How to Become a Counselor in Michigan

State of Michigan

known as Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs). Counselors who are still in the supervision portion of the licensure process are alternately known as Limited Licensed Professional Counselors (LLPCs). The state’s largest professional organization dedicated exclusively to LPCs and LLPCs is the Michigan Counseling Association, which was founded in 1965 to “enhance human development throughout the lifespan and to promote the counseling profession.”

Licensure for LPCs in Michigan is managed by the state Board of Counseling, a division of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Licensure requirements for counselors in Michigan, including those relating to education, supervision, examination, fees, renewal, and “licensure by endorsement,” are examined in further detail below, along with salary information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as scholarships and loan repayment programs available to aspiring LPCs in the state.

Counselor Education in Michigan

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Becoming a professional counselor in Michigan requires the completion of a 48 semester hour degree in counseling or a related field from a program meeting the standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE), or a regionally accrediting body.

Appropriate degree programs will include instruction in all of the following content areas:

  1. Career development
  2. Consulting
  3. Counseling techniques
  4. Counseling theories
  5. Counseling philosophy
  6. Group techniques
  7. Professional ethics
  8. Research methodology
  9. Multicultural counseling
  10. Testing procedures and assessment
  11. Practicum
  12. Internship

Internship Requirements

In addition to the coursework listed above, LPC licensure in Michigan requires the completion of both a practicum and an internship as part of the degree program. The practicum is a supervised curricular experience that gives students the opportunity to perform some of the activities that an LPC would be expected to perform. The internship is similar, although it allows students to perform all of the activities an LPC would. It must also be at least 600 hours.

Both the practicum and internship requirements are distinct from post-graduate supervision, also a requirement for LPC licensure in Michigan.

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Supervision Hours

“Supervision” is shorthand for post-degree, directed experience in professional counseling under supervision in a work setting. Michigan requires aspiring LPCs to complete at least two years of full-time or equivalent part-time supervision totaling a minimum of 3,000 hours. Of those hours, at least 100 must be in the immediate physical presence of the supervisor.

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Examination

LPC licensure in Michigan requires a passing score on either the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification or the Certified Rehabilitation 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.

Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) Exam

The CRC Exam consists of 175 multiple-choice questions across 10 subjects underlying rehabilitation counseling. One portion of the exam tests knowledge regarding counseling, while the other pertains to rehabilitation and disability issues. It is administered by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification.

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LPC Licensure Fees

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

LPC Application: $115

LPC License Renewal: $181.80

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LPC License Renewal

LPC licenses in Michigan expire on May 31 every three years. License renewal requires payment of the appropriate renewal fee (see “Fees” above) and completion of an application. Unlike many other states, Michigan does not require any Continuing Education for renewal.

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Additional Information

For Counselors Licensed in Other States

The Michigan Board of Counseling has an alternative route to licensure for counselors who have already obtained their licenses in other states. This process is called “licensure by endorsement”.

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Average Counselor Salary in Michigan

The following types of counselors in Michigan 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 Michigan
Type of Counselor Average Hourly Wage Average Annual Wage
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor $18.72 $38,930
Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselor $25.97 $54,030
Marriage and Family Therapists $24.47 $50,900
Mental Health Counselor $23.17 $48,190
Rehabilitation Counselor $19.56 $40,690

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Michigan Counseling Scholarships

The following scholarships and loan repayment programs are available to aspiring LPCs and LLPCs in Michigan:

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.

National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program

  • Type: Loan Repayments
  • Amount: Between $30,000 and $50,000
  • Description: Michigan 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.

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.