How to Become a Counselor in Louisiana

State of Louisiana

As in many other states, counselors in Louisiana who have completed their licensure are known as Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs). Those who are still in the supervision portion of the licensure process are known as Provisional Licensed Professional Counselors (PLPC).

The premier professional organization for LPCs and PLPCs in the state is the Louisiana Counseling Association, which also represents counselors in marriage and family, school, college, substance abuse, career, multicultural, and religious fields.

Licensure for both LPCs and PLPCs in Louisiana is managed by the state Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners. Licensure requirements for counselors in Louisiana, including those relating to education, supervision, examination, fees, renewal, and “licensure endorsement,” 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 LPCs and PLPCs in the state.

Counselor Education in Louisiana

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LPC licensure in Louisiana requires the completion of a Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited graduate degree program in professional mental health counseling from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.

Appropriate degree programs will be of 60 graduate hours and include at least one semester course in each of the following content areas:

  1. Counseling/Theories of Personality
  2. Human Growth & Development
  3. Abnormal Behavior
  4. Techniques of Counseling
  5. Group Dynamics, Processes, & Counseling
  6. Lifestyle and Career Development
  7. Appraisal of Individuals
  8. Ethics

Recommended inclusion coursework:

  1. Marriage and Family Studies
  2. Substance Abuse

Internship Requirements

In addition to the coursework listed above, LPC licensure in Louisiana requires the completion of a supervised practicum and internship in mental health counseling. Practicum is comprised of 100 clock hours of which 40 is direct client contact hours. A minimum of one hour per week is required for individual and one and a half hours per week of group supervision.

Internship requirements include 300 clock hours of counseling with 120 hours of direct services.  A minimum of one hour per week of individual supervision with one and half hours of group supervision with other students by a program faculty member supervisor.

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Supervision Hours

“Supervision” is shorthand for post-degree, directed experience in professional counseling under supervision in a work setting. Louisiana requires aspiring LPCs to complete at least 3,000 hours of post-graduate, supervised experience in the practice of counseling in a minimum of two years. Five hundred hours may be gained for every 30 graduate semester hours in mental health counseling attained beyond the master’s degree, though at least 2,000 hours must still be earned through supervised experience.

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Examination

LPC licensure in Louisiana requires a passing score on either the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification or 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. It assesses knowledge, skills, and abilities in effective counseling services.

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 National Board for Certified Counselors.

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LPC and PLCP Licensure Fees

LPCs in Louisiana can expect to pay the following fees for their application, license, renewal, and examination:

LPC Application, Licensure, and Seal: $200

PLCP Application and License: $100

Out of State Provisional Application and Licensure: $150

LPC Renewal: $170

PLCP Renewal: $85

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LPC and PLCP License Renewal

Provisional licensed professional counselors (PLPCs) are eligible for renewal once every two years in the month of October. PLCPs must proof of continuing education, renewal fees, supervised experience hours accrued, and take a nationally recognized counselor exam (NCE or NCMHCE).

LPC licenses in Louisiana expire biennially in June. Following a 60-day grace period, unrenewed licenses are terminated. License renewal requires payment of the appropriate renewal fee and completion of continuing education.

appropriate renewal fee and completion of continuing education.

Continuing Education

Provisional licensed professional counselors must complete 20 continuing education (CE) hours to renew their license. LPCs in Louisiana must complete at least 40 hours of CE in professional counseling during the two-year renewal period to successfully renew their licenses. CE may be obtained through activities approved by the American Counseling Association, Louisiana Counseling Association, or National Board of Certified Counselors. Alternatively, LPCs may earn CE through coursework, home study, presentations, publishing, counseling, research, and peer supervision that the Louisiana Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners deems fit.

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Additional Information

For Counselors Licensed in Other States

The Louisiana Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners has an alternative route to licensure for counselors who have already obtained their licenses in other states. This process is known as “licensure endorsement”. Applicants from out of state must submit an application for licensure endorsement, a $200 fee, a declaration of practices and procedures, and a recent photo with signature.

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Average Counselor Salary in Louisiana

The following types of counselors in Louisiana can expect to earn the corresponding average hourly and average annual wages, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Average Counselor Salary in Louisiana
Type of Counselor Average Hourly Wage Average Annual Wage
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor $19.19 $39,910
Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselor $26.00 $54,070
Marriage and Family Therapists $21.41 $44,520
Mental Health Counselor $17.32 $36,020
Rehabilitation Counselor $21.27 $44,250

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Louisiana Counseling Scholarships

The following scholarships and loan repayment programs are available to aspiring LPCs and Counseling Interns in Louisiana:

National Association of Junior Auxiliaries (NAJA) Graduate Scholarship Program

  • Type: Scholarships
  • Amount: To Be Decided by NAJA
  • Description: Applicant must be working or planning to work directly with children; be pursuing graduate-level studies for one year in fields that address the special needs of children and youth, such as counseling; be a U.S. citizen and permanent resident of a state with a Junior Auxiliary Chapter, such as Louisiana; and be planning to attend a U.S. college or university for full-time or part-time study.

National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program

  • Type: Loan Repayments
  • Amount: Between $30,000 and $50,000
  • Description: Louisiana 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 service. A half-time service commitment option is also available.

American Addiction Centers’ Behavioral Health Academic Scholarship Program

  • Type: Scholarships
  • Amount: $2,500 to $5,000
  • Description: American Addiction Centers offers three scholarships to provide financial assistance to full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate school students pursuing careers in behavior health and addiction-related studies, including counseling.

Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students

  • Type: Scholarships
  • 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.