Counseling Licensure in Arizona

Arizona has its own specific rules and regulations to become a licensed counselor. It is also smart to take the time to read up on the latest information on the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners (ABBHE) website which you can find here: You will need to complete the following steps in the state of Arizona in order to become a Licensed Professional Counselor.

  1. Educational requirements must be met.
  2. Pre-practicum and Practicum requirements must be met
  3. Supervised experience logged.
  4. Apply with the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners to take and pass the National Counselor Examination (NCE) with a score acceptable to the ABBHE.

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Educational Requirements

Arizona requires that Counselor’s seeking licensure have a minimum of a Master’s degree in Counseling.

  • Earn a Bachelor’s degree in Counseling or a highly related field such as Human Services, Social Work or Psychology
  • Apply for and be accepted into a Master’s of Counseling program, which must be accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) or the Commission on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) accredited university.

Pre-Practicum and Practicum

  • You have a Pre-Practicum requirement of 100 hours of mental health internship with 40 hours of this being direct patient care under supervision.
  • You must meet the Practicum requirement of 600 clock hours, which is equivalent to six semester hours. This requirement must be under the supervision of your school’s faculty or a licensed practitioner that has been approved as an on-site supervisor.

Supervised Work Experience

  • You must accumulate 3200 hours of supervised work experience performing mental health duties under the supervision of a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
  • 1600 hours must be in direct client contact.
  • This process must take no less than 2 years of work.

Apply For and Take Your Exam

You must apply with the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners (ABBHE) to receive permission to take your exam.

You may take the National Counselors Exam offered by the National Board for Certified Counselors (You can learn more about test preparation here🙂


If you want to become a Vocational Counselor you must pass the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification.

Pass your exam with a score sufficient to meet requirements of ABBHE.

Finally send all your materials and proof of test scores along with the completed application form to the ABBHE. You can find the forms here.

Continuing Education

After you have passed your exam, you will need to apply with the ABBHE for your license. After you have your license you will be expected to meet maintenance requirements.

  • You must complete 30 hours every 2 years.
  • This must include 3 hours each of:
  • Cultural Competency and Diversity
  • Mental Health Law or Behavioral Health Ethics

You will always want to make sure that you have the most up to date information possible on your state’s licensure laws which you can find here: