Become a Counselor in Michigan
As in many other states, counselors in Michigan who have obtained their licensure are 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.
LPCs licensure in Michigan requires the completion of 48 semester hours of graduate-level academic courses in counseling or a related field from a program meeting the standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs or the Council on Rehabilitation Education.
Appropriate degree programs will include instruction in all of the following content areas:
- Career development
- Counseling techniques
- Counseling theories
- Counseling philosophy
- Group techniques
- Professional ethics
- Research methodology
- Multicultural counseling
- Testing procedures and assessment
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. (See “Supervision” below for details.)
“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.
LPC licensure in Michigan requires a passing score on either the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification or the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Exam.
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.
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.
LPCs in Michigan can expect to pay the following fees for their application, renewal, and examination:
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.
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” and is delineated on the Board’s website.
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:
|Occupation||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Wage|
|Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor||$20.97||$43,620|
|Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselor||$26.17||$54,440|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||$21.55||$44,820|
|Mental Health Counselor||$22.01||$45,770|
|All Other Counselors||$17.56||$36,510|
Michigan Counseling Scholarsips
The following scholarships and loan repayment programs are available to aspiring LPCs and LLPCs in Michigan:
- 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: 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.
- 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).