Become a Counselor in 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 public and private scholarships available to aspiring LPCs in the state.
LPC licensure in Connecticut requires the completion of a master’s or doctoral degree in counseling or a similar subject, such as social work, marriage and family therapy, or psychology. 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:
- Human growth and development
- Social and cultural foundations
- Counseling theories and techniques
- Group dynamics, processing, and counseling
- Career and lifestyles development
- Appraisals or tests and measurements for individuals and groups
- Research and evaluation
- Professional orientation
Although the Connecticut Department of Public Health does not require LPC applicants to have completed an internship as part of their degree program, it does mandate a post-graduate supervised experience. For more information on this, see below.
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
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.
LPCs in Connecticut can expect to pay the following fees for their application, renewal, examination, and other licensure expenses:
LPC Application: $315
National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification: $195
National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination: $195
LPC License Renewal: $190
LPC Reinstatement Application: $315
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
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:
|Occupation||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Wage|
|Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor||$22.26||$46,290|
|Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselor||$26.98||$56,120|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||$25.21||$52,440|
|Mental Health Counselor||$19.48||$40,520|
|All Other Counselors||$22.86||$47,540|
Connecticut Counseling Scholarships
The following scholarships are available to aspiring LPCs in Connecticut:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).