Become a Counselor in Maine
As in many other states, counselors in Maine who have completed their licensure are known as Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs). Those who remain in the supervision portion of the licensure process are known as Conditional LPCs, while those who have continued their education and further developed their clinical skills may be registered as Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors (LCPCs) and are therefore able to diagnose and treat mental health disorders. The premier professional organization for LPCs and LCPCs in the state is the Maine Counseling Association , whose purpose is to “enhance individual human development and to advance and promote the discipline of counseling.”
Licensure for both LPCs and LCPCs in Maine is managed by the state Professional and Financial Regulation Agency. Licensure requirements for counselors in Maine, including those relating to education, supervision, examination, fees, and renewal, 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 Maine requires the completion of a master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution. The degree program must be at least 48 semester hours and be accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs or the Council on Rehabilitation Education. Alternatively, the program may acceptable if it includes coursework covering the content areas listed below.
Appropriate degree programs will offer courses in each of the following content areas:
- Human growth and development
- Social and cultural foundations
- Philosophic bases of helping processes
- Lifestyle and career development
- Research and evaluation
- Professional orientation
In addition to the coursework listed above, LPC licensure in Maine requires the completion of a practicum and an internship. A practicum should provide practical experience in counseling for the purpose of developing individual and group counseling skills. An internship, on the other hand, should consist of 600 hours of supervised counseling experience.
Both the practicum and internship are distinct from post-graduate supervision, also a requirement for LPC licensure in Maine. (See “Supervision” below for details.)
“Supervision” is shorthand for post-degree, directed experience in professional counseling under supervision in a work setting. Maine requires aspiring LPCs to complete at least 2,000 hours of post-graduate, supervised experience in the practice of counseling in a minimum of two years. One thousand of those hours must be in direct counseling with clients, and at least 67 hours must be under the supervision of an approved supervisor, although throughout this period there must be regular supervision of at least one hour for every 30 hours of experience. Additionally, of those 67 hours of supervision, at least 34 must consist of individual supervision. The supervisor must be an LCPC, licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed pastoral counselor, licensed clinical social worker, certified social worker, licensed psychologist, or licensed psychiatrist certified by a national professional organization in training or supervision.
LPC licensure in Maine 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 Maine 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 Maine can expect to pay the following fees for their license, application, renewal, and examination:
LPC/LCPC License: $250
LPC/LCPC Application: $25
LPC/LCPC License Renewal: $250
LPC/LCPC License Renewal Late Fee: $50
National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification: $195
National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination: $195
LPC licenses in Maine expire biennially on the date they were issued. Following a 90-day grace period, unrenewed licenses are terminated. License renewal requires payment of the appropriate renewal fee (see “Fees” above) and completion of Continuing Education.
Continuing Education (CE)
LPCs in Maine must complete at least 55 hours of CE in professional counseling during the two-year renewal period to successfully renew their licenses. Of those 55 hours, at least four must relate to ethics. CE may be earned through peer consultation (15 hours maximum); graduate academic courses, institutes, workshops, seminars, conferences, in-service training, formal home study courses, online or distance learning programs, and informal home study (5 hours max); professional writing (20 hours max); teaching graduate academic courses (5 hours max); and field supervision of interns (5 hours max).
For Counselors Licensed in Other States
The Maine Professional and Financial Regulation Agency has alternative routes to licensure for counselors who have already obtained their licenses in other states. These processes are delineated on the Agency’s website.
Average Counselor Salary in Maine
The following types of counselors in Maine 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||$20.34||$42,300|
|Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselor||$23.03||$47,910|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||$22.17||$46,110|
|Mental Health Counselor||$23.17||$48,200|
|All Other Counselors||$18.15||$37,740|
Maine Counseling Scholarships
The following scholarships and loan repayment programs are available to aspiring LPCs and LCPCs in Maine:
- 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: Loan Repayments
- Amount: Between $30,000 and $50,000
- Description: Maine LPCs and LCPCs 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: 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).