Become a Counselor in Kansas
Counselors in Kansas are known as Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs)—although those who wish to continue their education and further develop their clinical skills can obtain licensure as Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors (LCPCs) as well.
The premier professional organization for LPCs and LCPCs in the state is the Kansas Counseling Association, a local branch of the American Mental Health Counselors Association, whose mission is to “enhance the profession of clinical mental health counseling through advocacy, education, and collaboration.”
Licensure for both LPCs and LCPCs in Kansas is managed by the state Behavioral Science Regulatory Board. Licensure requirements for counselors in Kansas, including those relating to education, supervision, examination, fees, renewal, and “licensure through reciprocity,” 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 LCPCs in the state.
LPC licensure in Kansas requires the completion of a counseling graduate degree of at least 60 graduate semester hours from a regionally accredited institution.
Of those 60 hours, at least two must be in each of the following content areas:
- Counseling theory and practice
- The philosophical bases of helping relationships
- Group dynamics, processes, and counseling approaches and techniques
- Human growth and development
- Career development and lifestyle foundations
- Appraisal of individuals
- Social and cultural foundations
- Research and evaluation
- Professional orientation
- Supervised practical experience (see “Internship” below for details.)
Aside from the content areas listed above, an additional 15 hours of the basic 60 must be in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. More specifically, two of those 15 hours should be in ethics and another two should be in psychopathology and diagnostic assessment.
LPC licensure in Kansas requires as part of the graduate degree program a supervised practical experience, also sometimes referred to as an internship. This experience should be under the close supervision of the course instructor and on-site supervisor. This requirement is distinct from post-graduate supervision, also a requirement for LPC licensure in Kansas. (See “Supervision” below for details.)
“Supervision” is shorthand for post-degree, directed experience in professional counseling under supervision in a work setting. Although Kansas does not require supervision for LPC licensure, it does so for LCPC licensure.
Aspiring LCPCs in Kansas must complete at least 4,000 hours of post-graduate, supervised professional experience. Of those 4,000 hours, at least 50 should be face-to-face, one-on-one individual supervision and at least 100 should be group supervision with up to six supervisees. The supervisor must be an LCPC or be otherwise licensed to practice graduate-level behavioral science in counseling, therapy, or psychotherapy.
LPC licensure in Kansas requires a passing score on the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification, a 200-question, multiple-choice examination administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors. It assesses knowledge, skills, and abilities in effective counseling services.
LCPC licensure in Kansas requires a passing score on the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Exam, 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 National Board for Certified Counselors.
LPCs and LCPCs in Kansas can expect to pay the following fees for their application, license, renewal, and examination:
LPC/LCPC Application: $100
LPC/LCPC License: $150
LPC License Renewal: $150
LCPC License Renewal: $175
National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification: $195
National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination: $195
LPC and LCPC licenses in Kansas expire biennially on the last day of the month. License renewal requires payment of the appropriate renewal fee (see “Fees” above) and completion of Continuing Education.
Continuing Education (CE)
LPCs and LCPCs in Kansas must complete at least 30 hours of CE during the 24-month renewal period to successfully renew their licenses. Three of these hours must be in ethics, and six must be in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. Acceptable CE activities include attending academic courses, seminars, institutes, or workshops (maximum of 30 hours); providing supervision (max 10 hours); preparation and presentation of a professional counseling course (max 10 hours); publication of a professional counseling article in a juried professional journal (max 10 hours); participation in a professional organization (max 10 hours).
For Counselors Licensed in Other States
The Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board has an alternative route to licensure for counselors who have already obtained their licenses in other states. This process is known as “licensure through reciprocity” and is delineated on the Board’s website.
Average Counselor Salary in Kansas
The following types of counselors in Kansas can expect to earn the corresponding average hourly and annual wages, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
|Occupation||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Wage|
|Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor||$18.90||$39,310|
|Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselor||$24.38||$50,710|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||$23.18||$48,210|
|Mental Health Counselor||$18.97||$39,450|
|All Other Counselors||$20.55||$42,740|
Kansas Counseling Scholarships
The following scholarships and loan repayment programs are available to aspiring LPCs and LCPCs in Kansas:
- Type: Loan Repayment
- Amount: Up to $50,000
- Description: LPCs and LCPCs in Kansas can receive 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 service.
- 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.
- 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).