Become a Counselor in 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 Counseling Interns. (See “Supervision” below for more details.)
The premier professional organization for LPCs and Counseling Interns in the state is the Louisiana Counseling Association, which also represents licensed marriage and family therapists, school counselors, college counselors, college educators, substance abuse counselors, career counselors, multicultural counselors, and religious counselors in Louisiana.
Licensure for both LPCs and Counseling Interns 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 Counseling Interns in the state.
LPC licensure in Louisiana requires the completion of a Louisiana Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners-approved graduate degree 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:
- Counseling/theories of personality
- Human growth and development
- Abnormal behavior
- Techniques of counseling
- Group dynamics, processes, and counseling
- Lifestyle and career development
- Appraisal of individuals
In addition to the coursework listed above, LPCC licensure in Louisiana requires the completion of a supervised internship in mental health counseling of 60 hours as part of the degree program. Applicants may apply post-master’s counseling courses towards this requirement, though it remains distinct from post-graduate supervision, also a requirement for LPC licensure in Louisiana. (See “Supervision” below for details.)
“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.
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.
LPCs in Louisiana can expect to pay the following fees for their application, license, renewal, and examination:
LPC Application: $200
LPC License: $325
LPC License Renewal: $300
LPC License Renewal Late Fee: $100
National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification: $195
National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination: $195
LPC licenses in Louisiana expire biennially on June 30. Following a 60-day grace period, unrenewed licenses are terminated. License renewal requires payment of the appropriate renewal fee (see “Fees” above) and completion of Continuing Education.
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.
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” and is delineated on the Board’s website.
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:
|Occupation||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Wage|
|Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor||$17.32||$36,020|
|Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselor||$25.54||$53,130|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||$19.21||$39,960|
|Mental Health Counselor||$15.61||$32,480|
|All Other Counselors||$17.89||$37,210|
Louisiana Counseling Scholarships
The following scholarships and loan repayment programs are available to aspiring LPCs and Counseling Interns in Louisiana:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).