60-semester-hour graduate degree program in counseling, which is approved by either the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs or the Council on Rehabilitation Education. Alternatively, the Idaho Licensing Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists may approve a program that demonstrates instruction in counseling theory and counseling techniques, and includes supervised counseling experience.
Appropriate degree programs will consist of at least one graduate-level course in each of the following eight content areas:
Human Growth & Development
Social & Cultural Foundations
The Helping Relationship
Group Theory & Practice
Lifestyle and Career Development
Appraisal of the Individual
Research and Evaluation
In addition to the content areas listed above, LPC applicants in Idaho must complete at least six semester hours of advanced counseling practicum, sometimes referred to as an internship. The internship must be supervised at a ratio of at least one hour of one-to-one supervision for every 10 hours of experience. This requirement is distinct from the post-degree, directed experience commonly referred to as “supervision,” although these hours can be applied towards supervision.
“Supervision” is shorthand for post-degree, directed experience in professional counseling under supervision in a work setting, a requirement for LPC licensure in Idaho. As previously mentioned, counselors who have yet to complete their supervision may be known as Registered Counselor Interns.
Registered Counselor Interns must complete 1,000 clock hours of experience working in a counseling setting—400 hours of which should be in direct client contact. Supervision must include one hour of one-on-one or one-on-two direction from the supervisor—an LPC or LCPC—for every 10 or 20 hours of experience, depending on the setting. This direction must be face to face, although that may be facilitated by a secure live electronic connection. For clinical professional counseling licensure, applicants must complete 2,000 hours of direct client contact experience.
Licensure as a professional counselor in Idaho requires a passing score on the National Counselors Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE), which 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.
Clinical professional counselor licensure additionally requires passing the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Exam (NCMHCE), which 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.
LPC and LCPC licenses in Idaho expire annually. License renewal requires payment of the appropriate renewal fee (see above) and completion of continuing education.
Both LPCs and LCPCs in Idaho must complete 20 hours of continuing education (CE) during the 12-month renewal period to successfully renew their licenses. No less than three hours must be in ethics and obtained in a face-to-face setting with instructor/participant interaction. CE may also be earned through college or university courses, seminars, workshops, conferences, publications, presentations, clinical supervision and case consultation, dissertation, leadership, and home study or online education. Excess hours may be applied towards the following renewal period.
The Idaho Licensing Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists has an alternative route to licensure for counselors who have already obtained their professional counseling licenses in other states. This process is known as “licensure by endorsement”.
Description: The Pride Foundation offers residents of the Northwest (including Idaho) who are pursuing post-secondary education anywhere in the world to apply to more than 50 scholarships through one application. Preference is given to students who self-identify as LGBTQ, are members of LGBTQ families, or have been strongly supportive of the LGBTQ community.
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).
Description: LPCs and LCPCs in Idaho 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 service. A half-time service commitment option is also available.
*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.