Become a Counselor in New Hampshire
Licensed counselors in New Hampshire are known as Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors (LCMHCs). The state’s premier professional organization for LCMHCs is the New Hampshire Mental Health Counselors’ Association, a local chapter of the American Mental Health Counselors’ Association whose mission is to “promote and support the professionalism of and collaboration among clinical mental health counselors.” Licensure for counselors in New Hampshire is managed by the state Board of Mental Health Practice.
Licensure requirements for counselors in New Hampshire, 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 scholarships and loan repayment programs available to aspiring LCMHCs in the state.
LCMHC licensure in New Hampshire requires the completion of a 60-credit master’s or doctorate degree from a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs-accredited higher education or an equivalent recognized by the Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges.
Appropriate degree programs will include at least 30 credit hours of graduate coursework in the following content areas:
- Human growth and development
- Abnormal psychology/psychopathology
- Counseling theories
- Counseling techniques
- Social and cultural foundations
- Group work
- Professional orientation and ethics
- Career and lifestyle development
- Research and program evaluation
- Addictive behaviors
LCMHC licensure in New Hampshire may require the completion of a practicum or internship depending on the applicant’s completed degree program—particularly if it was not accredited by the council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. The practicum/internship should be 700 hours, which can be met through degree-program coursework or post-graduate coursework from the degree-granting institution.
This practicum/internship is a distinct requirement from post-graduate supervision, which is also necessary for LCMHC licensure in New Hampshire. (See “Supervision” below for details.)
“Supervision” is shorthand for post-graduate, directed experience in professional counseling under supervision in a work setting. New Hampshire requires aspiring LCMHCs to complete 3,000 hours of supervision in a minimum of two years, with at least of one hour per week (totaling 100 hours) of individual face-to-face direction from an approved supervisor who is licensed as an LCMHC.
LCMHC licensure in New Hampshire 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 administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors.
LCMHCs in New Hampshire can expect to pay the following fees for their license, renewal, and examination:
LCMHC Application: $150
LCMHC License: $135
LCMHC License Renewal: $270
National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination: $195
LCMHC licenses in New Hampshire expire biennially on the date they were issued. License renewal requires payment of the appropriate fees (see above) and the completion of Continuing Education.
Continuing Education (CE)
New Hampshire LCMHCs are required to complete 40 hours of CE during each two-year renewal period. At least 30 of these hours must be from “Category A,” means they must be obtained through approved means, like participating in or preparing seminars or workshops, completing graduate-level coursework, or publishing peer-reviewed articles or books. Category A activities must be approved by the American Psychological Association, American Association of Pastoral Counselors, National Association of Social Workers, National Board for Certified Counselors, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, American Counseling Association, American Medical Association, American Mental Health Counselors Association, or Association of Social Work Boards. “Category B” activities are similar in nature but do not have such organizational approval.
For Counselors Licensed in Other States
The New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice has an alternative route to licensure for counselors who have already obtained their licenses in other states. This process is delineated on the Board’s website.
Average Counselor Salary in New Hampshire
The following types of counselors in New Hampshire can expect to earn the respective 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 Counselors||$23.05||$47,950|
|Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors||$26.40||$54,910|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||$24.73||$51,430|
|Mental Health Counselors||$23.31||$48,490|
|All Other Counselors||$17.71||$36,840|
New Hampshire Counseling Scholarships
The following scholarships and loan repayment programs are available to aspiring LCMHCs in New Hampshire:
- Type: Loan Repayments
- Amount: Up to $75,000 per Year
- Description: Counselors in New Hampshire are eligible to apply for loan repayment assistance in exchange for working in a state-designated shortage area for up to 36 months full time. The program requires a 50 percent local match with state funds.
- Type: Scholarships
- Amount: $2,500 to $5,000
- Description: American Addiction Centers offers three scholarships providing 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).