Human Services Guide
       
 
Illinois

Counseling Licensure in Illinois

To become a licensed Counselor in Illinois will take effort and discipline as the steps towards advanced licensure are extensive. However, Illinois has one of the simplest requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Illinois has two levels of licensure Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and with supervised experience you can eventually become a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). The best way to stay up to date on the most current information about Illinois law in regards to Counselor licensure is to read the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation website.

You will need to follow these steps to obtain licensure in Illinois:

  1. Complete the necessary educational background of a Master of Counseling from an appropriately accredited program.
  2. Take the National Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
  3. Apply for your LPC license with the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation.
  4. Gain the necessary supervised experience.
  5. Take the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination, but it is also administered by the NBCC.
  6. Apply for your LCPC license with the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation.
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Educational Requirements

Illinois has the following educational requirements for licensure.

The first step is to earn your Bachelor’s degree in Counseling as the best option, or a highly related Social or Behavioral Science field such as Psychology, Social Work or Human Services.

The next step is to apply to and get accepted into a master’s or doctorate program accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); a doctorate accredited by the American Psychological Association or the Council for the National Registry of Health Service Providers would also meet board approval.

The Master’s program must have certain core elements as described on the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation website which you can find here:

Illinois law requires a practicum or internship during your Graduate studies.

Apply for and Take Your NCE

The next step is to take your exam for the LPC title.

  • Apply with the Illinois Department of Financial & Prof Counselor Certification | Find a IL Counseling Collegeessional Regulation to take your National Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
  • Pass the NCE with a score acceptable under Illinois law.

Apply for Your LPC License

You are now ready to apply for your license.

  • Apply with the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation for your LPC title.
  • You can find the form here:

Supervised Experience LCPC

  • If you wish to continue to gain advanced licensure you will need to accumulate supervised experience.
  • You must complete two years’ worth of supervised experience.
  • This equates to 960 hours per year of face to face direct counseling.
  • You cannot complete this in less than a years’ time.
  • Your supervisors must be licensed as: LCPC, Psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, licensed clinical social workers.
  • You must have one hour per week of face to face supervised experience to review your work.
  • You must be evaluated and found to be within satisfactory limits by your supervisor.

Apply for and Take Your NMHCE

You will now need to take your LCPC exam.

  • Apply with the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation to take your National Mental Health Counselor Examination (NMHCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
  • Pass the NMHCE with a score acceptable under Illinois law.

Apply for Your LCPC License

You are now ready to fill out your application and send it in to receive your LCPC title.

  • Apply with the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation for your LCPC title.
  • You can find the form here:

Continuing Education

Illinois law requires that you renew your license every two years. You must also complete continuing education credits during this time.

  • You must have 30 hours of continuing education credits when you renew your license.

It is always wise to keep up to date on current licensure law by periodically visiting the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation website which you can find here:

       
 
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